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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The reign of the emperors Valerian and Gallienus, A.D. 243-268 Hall, John Greenway


This study of the reigns of Valerian and Gallienus, two Roman Emperors of the mid-third century after Christ, was undertaken to re-assess their achievements in the light of modern discoveries about the Roman world. The view frequently expressed by historians—that Valerian and, in particular, Gallienus, were to blame for all the misfortunes that occurred in the Empire— has been found incorrect. Gallienus was vigorous and bold in taking action to check the rapid disintegration of the Empire. Although he failed, the reforms that he introduced into the organization of the army and of provincial government lived on after him. His contribution was not so much to discover these changes (largely begun by Septimius Severus) but to carry their development to a definite conclusion. In order to present the history of the period clearly, the study has been divided into two parts, the first dealing with the chronological sequence of events, and the second with administrative policies, or lack of policy, and with social and economic conditions. Many problems still remain unsolved, but the result of this work, it is hoped, has been a version that reasonably accounts for available evidence.

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