East and West in the Roman Empire of the Fourth Century

An End to Unity?


East and West in the Roman Empire of the Fourth Century examines the (dis)unity of the Roman Empire in the fourth century from different angles, in order to offer a broad perspective on the topic and avoid an overvaluation of the political division of the empire in 395. After a methodological key-paper on the concepts of unity, the other contributors elaborate on these notions from various geo-political perspectives: the role of the army and taxation, geographical perspectives, the unity of the Church and the perception of the divisio regni of 364. Four case-studies follow, illuminating the role of concordia apostolorum, antique sports, eunuchs and the poet Prudentius on the late antique view of the Empire. Despite developments to the contrary, it appears that the Roman Empire remained (to be viewed as) a unity in all strata of society.
Open Access


Open Access

Biographical Note

Roald Dijkstra, Ph.D. (2014), Radboud University, is postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at that university. His thesis ( Portraying Witnesses. The apostles in early Christian art and poetry) will be published in Brill's Vigiliae Christianae Supplements Series. Sanne van Poppel, Ph. D. (2014), Radboud University, is the Assistant Head Librarian of KU Leuven Kulak. She received her PhD from Radboud University Nijmegen ( Urbs et Augustus. The City of Rome in Politics and Representations of Power during the Constantinian Dynasty (306-361)). Daniëlle Slootjes, Ph.D. (2004), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is Assistant Professor of Ancient History at the Radboud University Nijmegen. Her research focuses on the period of Late Antiquity. She is currently working on an extensive project on urban crowd control in the Roman world. Contributors to this volume are Jan Willem Drijvers, Christian Gnilka, Hervé Inglebert, Gitte Lønstrup Dal Santo, David Potter, Sofie Remijsen, Josef Rist, Shaun Tougher and Giusto Traina.

Review Quote

" The underlying features of this book, its chronological focus on the fourth century and its structure, make it essential to anyone interested in understanding the internal unity of the Later Roman Empire. Its focus on the fourth century allows insights into the maintenance of a sense of shared Romanness across the empire at a time when it was increasingly divided politically between two or more emperors. Likewise, its structure permits discussion on wider thematic issues alongside the investigation of how these issues and ideas worked on the ground." Craig Morley, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2016.03.45.

Table of contents

Contents List of Maps and Figures List of Contributors Introduction Roald Dijkstra , Sanne van Poppel and Daniëlle Slootjes Part 1 - Geo-political Developments 1 Les discours de l’unité romaine au quatrième siècle Hervé Inglebert 2 Measuring the Power of the Roman Empire David Potter 3 Mapping the New Empire: A Geographical Look at the Fourth Century Giusto Traina 4 Die Synode von Serdika 343: Das Scheitern eines ökumenischen Konzils und seine Folgen für die Einheit der Reichskirche Josef Rist 5 The divisio regni of 364: The End of Unity? Jan Willem Drijvers Part 2 - Unity in the Fourth Century: Four Case Studies 6 Concordia Apostolorum – Concordia Augustorum. Building a Corporate Image for the Theodosian Dynasty Gitte Lønstrup Dal Santo 7 Looking at Athletics in the Fourth Century: The Unifijication of the Spectacle Landscape in East and West Sofie Remijsen 8 Eunuchs in the East, Men in the West? Dis/unity, Gender and Orientalism in the Fourth Century Shaun Tougher 9 Kaiser, Rom und Reich bei Prudentius Christian Gnilka Index


All interested in the history of the Roman Empire, the fourth century in particular. The history of the early Church, history of sports and the poet Prudentius are also covered.