Crisis of the Third Century
The same number of men became accepted by the Roman Senate as emperor during this period and so became legitimate emperors. Later, Aurelian reunited the empire, the crisis ended with the ascension, the situation of the Roman Empire became dire in 235 AD, when emperor Alexander Severus was murdered by his own troops. Many Roman legions had been defeated during a campaign against Germanic peoples raiding across the borders, leading his troops personally, Alexander Severus resorted to diplomacy and paying tribute in an attempt to pacify the Germanic chieftains quickly. According to Herodian this cost him the respect of his troops, in the years following the emperors death, generals of the Roman army fought each other for control of the Empire and neglected their duties of defending the empire from invasion. Climate changes and a rise in sea levels ruined the agriculture of what is now the Low Countries forcing tribes to migrate, additionally, in 251, the Plague of Cyprian broke out, causing large-scale death, possibly weakened the ability of the Empire to defend itself.
After the loss of Valerian in 260, the Roman Empire was beset by usurpers, the Roman provinces of Gaul and Hispania broke off to form the Gallic Empire. An invasion by a vast host of Goths was defeated at the Battle of Naissus in 268 or 269 and this victory was significant as the turning point of the crisis, when a series of tough, energetic soldier-emperors took power. Victories by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus over the two years drove back the Alamanni and recovered Hispania from the Gallic Empire. When Claudius died in 270 of the plague, who had commanded the cavalry at Naissus, succeeded him as the emperor and continued the restoration of the Empire. Aurelian reigned through the worst of the crisis, defeating the Vandals, the Visigoths, the Palmyrenes, the Persians, by late 274, the Roman Empire was reunited into a single entity, and the frontier troops were back in place. More than a century would pass before Rome again lost military ascendancy over its external enemies. However, dozens of formerly thriving cities, especially in the Western Empire, had ruined, their populations dispersed and, with the breakdown of the economic system.
Major cities and towns, even Rome itself, had not needed fortifications for many centuries, although Aurelian had played a significant role in restoring the Empires borders from external threat, more fundamental problems remained. Another issue was the size of the Empire, which made it difficult for a single autocratic ruler to effectively manage multiple threats at the same time. These continuing problems would be addressed by Diocletian, allowing the Empire to continue to survive in the West for over a century. Several emperors who rose to power through acclamation of their troops attempted to create stability by appointing their descendants as Caesar and these generally failed to maintain any form of coherence beyond one generation, although there were exceptions. Internally, the empire faced hyperinflation caused by years of coinage devaluation and this had started earlier under the Severan emperors who enlarged the army by one quarter and doubled the legionaries base pay. This resulted in runaway rises in prices, and by the time Diocletian came to power, some taxes were collected in kind and values were often notional in bullion or bronze coinage
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia. Julius Pokorny believes the name Pannonia is derived from Illyrian, from the Proto-Indo-European root *pen-, water, the Ionian Danube fleet reached as far as Boio-Aria, populated until the late 8th century CE by Celts and Slavs under Aryan rulers. Pliny the Elder, in Natural History, places the eastern regions of the Hercynium jugum and he gives us some dramaticised description of its composition, in which the close proximity of the forest trees causes competitive struggle among them. But even he—if the passage in question is not an interpolated marginal gloss—is subject to the legends of the gloomy forest and he mentions unusual birds, which have feathers that shine like fires at night. Medieval bestiaries named these birds the Ercinee, the first inhabitants of this area known to history were the Pannonii, a group of Indo-European tribes akin to Illyrians.
From the 4th century BC, it was invaded by various Celtic tribes, little is heard of Pannonia until 35 BC, when its inhabitants, allies of the Dalmatians, were attacked by Augustus, who conquered and occupied Siscia. The country was not, definitively subdued by the Romans until 9 BC, when it was incorporated into Illyricum, the frontier of which was thus extended as far as the Danube. After the rebellion was crushed in AD9, the province of Illyricum was dissolved, the date of the division is unknown, most certainly after AD20 but before AD50. The proximity of dangerous barbarian tribes necessitated the presence of a number of troops. Some time between the years 102 and 107, between the first and second Dacian wars, Trajan divided the province into Pannonia Superior, and Pannonia Inferior. According to Ptolemy, these divisions were separated by a line drawn from Arrabona in the north to Servitium in the south, the whole country was sometimes called the Pannonias. Pannonia Superior was under the legate, who had formerly administered the single province.
