Dissolution of the Roman tetrarchy

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Head of the colossal statue of Constantine the Great , Capitoline Museums, Rome. The elevation of Constantine to emperor triggered the crisis of the tetrarchy.

The dissolution of the Roman tetrarchy was the process in Roman history that led to the end of the four- emperor system established by Emperor Diocletian in the years 306-324 .

When the previous Emperor ( Augustus ) Constantius Chlorus died in 306 , his troops proclaimed his son Constantine emperor. According to the tetrarchic system established by Diocletian in 293, however, the previous under-emperor ( Caesar ) of Constantius, Severus , should have become Augustus . A civil war soon broke out, which Diocletian, who returned from retirement in 308 to mediate between the rival emperors, was unable to end. Constantine succeeded in  gradually eliminating his opponents - including Diocletian's former colleague Maximian and his son Maxentius - until in 313 he only had to share power with Licinius . There were also several armed conflicts between the two remaining emperors, which finally ended in 324 with the final victory of Constantine. In this way Constantine renewed the monarchy based on the dynastic principle.

Diocletian's Tetrarchy

In the course of the 3rd century, various problems with the principle system had emerged . Soldier emperors ruled over the Roman Empire from 235, often proclaimed emperors by the army. This period of the imperial crisis of the 3rd century was marked by high political instability: there were often several emperors who fought each other, hardly any of the emperors died a natural death during this period - 235–285 there were a total of 70 emperors. At the same time, foreign policy problems arose: while the previously existing threat from the Teutons on the Rhine and Danube increased, a new threat from the Persian Sasanids arose in the east from 224 onwards .

Porphyry statue of the tetrarchs. The close bond and equality of the two couples emphasize the concordia of the tetrarchs.

In 284 Diocletian came to power. He initiated administrative, economic and military reforms to stabilize the troubled empire. The political instability of the imperial crisis, in which the constant usurpations led to a paralysis of the entire empire, was combated by Diocletian in 293 with the introduction of the tetrarchy. In this system, four emperors were to rule each time, two of them as Augusti, i.e. H. Upper Emperor , two as Caesares, as Lower Emperor. Each of the emperors could act relatively autonomously within their territory; Laws were passed on behalf of all emperors. As early as 286 Diocletian had appointed his friend Maximian to be the second Augustus and divided the empire into two halves: Maximian ruled in the west, Diocletian in the east. In 293 the two Caesares Constantius Chlorus and Galerius were added.

The tetrarchical system was not based on immediate kin. The imperial propaganda instead emphasized that the emperors were appointed because of their - especially military - competence. A higher legitimation was sought in referring to the traditional Roman religion : Diocletian took the surname Iovius and thus allied himself with the god Jupiter , Maximian called himself Herculius and thus subordinated himself to Hercules . Nor did they want to do without a dynastic legitimation, which was already firmly rooted in Roman thought: each upper emperor adopted his respective Caesar and married him to one of his daughters. So with the Iovian and the Herculian two new tetrarchic dynasties were established. The tetrarchs also emphasized their unity ( concordia ) in propaganda .

In the tetrarchy, the emperors of the same rank were in principle equal, Diocletian, as senior Augustus (older Augustus) and as the one with the longest reign, was superior to his co-emperor Maximian only in auctoritas . When in doubt, however, he was evidently the one who made the most important decisions and had the last word in the event of a conflict. In 305 Augusti Diocletian and Maximian resigned as active emperors in favor of their Caesares . When Diocletian made this decision and what reasons prompted him to do so is controversial. Some researchers suspect that there was a well-thought-out system behind this, according to which the Tetrarchical Augusti should resign after each 20-year reign. According to this, every emperor would have ruled actively for ten years as Caesar and ten years as Augustus .

Constantius Chlorus and Galerius moved up as Augusti , new Caesares were Severus in the west and Maximinus Daia in the east. This new constellation is known as the second tetrarchy . Some researchers see Diocletian's resignation as the beginning of the end of the tetrarchy: because his successors - first Constantius, then Galerius - did not succeed in asserting their unconditional supremacy as senior Augusti , the system lacked the authoritative center. This is one of the main reasons for the failure of the tetrarchy. The second tetrarchy lasted only a short time: in June 306 the new senior Augustus Constantius died in the British Eburacum, today's York .

