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Failure of EmpireValens and the Roman State in the Fourth Century A.D.$
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Noel Lenski

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520233324

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520233324.001.0001

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(p.xx) (p.1) Introduction
Failure of Empire

Lenski Noel

University of California Press

This book attempts to present what Germans would call Kaisergeschichte, or “emperor history.” An investigation of Valens can provide a fairly clear outline of what was expected of a fourth-century emperor. He provides an excellent example of what a late Roman emperor was supposed to be like. The reign of Valens has left a uniquely well developed source record, better than for nearly any emperor in the fourth century except Julian and perhaps Constantine. There are abundant contemporary sources, both from those connected with Valens and those detached from him, to provide a very full picture of his reign. Finally, an overview of the chapters included in this book is presented.

Keywords:   emperor history, Valens, Roman emperor, Julian, Constantine, reign

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