Pannonia Inferior was at first under a praetorian legate with a single legion as the garrison, after Marcus Aurelius, it was under a consular legate, the frontier on the Danube was protected by the establishment of the two colonies Aelia Mursia and Aelia Aquincum by Hadrian. In the 4th-5th century, one of the dioceses of the Roman Empire was known as the Diocese of Pannonia. It had its capital in Sirmium and included all four provinces that were formed from historical Pannonia, as well as the provinces of Dalmatia, following the Migrations Period in the middle of the 5th century, Pannonia was ceded to the Huns by Theodosius II. After the collapse of the Hunnic empire in 454, large numbers of Ostrogoths were settled by Emperor Marcian in the province as foederati, afterwards, it was again invaded by the Avars in the 560s, the Slavs, who first settled c. This language and the culture became extinct with the arrival of the Magyars. The native settlements consisted of pagi containing a number of vici, the cities and towns in Pannonia were, The country was fairly productive, especially after the great forests had been cleared by Probus and Galerius
The Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in southeastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family, the study of Thracians and Thracian culture is known as Thracology. Thracians are one of the three primary groups of modern Bulgarians. The first historical record about the Thracians is found in the Iliad, the ethnonym Thracian comes from Ancient Greek Θρᾷξ or Θρᾴκιος/Ionic, Θρηίκιος, and the toponym Thrace comes from Θρᾴκη/Ion. These forms are all exonyms as applied by the Greeks, in Greek mythology, Thrax was regarded as one of the reputed sons of the god Ares. In the Alcestis, Euripides mentions that one of the names of Ares himself was Thrax since he was regarded as the patron of Thrace, the origins of the Thracians remain obscure, in the absence of written historical records. Evidence of proto-Thracians in the period depends on artifacts of material culture. Leo Klejn identifies proto-Thracians with the multi-cordoned ware culture that was pushed away from Ukraine by the advancing timber grave culture and we speak of proto-Thracians from which during the Iron Age Dacians and Thracians begin developing.
Divided into separate tribes, the Thracians did not manage to form a political organization until the Odrysian state was founded in the fifth century BC. A strong Dacian state appeared in the first century BC, during the reign of King Burebista, including the Illyrians, the mountainous regions were home to various peoples regarded as warlike and ferocious Thracian tribes, while the plains peoples were apparently regarded as more peaceable. Thracians inhabited parts of the ancient provinces of Thrace, Macedonia, Scythia Minor, Bithynia, Mysia and other regions of the Balkans and Anatolia. This area extended over most of the Balkans region, and the Getae north of the Danube as far as beyond the Bug and including Panonia in the west. Aligning themselves in kingdoms and tribes, they never displayed any form of unity beyond short. Similar to the Celtic and Slavic tribes, most people are thought to have lived simply in small fortified villages, although the concept of an urban center was not developed until the Roman period, various larger fortifications which served as regional market centers were numerous.
Yet, in general, despite Greek colonization in such areas as Byzantium and other cities, the first Greek colonies in Thrace were founded in the eighth century BC. Thrace south of the Danube was ruled for half a century by the Persians under Darius the Great. In the first decade of the sixth century BC, the Persians invaded Thrace, Thracians were forced to join the invasions of European Scythia and Greece. According to Herodotus, the Bithynian Thracians had to contribute a large contingent to Xerxes invasion of Greece in 480 BC, Darius left in Europe one of his commanders named Megabazus whose task was to accomplish conquests in the Balkans
The Getae /ˈdʒiːtiː/ or /ˈɡiːtiː/ or Gets are several Thracian tribes that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube, in what is today northern Bulgaria and southern Romania. Several scholars, especially in the Romanian historiography, posit the identity between the Getae and their neighbours, the Dacians. The ancient geographer wrote that the Dacians and Getae spoke the language, after stating the same about Getae. Pliny the Elder, in his Naturalis Historia, ca, though various races have occupied the adjacent shores, at one spot the Getae, by the Romans called Daci. Justin, the 3rd century AD Latin historian, wrote in his Epitome of Pompeius Trogus that Dacians are spoken of as descendents of the Getae, Daci quoque suboles Getarum sunt. He shows the Dacians to live on both sides of the Lower Danube, the south of the river, in Moesia. Two of the tribes found among them are those formerly called the Triballi, and the Dardani. There is a dispute among scholars about the relations between the Getae and Dacians, and this covers the interpretation of ancient sources.