Dissolution of the Tetrarchy

Outbreak of civil war

Follis of Maxentius, who had himself proclaimed emperor in Rome in 306

Immediately after his death, Constantius' troops proclaimed his eldest son Constantine, who had fought against the Picts with his father , to be Augustus . According to the tetrarchical system, however, Severus, until then Caesar of Constantius, should have moved up as Augustus. Galerius, since the death of Constantius senior Augustus, recognized the rise of Constantine to power, but only to the rank of Caesar (third tetrarchy). However , he refused this recognition to Maxentius, the son of the former Augustus Maximian, when he was proclaimed emperor ( princeps ) by the senate and people of Rome in October 306 . Constantine initially accepted the downgrading, but instead propagated his actual descent from Constantius Chlorus on coins and in inscriptions instead of belonging to the fictional tetrarchical dynasty of the Hercules.

A little later, Severus failed in the attempt to wrest Italy from Maxentius when Maximian sided with his son and won Severus' troops in Ravenna . Severus was arrested and executed during an equally unsuccessful attempt at conquering Galerius. Maximian now again laid claim to rule as Augustus and sought cooperation with Constantine, who had proven his military skills through initial successes against the Franks . Maximian married him to his daughter Fausta in Augusta Treverorum , today's Trier, in 307 and raised him to the rank of Augustus. For Constantine the alliance with Maximian had above all legitimizing reasons: he was now - in addition to his direct descent from Constantius I - part of the tetrarchical dynasty of the Hercules founded by Maximian. Maximian's own son Maxentius fell by the wayside. However, the latter saw himself strengthened in his position as emperor by the failure of Galerius in an attack on Rome, which the soldiers apparently did not want to participate in. Therefore, he refused the resignation requested by his father, who had traveled to Rome especially. Then Maximian had to flee to Constantine.

In 308 there were six men who claimed rule in the Roman Empire:

  • Galerius, who ruled over Illyria and Asia Minor as senior Augustus ,
  • Maximinus Daia, who ruled over Egypt and the Orient as Caesar of Galerius,
  • Constantine, who ruled Gaul, Britain and Spain as Caesar , but whose elevation to Augustus was controversial,
  • Maximian, who claimed his old position as Augustus of the West and resided as an ally of Constantine in his Gallic domain,
  • Maxentius, whose rule over Italy and Africa was generally denied recognition, but who had so far been able to resist all attempts at disempowerment,
  • Licinius, Galerius's candidate to succeed Severus as Augustus of the West.

The Imperial Conference of Carnuntum

Porphyry head of Galerius from his palace in Felix Romuliana

In this difficult situation, Galerius asked Diocletian, the founder of the tetrarchy who had resigned together with Maximian in 305, for arbitration. Diocletian was appointed consul for 308 and convened a meeting of the emperors in the Pannonian Carnuntum (the so-called Imperial Conference of Carnuntum ). Although he had been asked to, he had refused to become emperor himself again.

At the conference it was now agreed that Constantine should remain Caesar instead of Augustus . Diocletian was also able to persuade Maximian to abdicate again. As the successor to the executed Severus, Licinius, a high officer, was appointed the new Augustus of the West on November 18, 308, without having ever been Caesar , which actually contradicted the tetrarchical concept. Maxentius was still not recognized.

In the east of the empire, after the Imperial Conference, as had been the case since 306, Galerius officiated as Augustus and Maximinus Daia as Caesar, in the west Licinius as Augustus and Constantine as Caesar (fourth tetrarchy). The honorary title of filius Augustorum granted to them by Galerius was not enough for the two Caesares, however, and they soon also referred to themselves as Augusti. Licinius, the new Augustus of the West, was not only responsible for Rhaetia and Pannonia but also for Italy and Africa, but these provinces were actually still controlled by Maxentius.

