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The Emergence of Europe out of the Roman Empire

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With the disintegration of the Roman Empire, the bonds between the West and East began to disintegrate. Why did conflict as opposed to cooperation prevail between the three stepchildren of Rome and between the new powers of Europe? What role did the diverse forms of governmental play in the political and economic interaction throughout the medieval periods? Use at least 2 different primary sources of your choice to illustrate your stance.

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Solution Summary

The solution discusses the disintegration of the Roman Empire, specifically the connection between the Eastern and western parts of the divided empire. It explores the reasons behind the conflict between old Roman territories and the new European powers and traces the emergence of medieval Europe under Monarchs empowered by the Papacy. This solution is 1261 words with eight online and two print references.

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OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Division of the Empire

It was in 285 AD when the Emperor Diocletian split his dominion in half - the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire (which became known as the Byzantine Empire). He was sole ruler then but his experience as a military man, politician and governor led him to believe that sole rulership was dangerous to the empire as shown via the assassinations of Aurelian and Probus. He thus divided the empire to 2 by raising fellow military man Maximian as co-Emperor. But in 293 after a series of invasions and conflict within the Empire and with the Empire's enemies, Diocletian thought it better to form a tetrarchy - a consulship wherein the Emperor's power is shared by 4. Flavius Constantius, a military general was made co-consul in charge of Gaul and the Britannia while Galerius, Diocletian's son-in-law (he had no son, only a daughter) was made co-consul as well and given Egypt, Syria, Palestine and the frontier lands of the East. The remaining territory was divided between Diocletian and Maximian. This tetrarchy is the beginning of the 'collapse' of the strength of the Empire and the power of its Caesars for each of these co-emperors where essentially autonomous although they considered Diocletian to be the utmost Caesar. For 21 years Diocletian controlled the Empire in this manner until his retirement. But his retirement brought conflict between his remaining heirs for the vacuum of power he left and this plunged the Empire to deadly civil war. It only came to a standstill at the defeat of Licinius by Constantine in 324. Constantine moved his capital from Rome to present-day Istanbul and established a Roman Empire that tolerated all religions although after his conversion to Christianity, he incorporated Christianity as the official religion of the empire via the Edict of Milan. ...

Solution provided by:
  • MPhil/PhD (IP), Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • MA, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Certificate, Geva Ulpan (via Universita Tel Aviv)
  • BA, University of the Philippines
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