Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the processes that led to the decline of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, in particular the fundamental change in political and social conditions such as the empire’s breakup into an eastern and western part having its own imperial residence. It also considers whether such change indicates a ‘crisis’ marked by violence, despotism, corruption, anxiety, helplessness, and uncertainty, giving rise to a new kind of empire known as the Tetrarchy. After providing an overview of scholarly debate about the use of the word ‘crisis’ in the Roman Empire, the chapter discusses urban and rural life as well as settlement structures, economy and resources, religion, and signs of violence and anarchy in terms of endogenous and exogenous factors, including changed natural conditions or natural phenomena. It then distinguishes Upper and Lower Germany before analysing archaeological evidence regarding crisis research in the two German provinces.

Keywords: Crisis, civil context, third century, Augst, agri decumates, economy

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.