Some historians such as Ronald Arthur Crossland state that even Ancient Greeks used the two designations interchangeable or with some confusion, thus, it is generally considered that the two groups were related to a certain degree, while the exact relation is a matter of controversy. Strabo, as well as ancient sources, led some modern historians to consider that, if the Thracian ethnic group should be divided. The linguist Ivan Duridanov identified a Dacian linguistic area in Dacia, Scythia Minor, Lower Moesia, Romanian scholars generally went further with the identification, historian Constantin C. Giurescu claiming the two were identical, the archaeologist Mircea Babeş spoke of a veritable ethno-cultural unity between the Getae and the Dacians. According to Glanville Price, the account of the Greek geographer Strabo shows that the Getae and the Dacians were one and this same belief is stated by some British historians such as David Sandler Berkowitz and Philip Matyszak. Some scholars consider the Getae and Dacians to be the people at different stages of their history.
Ronald Arthur Crossland suggested the two designations may refer to two groups of a homogeneous people that had come to historical prominence at two distinct periods of time. He compared the probable linguistic situation with the relation between modern Norwegian and Danish languages, paul Lachlan MacKendrick considered the two as branches of the same tribe, speaking two dialects of a common language. The Romanian historian of ideas and historiographer Lucian Boia stated, At a certain point, Lucian Boia took a sceptical position, arguing the ancient writers distinguished among the two people, treating them as two distinct groups of the Thracian ethnos. Boia contended that it would be naive to assume Strabo knew the Thracian dialects so well, the latter claim is contested, some studies attesting Strabos reliability and sources
It comprises southeastern Bulgaria, northeastern Greece, and the European part of Turkey. In antiquity, it was referred to as Europe, prior to the extension of the term to describe the whole continent. The name Thrace comes from the Thracians, an ancient Indo-European people inhabiting Southeastern Europe, the word itself was established by the Greeks for referring to the Thracian tribes, from Ancient Greek Thrake, descending from Thrāix. The name of the continent Europe first referred to Thrace proper, the region obviously took the name of the principal river there, probably from the Indo-European arg white river, according to an alternative theory, Hebros means goat in Thracian. In Turkey, it is referred to as Rumeli, Land of the Romans. The name appears to derive from an ancient heroine and sorceress Thrace, who was the daughter of Oceanus and Parthenope, the historical boundaries of Thrace have varied. In one ancient Greek source, the very Earth is divided into Asia, Libya and this largely coincided with the Thracian Odrysian kingdom, whose borders varied over time.
After the Macedonian conquest, this regions former border with Macedonia was shifted from the Struma River to the Mesta River and this usage lasted until the Roman conquest. Henceforth, Thrace referred only to the tract of land covering the same extent of space as the modern geographical region. The medieval Byzantine theme of Thrace contained only what today is Eastern Thrace, the largest cities of Thrace are, İstanbul, Burgas, Stara Zagora, Yambol, Alexandroupoli, Edirne, Çorlu and Tekirdağ. Most of the Bulgarian and Greek population are Christians, while most of the Turkish inhabitants of Thrace are Muslims, Ancient Greek mythology provides them with a mythical ancestor, named Thrax, son of the war-god Ares, who was said to reside in Thrace. The Thracians appear in Homers Iliad as Trojan allies, led by Acamas, in the Iliad, another Thracian king, makes an appearance. Cisseus, father-in-law to the Trojan elder Antenor, is given as a Thracian king. Homeric Thrace was vaguely defined, and stretched from the River Axios in the west to the Hellespont, Greek mythology is replete with Thracian kings, including Diomedes, Lycurgus, Tegyrius, Polymnestor and Oeagrus.
