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Continuity and change in the reign of Valentinian I


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Novy, Felicity A 1995 , 'Continuity and change in the reign of Valentinian I', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The aim of the thesis is to evaluate the contribution made by Valentinian I (364 -
375) to the government of the western empire during the fourth century, and to
consider whether the policies pursed in specific areas of imperial administration
can be considered as innovative or as consolidation within the broader context of
the fourth century. Attention is given to the success that Valentinian's reforms
enjoyed in the context of the last years of the fourth century.
Imperial policies are grouped for examination into specific areas designed to
provide an analysis of all facets of the reign. The study begins with an examination
of the literary sources, their chronology and the literary tradition about
Valentinian. Particular attention is given to Ammianus Marcellinus, whose
account of the elevation of Valentinian provides the basis for examination of the
nature of imperial accessions, with particular reference to the successors to fallen
dynasties, such as that of Constantine. The civil administration is treated as a
whole, incorporating matters relating to the functions of the bureaucracy, an
examination of the social origins, career structures and religious affiliations of
those who served in the imperial service, facilitated by the compilation of a
prosopographical data base of all known Valentinianic personnel. Special
emphasis is also given to financial policy and the administration of the city of
Rome. The ramifications of such policies are examined in the context of specific
events such as the trials conducted at Rome for magic and treason and the
cohesion of administrative policy is analysed through detailed scrutiny of the
legislation promulgated by the emperor. The military and religious policies of
Valentinian receive separate treatment. The religious policy is analysed primarily
as a study of the exceptional nature of religious toleration in the fourth century.
What may appear as indifference in religious policy provides an effective contrast
to the military campaigns, the facts of _which and the strategic initiatives in the
defense of the empire place Valentinian high in the military history of the late
From a consideration of the above, it is concluded that Valentinian consolidated
many of the existing trends current in the fourth century on a scale that can be
considered innovative.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Novy, Felicity A
Keywords: Valentinian I, Emperor of Rome, 321-375
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 1993 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
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Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1995. Includes bibliographical references

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