The end of Maximian

While Licinius fought against external enemies on the Danube border , Constantine took up the internal fight against the opponents of the order established in the Imperial Conference. First he went against Maximian, who in 310, while Constantine was fighting the Germanic peoples on the Rhine front, had ascended the imperial throne a third time in Arelate (Arles). Maximian had holed up with his soldiers in Massilia (now Marseille), where he apparently hoped for reinforcement from his son Maxentius. Constantine did not need to besiege the city for long: Maximian's soldiers recognized the hopeless situation of their emperor and opened the gates. Shortly afterwards, Constantine's father-in-law was found hanged.

After defeating Maximian, Constantine broke away from the fictional tetrarchical dynasty of the Hercules. He had a panegyric proclaim that he was descended from the Gothic winner Claudius Gothicus (268-270). He turned his back on the Herculean dynasty and instead postulated his own Constantinian dynasty , programmatically delimiting himself from a rule that only depended on the “accidental consent of others”. According to Wolfgang Kuhoff , this should "express a radical departure from the ideological foundations of the tetrarchic form of rule". The imperial dynasty was now founded again on the direct blood relationship of its members and no longer on the old Roman religion and the competence of the rulers.

A fight for Rome: Constantine against Maxentius

In the meantime Maxentius had to struggle with supply problems in Rome: Africa, the most important source of grain deliveries for the old capital, had risen against him in the spring of 309 under Domitius Alexander . For a short time, seven men, the emperors of the third tetrarchy established in Carnuntum, Maxentius, Maximian and Domitius Alexander, claimed the title of Augustus for themselves. Maxentius was only able to regain control of Africa in 310; he celebrated the victory over Domitius Alexander as a triumph - the last to be celebrated in the old style - over Rome's ancient opponent Carthage .

The Milvian Bridge, where Constantine and Maxentius met

The struggle between Maxentius and Constantine was initially fought mainly with words: Maxentius accused Constantine of murdering his father Maximian, while Constantine claimed that his opponent was a bastard of Maximian. In 312, Constantine and his troops finally invaded Italy. First he defeated the garrisons of Maxentius in Turin and Susa . He then succeeded in the battle of Verona a victory against Maxentius' capable Praetorian prefect Ruricius Pompeianus . He then won Milan and Aquileia , which apparently surrendered without a fight, and stood at the gates of Rome at the end of October. Maxentius left the security of the city ​​protected by the Aurelian Wall and went to meet Constantine. He lost the north of the Milvian Bridge whipped battle and came himself to death; Constantine was able to enter the eternal city victoriously.

The eulogy of 313 attributed Constantine's decision to seek the dispute with Maxentius to an unspecified deity, but just a few years after the battle of the Milvian Bridge, the Christian authors Lactantius and Eusebius of Caesarea spread that Constantine had 312 with the support of Christian God triumphed. According to a divine vision, he had his soldiers painted the Christ monogram on the shields before the battle . It is certain that Constantine turned to Christianity around this time, but the exact time is disputed and the affixing of the Christ monogram on the shields of mostly pagan soldiers is considered rather unlikely.

Licinius versus Maximinus Daia

Follis Maximinus Daias

The senior Augustus Galerius, who shortly before his death had declared the 303 persecution of Christians begun by his predecessor Diocletian to be over in an edict of tolerance , died in early May 311. According to the rules of the tetrarchy, his Caesar Maximinus Daia, as the longest-serving emperor, should have succeeded him and appointed a new Caesar . In fact, he had to share power in the east of the empire with Licinius, who after Galerius' death had left the provinces assigned to him in Carnuntum and took control of the Balkans. The wife of the late emperor, Diocletian's daughter Valeria , and his illegitimate son Candidianus fled to Maximinus Daia, who betrothed Candidianus to his daughter. He did not appoint a new Caesar .

The division of the East that took place in 311 was not intended to last. Both emperors strove for sole rule over the east of the empire and sought support in the west. Licinius allied himself with Constantine and became engaged to his half-sister Constantia , Maximinus came to an understanding with Maxentius. After the defeat of Maxentius, Licinius and Constantine met in Milan in February 313. Licinius recognized Constantine as senior Augustus - a dignity that Maximinus would actually have granted - and married Constantia.