In addition to the tribe that Homer calls Thracians, ancient Thrace was home to other tribes, such as the Edones, Cicones. Thrace is mentioned in Ovids Metamorphoses in the episode of Philomela, Tereus, the King of Thrace, lusts after his sister-in-law, Philomela. He kidnaps her, holds her captive, rapes her, Philomela manages to get free, however. She and her sister, plot to get revenge, by killing Itys, at the end of the myth, all three turn into birds – Procne, a swallow, Philomela, a nightingale, and Tereus, a hoopoe
Gordian III was Roman Emperor from 238 AD to 244 AD. At the age of 13, he became the youngest sole legal Roman emperor throughout the existence of the united Roman Empire, Gordian was the son of Antonia Gordiana and an unnamed Roman Senator who died before 238. Antonia Gordiana was the daughter of Emperor Gordian I and younger sister of Emperor Gordian II, very little is known on his early life before his acclamation. Gordian had assumed the name of his grandfather in 238 AD. In 235, following the murder of Emperor Alexander Severus in Moguntiacum, in the following years, there was a growing opposition against Maximinus in the Roman senate and amongst the majority of the population of Rome. In 238 a rebellion broke out in the Africa Province, where Gordians grandfather and uncle, Gordian I and this revolt was suppressed within a month by Cappellianus, governor of Numidia and a loyal supporter of Maximinus Thrax. The elder Gordians died, but public opinion cherished their memory as peace-loving and literate men, Maximinus was on the verge of marching on Rome and the Senate elected Pupienus and Balbinus as joint emperors.
Pupienus and Balbinus defeated Maximinus, mainly due to the defection of several legions, but their joint reign was doomed from the start with popular riots, military discontent and an enormous fire that consumed Rome in June 238. On July 29, Pupienus and Balbinus were killed by the Praetorian Guard, due to Gordians age, the imperial government was surrendered to the aristocratic families, who controlled the affairs of Rome through the Senate. In 240, Sabinianus revolted in the African province, but the situation was brought under control. In 241, Gordian was married to Furia Sabinia Tranquillina, daughter of the newly appointed praetorian prefect, as chief of the Praetorian Guard and father in law of the Emperor, Timesitheus quickly became the de facto ruler of the Roman Empire. In the 3rd century, the Roman frontiers weakened against the Germanic tribes across the Rhine and Danube, and the Sassanid Empire across the Euphrates increased its own attacks. When the Persians under Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia, the young emperor opened the doors of the Temple of Janus for the last time in Roman history, the Sassanids were driven back over the Euphrates and defeated in the Battle of Resaena.
The campaign was a success and Gordian, who had joined the army, was planning an invasion of the enemys territory, without Timesitheus, the campaign, and the Emperors security, were at risk. Gaius Julius Priscus and, on, his own brother Marcus Julius Philippus, known as Philip the Arab, stepped in at this moment as the new Praetorian Prefects, around February 244, the Persians fought back fiercely to halt the Roman advance to Ctesiphon. Persian sources claim that a battle occurred near modern Fallujah and resulted in a major Roman defeat, Roman sources do not mention this battle and suggest that Gordian died far away from Misiche, at Zaitha in northern Mesopotamia. Modern scholarship does not unanimously accept this course of the events, one view holds that Gordian died at Zaitha, murdered by his frustrated army, while the role of Philip is unknown. Other scholars, such as Kettenhofen and Winter have concluded that Gordian died in battle against the Sassanids, Philip transferred the body of the deceased emperor to Rome and arranged for his deiﬁcation
Caracalla, formally Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Augustus, was Roman emperor from AD198 to 217. A member of the Severan Dynasty, he was the eldest son of Septimius Severus, Caracalla reigned jointly with his father from 198 until Severus death in 211. Caracalla ruled jointly with his younger brother Geta, with whom he had a fraught relationship, Caracallas reign was marked by domestic instability and external invasions from the Germanic people. Caracallas reign was notable for the Antonine Constitution, known as the Edict of Caracalla, the edict gave all the enfranchised men Caracallas adopted praenomen and nomen, Marcus Aurelius. Towards the end of his rule, Caracalla began a campaign against the Parthian Empire and he did not see this campaign through to completion due to his assassination by a disaffected soldier in 217. He was succeeded as emperor by Macrinus after three days, Caracalla is presented in ancient sources as a tyrant and cruel leader, an image that has survived into modernity.
