Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Principate – Lifebelt, or millstone around the neck of the empire?

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

The Augustan Principate was the product of crisis, a response to the challenges that precipitated the fall of the Republic. The Principate worked because it met the political needs of its day. There is no doubt that it saved the Roman state and the Roman Empire: it was a lifebelt. But it was not perfect. In its turn it precipitated more challenges that had to be responded to, more crises, in particular that known as the 'third century Crisis'. In the long run it was a problem as much as a solution: a millstone as much as a lifebelt. In the end, it had to go. This chapter briefly deals with the Principate as a problem, and then suggests a new way of discerning the strains that brought about its demise. The Principate was created by Augustus and continued by the Julio- Claudians.

Keywords: Augustan Principate; Julio- Claudians; lifebelt; millstone; political needs; Roman Empire; third century crisis



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Crises and the Roman Empire — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation