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The role of the emperor

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Chapter Summary

There are plenty of emperors in Jones? Later Roman Empire, especially in the narrative chapters which are organised by individual reigns or groups of reigns, but little discussion of the position of the emperor: the index contains only one relevant entry, for ?emperor, office and powers?. Jones? single passage on the emperor (321?9) opens Chapter XI, ?The Government?, and hence launches the descriptive second part of Later Roman Empire, an appropriate recognition of the supremacy of the emperor over the system. The appearance of emperors in the narrative chapters in Part I of the Later Roman Empire does not add much to the narrow constitutional treatment. A striking example of the difference in treatment of the emperor a generation after Jones is provided by the two Late Antique volumes of the extended Cambridge Ancient History. Jones deliberately adopted a narrow view of what mattered for imperial power and action.

Keywords: A.H.M. Jones; Cambridge Ancient History; Constantinopolitan emperor; imperial power; Later Roman Empire; Roman imperial government



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