Dio Cassius and Herodian present Caracalla as a soldier first and emperor second, in the 12th century, Geoffrey of Monmouth started the legend of Caracallas role as the king of Britain. Later, in the 18th century, Caracallas memory was revived in the works of French artists due to the parallels between Caracallas apparent tyranny and that of King Louis XVI, Modern works continue to portray Caracalla as a psychopathic and evil ruler. His rule is remembered as being one of the most tyrannical of all Roman emperors, Caracalla was born Lucius Septimius Bassianus. He was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus at the age of seven as part of his fathers attempt at union with the families of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. According to Aurelius Victor in his Epitome de Caesaribus, he became known by the agnomen Caracalla after a Gallic hooded tunic that he habitually wore and he may have begun wearing it during his campaigns on the Rhine and Danube. Dio generally referred to him as Tarautas, after a famously diminutive, Caracalla was born in Lugdunum, Gaul, on 4 April 188 to Septimius Severus and Julia Domna.
He had a younger brother, who would briefly rule as co-emperor alongside him. Caracallas father, Septimius Severus, appointed Caracalla joint Augustus and full emperor from the year 198 onwards and his brother Geta was granted the same title in 210. In 202 Caracalla was forced to marry the daughter of Gaius Fulvius Plautianus, Fulvia Plautilla, by 205 Caracalla had succeeded in having Plautianus executed for treason, though he had probably fabricated the evidence of the plot himself. It was that he banished his wife, whose killing might have carried out under Caracallas orders. Caracallas father, Septimius Severus, died on 4 February 211 at Eboracum while on campaign in Caledonia and his brother, Publius Septimius Antoninus Geta, jointly inherited the throne upon their fathers death. Caracalla and Geta ended the campaign in Caledonia after concluding a peace with the Caledonians that returned the border of Roman Britain to the line demarcated by Hadrians Wall
Caecilia Paulina was a Roman Empress and consort to Emperor Maximinus Thrax, who ruled in 235–238. Her full name, Diva Caecilia Paulina Pia Augusta, was preserved on an inscription, on her coins she is termed simply Diva Paulina. The coins with her inscription were not struck during her life, no sculptural likenesses of her survive. Almost nothing is known about her life, as ancient writers rarely mentioned her by name and her husband never set foot in Rome, thus it is likely that neither did she, at least in her time married to the Emperor. In a passage, Marcellinus refers to the Empress as the wife of the difficult husband who had. Paulina probably died around late 235 or early 236, as Maximus had her deified in 236. The city of Anazarbus in Cilicia struck coins in the name of Thea Paulina and that Paulina is referred to as divine on the coins indicates that she was dead when the coins were produced. Joannes Zonaras claims that Maximinus executed his wife, but that accusation is unproven, year of the Six Emperors Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft, III
A Roman legion was the largest unit of the Roman army involving from 3000 men in early times to over 5200 men in imperial times, consisting of centuries as the basic units. Until the middle of the first century,10 cohorts made up a Roman Legion and this was changed to nine cohorts of standard size and one cohort, the first cohort, of double strength. In the early Roman Kingdom the legion may have meant the entire Roman army but sources on this period are few, Legions included a small ala or cavalry unit. By the third century AD, the legion was a smaller unit of about 1,000 to 1,500 men. In the fourth century AD, East Roman border guard legions may have even smaller. The Roman army, for most of the Imperial period, consisted mostly of auxiliaries rather than legions, because legions were not permanent units until the Marian reforms, and were instead created and disbanded again, several hundred legions were named and numbered throughout Roman history. To date, about 50 have been identified, toward the end of the 2nd Century BC, Rome started to experience manpower shortages brought about by property and financial qualifications to join the army.
