The Reforms of Diocletian and Constantine and their Effects on the Provinces of Syria and Cappadocia

Thumbnail Image
Carlson, Daniel S.
Issue Date
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Alternative Title
"The Reforms of Diocletian and Constantine and their Effects of the Provinces of Syria and Cappadocia" shows the reforms of Diocletian and Constantine on an empire-wide level. It also points out the similarities and differences in policy between the two, and shows, to the extent the sources allow, how they affected Syria and Cappadocia. The paper demonstrates how it was the reforms of both emperors, not one or the other alone, which led to the new Roman Empire and ultimately the Byzantine Empire. The best way to demonstrate how these reforms worked was to first show them on an empire-wide scale, and then show how they affected individual provinces. Finding information on Diocletian' s reforms was difficult. Most of the sources would very briefly cover them as an introduction to Constantine. Such brief entries never adequately analyze the reforms, and were very similar from one source to another. Other sources which covered the early Roman Empire would stop right before Diocletian, and so do not deal with his complicated reforms at all. Only very few modem studies dealt with the reforms in any detail. The best available was the work of Stephen Williams: Diocletian and the Roman Recovery. However useful this study was for the first section of the SIP, it was not useful for the sections on Syria and Cappadocia. It did not deal with Diocletian' s reforms on a local level at all and gave very few examples of his reforms in action. A second problem was finding examples of Diocletian' s reforms in Syria and Cappadocia. Many scholars have written about Syria during this time period. However, they would often end immediately before Diocletian took the throne, or begin with Constantine. The number of scholarly works which demonstrate this implies that authors were unwilling or unable to adequately deal with Diocletian's reforms on the province. Thus, it became a logical beginning and ending place for many books. Only Raymond VanDam deals with the province of Cappadocia during this time period. He concentrated on the 4th and 5th centuries and so never directly analyzed the reforms of Diocletian in the province. The rise of the bishops and Cappadocian Fathers thus provide a rare window into the final effects of Diocletian and Constantine's reforms as seen a few years after Constantine's death. This study attempts to fill in the spaces by combining the sources together into one coherent narrative. The reforms of Diocletian and Constantine are analyzed separately and then contrasted with each other. Lastly, they are explored through their implementation in the provinces of Syria and Cappadocia. This paper is thus one of very few resources which has information about both Diocletian and Constantine's reforms, and how they affected both the empire and specific provinces.
iv, 49 p.
U.S. copyright laws protect this material. Commercial use or distribution of this material is not permitted without prior written permission of the copyright holder. All rights reserved.
PubMed ID