Rome 23: The Crisis of the Third Century

January 1, 2011

In the previous lectures, we’ve seen the relatively good rule of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty. In this lecture, we turn to the third century. Unfortunately for Rome, this is a period known as the Crisis of the Third Century. The reason is rather similar to the crisis we saw in 69 when there were four emperors in a single year, just stretched out over much of a century. The crisis was the result of economic, militaristic, and egoistical problems that emerged all at once. Power became divided and the manners of ascension became inconsistent and decentralized.