In the time of Augustus, there were nearly 50 upon his succession but this was reduced to about 25–35 permanent standing legions, a legion consisted of several cohorts of heavy infantry known as legionaries. The recruitment of non-citizens was rare but appears to have occurred in times of great need, For example, Caesar appears to have recruited the Legio V Alaudae mostly from non-citizen Gauls. In the period before the raising of the legio and the years of the Roman Kingdom. These centuries were grouped together as required and answered to the leader who had hired or raised them, the roles of century leader, second in command and standard bearer are referenced in this early period. Much Roman history of the era is shrouded in legend, but it is believed that during the reign of Servius Tullius, the census was introduced. Joining the army was both a duty and a mark of Roman citizenship, during the entire pre-Marian period the wealthiest land owners performed the most years of military service.
These individuals would have had the most to lose should the state have fallen. The first and wealthiest common class was armed in the fashion of the hoplite with spear, helmet, breast plate and round shield, there were 82 centuries of these, Roman soldiers had to purchase their own equipment. The second and third class acted as spearmen but were heavily armoured and carried a larger oval or rectangular shield. The fourth class could afford no armour, perhaps bearing a shield and armed with spear. All three of the latter made up about 26 centuries
Aquileia was founded as a colony by the Romans in 180/181 BC along the Natiso River, on land south of the Julian Alps but about 13 kilometres north of the lagoons. In fact, the chosen for Aquileia was about 6 km from where an estimated 12,000 Celtic Taurisci nomads had attempted to settle in 183 BC. However, since the 13th century BC, the site, on the river and it is, theoretically not unlikely that Aquileia had been a Gallic oppidum even before the coming of the Romans. However, few Celtic artifacts have been discovered from 500 BC to the Roman arrival, each of the men had first hand knowledge of Cisalpine Gaul. Nasica had conquered the Boii in 191, flaminius had overseen the construction of the road named after him from Bologna to Arezzo. Acidinus had conquered the Taurisci in 183, the triumvirate led 3,000 families to settle the area meaning Aquileia probably had a population of 20,000 soon after its founding. Meanwhile, based on the evidence of names chiseled on stone, the majority of colonizing families came from Picenum and Campania, among these colonists, pedites received 50 iugera of land each, centuriones received 100 iugera each, and equites received 140 iugera each.
Either at the founding or not long afterward, colonists from the nearby Veneti supplemented these families, roads soon connected Aquileia with the Roman colony of Bologna probably in 173 BC. The construction of the Via Popilia from the Roman colony of Ariminium to Ad Portum near Altinum in 132 BC improved communications still further. In the 1st century AD, the Via Gemina would link Aquileia with Emona to the east of the Julian Alps and it had, in times at least, considerable brickfields. In 90 BC, the original Latin colony became a municipium, the customs boundary of Italy was close by in Ciceros day. Caesar visited the city on a number of occasions and pitched winter camp nearby in 59-58 BC, although the Iapydes plundered Aquileia during the Augustan period, subsequent increased settlement and no lack of profitable work meant the city was able to develop its resources. Jewish artisans established a trade in glasswork. Metal from Noricum was forged and exported, the ancient Venetic trade in amber from the Baltic continued.
Wine, especially its famous Pucinum was exported, oil was imported from Proconsular Africa. By sea, the port of Aquae Gradatae, modern Grado, augustus was the first of a number of emperors to visit Aquileia, notably during the Pannonian wars in 12‑10 BC. It was the birthplace of Tiberius son by Julia, in the latter year, the Roman poet Martial praised Aquileia as his hoped for haven and resting place in his old age. In terms of religion, the populace adopted the Roman pantheon, although the Celtic sungod, Jews practiced their ancestral religion and it was perhaps some of these Jews who became the first Christians
Roman Italy was created officially by the Roman emperor Augustus with the Latin name Italia. It was the first time in history that the Italian Peninsula was united under the same name, in the year 292, the three islands of Corsica and Sicily were added to Roman Italy by Diocletian. Roman Italy remained united until the sixth century, when it was divided between the Byzantine Empire and territories of the Germanic peoples, since then, Italia remained divided for nearly thirteen centuries until 1861 when it was reunited in a similar way in the modern Kingdom of Italy. Italy was the name of the division of the Italian Peninsula during the Roman era. It was not a province, but became the territory of the city of Rome, following the end of the Social War, Rome had allowed its Italian allies full rights in Roman society and granted the Roman citizenship to all the Italic peoples. Although not founded as a city in 330, Constantinople gained in importance. It finally gained the rank of capital when given an urban prefect in 359.
In 402, the capital was moved to Ravenna from Milan, the name Italia covered an area whose borders evolved over time. Under Augustus, the peoples of todays Aosta Valley and of the western and northern Alps were subjugated, and the Italian eastern border was brought to the Arsia in Istria. Finally, in the late 3rd century, Italy came to include the islands of Corsica and Sardinia and Sicily, as well as Raetia, the city of Emona was the easternmost town of Italy. At the beginning of the era, Italy was a collection of territories with different political statuses. Some cities, called municipia, had independence from Rome, while others. The Italian economy flourished, agriculture and industry had a sensible growth, the Italian population may have grown as well, three census were ordered by Augustus, to record the number of Roman citizens throughout the empire. The surviving totals were 4,063,000 in 28 BC,4,233,000 in 8 BC, and 4,937,000 in AD14, but it is still debated whether these counted all citizens, all adult male citizens, or citizens sui iuris.
During the Crisis of the Third Century the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the pressures of invasions, military anarchy and civil wars. In 284, emperor Diocletian restored political stability and he carried out thorough administrative reforms to maintain order. He created the so-called Tetrarchy whereby the empire was ruled by four co-emperors and he decreased the size of the Roman provinces by doubling their number to reduce the power of the provincial governors. He grouped the provinces into several dioceses and put them under the supervision of the imperial vicarius, during the Crisis of the Third Century the importance of Rome declined because she was far from the troubled frontiers
Gordian I was Roman Emperor for one month with his son Gordian II in 238, the Year of the Six Emperors. Caught up in a rebellion against the Emperor Maximinus Thrax, he was defeated by forces loyal to Maximinus before committing suicide, little is known on the early life and family background of Gordian. There is no evidence on his family origins. His family were of Equestrian rank, who were modest and very wealthy, Gordian was said to be related to prominent senators. His praenomen and nomen Marcus Antonius suggest that his paternal ancestors received Roman citizenship under the Triumvir Mark Antony, or one of his daughters, gordian’s cognomen ‘Gordianus’ suggests that his family origins were from Anatolia, especially Galatia and Cappadocia. According to the Augustan History, his mother was a Roman woman called Ulpia Gordiana, while modern historians have dismissed his fathers name as false, there may be some truth behind the identity of his mother. Gordians family history can be guessed through inscriptions, the name Sempronianus in his name may indicate a connection to his mother or grandmother.
In Ankara, Turkey, an inscription has been found that names a Sempronia Romana. Romana erected this undated funeral inscription to her husband who died as a praetor-designate, Gordian might have been related to the gens Sempronia. French historian Christian Settipani gives as his parents Marcus Antonius, tr. pl. praet and it seems therefore that the person who was related to Herodes Atticus was Gordian Is mother or grandmother and not his wife. Modern historians have dismissed this name and her information as false, with his wife, Gordian had at least two children, a son of the same name and a daughter, Antonia Gordiana. Gordian climbed the hierarchy until he entered the Roman Senate and his political career started relatively late in his life and probably his early years were spent in rhetoric and literary studies. As a military man, Gordian commanded the Legio IIII Scythica when the legion was stationed in Syria and he served as governor of Roman Britain in 216 and was a Suffect Consul sometime during the reign of Elagabalus.
Inscriptions in Roman Britain bearing his name were partially erased suggesting some form of imperial displeasure during this role, Gordian certainly retained his wealth and political clout during the chaotic times of the Severan dynasty, which suggest his personal dislike for intrigue. Philostratus dedicated his work Lives of the Sophists to either him or his son, prior to the commencement of his promagistrature, Maximinus Thrax killed Emperor Alexander Severus at Moguntiacum in Germania Inferior and assumed the throne. Maximinus was not an emperor and universal discontent roused by his oppressive rule culminated in a revolt in Africa in 238. The trigger was the actions of Maximinus’s procurator in Africa, who sought to extract the maximum level of taxation and fines possible, a riot saw the death of the procurator, after which they turned to Gordian and demanded that he accept the dangerous honor of the imperial throne. Gordian, after protesting that he was too old for the position, eventually yielded to the popular clamour and assumed both the purple and the cognomen Africanus on March 22