At least now the religious policy of the emperors also became an important political factor in the struggle for power. Constantine and Licinius had reached an agreement in Milan that guaranteed general religious freedom. Maximinus, however, who saw himself as the successor of Galerius and as a defender of the tetrarchy, briefly resumed the 311 persecution of Christians, which had initially ended. The anti-Christian policies of the tetrarchical emperors also resulted from the legitimacy they drew from a connection with the Roman gods - especially Jupiter and Hercules. According to this idea, whoever, like the Christians, did not respect and worship the gods, did not respect the emperors who submitted to them. Maximinus therefore tried to push back Christianity and to strengthen the old cults. In his part of the empire he was able to rely on a majority of the population who still adhered to the old religions. But he could no longer be sure of the loyalty of the strong minority of Christians, who were now hoping for a "liberation" by the emperors Constantine and Licinius, who were considered tolerant.

While Licinius was in Italy, Maximinus Daia crossed the Bosporus with his troops and conquered the city of Byzantion on the European side, later Constantinople . However, at the end of April on the Ergenus campus near Adrianople (today Edirne ) he suffered a heavy defeat against Licinius, who had returned from the west. The Christians in the east interpreted the victory as divine providence. Maximinus Daia died in July 313 while fleeing from his opponent in Tarsos in southern Asia Minor. Licinius had the damnatio memoriae imposed on him, and his family and most important collaborators were killed. Candidianus and Severianus , the son of Severus, were also killed. In 315 Diocletian's wife Prisca and her daughter Valeria were finally caught and executed.

Constantine versus Licinius

Gold multiple of Licinius with his son

In the summer of 313 only two of the six emperors of 308 were still alive: Constantine and Licinius. It was only a matter of time before there would also be open hostilities between the two remaining emperors. Constantine's offer to defuse the conflict by setting up a buffer zone between the two parts of the empire was rejected by Licinius. Constantine's brother-in-law Bassianus , who should have administered the buffer state consisting of Italy as well as Raetia , Noricum and Pannonia as Caesar , was executed shortly afterwards. It is said that his brother Senecio , a courtier of Licinius, instigated him to rise up against Constantine.

In the autumn of 316, Constantine and Licinius finally faced each other with troops for the first time in the Balkans. Licinius was subject to Constantine at Cibalae and Mardia and lost most of his European territory; only Thrace and Moesia remained under his control. At Constantine's instigation, he had to depose and execute his co-emperor Valerius Valens, who had only recently been appointed .

On March 1, 317 Constantine appointed new Caesars, his sons Crispus and Constantine II for the west and his nephew Licinianus , the son of Licinius and his sister Constantia, for the east. Crispus was probably twelve, Licinianus less than two years old and Constantine II was born only a few days earlier, so her only qualification was her relationship to the two ruling emperors. With the appointment of children to Caesares - naturally not yet capable of exercising government - the Augusti turned away from one of the central tetrarchical ideas: Rule was no longer divided between Augusti and Caesares , rather the title Caesar functioned again - as before the introduction of the Tetrarchy - to designate the imperial successors.

Over the next few years the relationship between Constantine and Licinius deteriorated again. Licinius had to accept that Constantine fought against the Goths from Thrace, which was actually subordinate to him , and Constantine was certainly reluctant to see Licinius restricting the rights of the Christians he sponsored and displacing them more and more from the military and administration. Licinius had coins minted for Constantine melted down and no longer recognized the consuls appointed by him for the years 323 and 324. The battles at Adrianople in July and Chrysopolis in September 324 finally brought the decision: Constantine became sole ruler, Licinius was imprisoned and executed the following year. Diocletian's tetrarchical system had thus finally failed: with Constantine there was only one Augustus and the three remaining Caesares - Crispus, Constantine II and Constantius II , appointed in November 324 - were the biological sons of Constantine without real responsibility of their own.

The persistence of tetrarchical ideas

After Constantine's victory over Licinius, tetrarchical ideas continued to play a role. The multiple emperors finally established by Diocletian turned out to be the most important and longest lasting idea. In the 4th century and beyond, there were seldom emperors who could rule the vast empire without co-emperors or sub-emperors. After the death of Emperor Theodosius I , who initially ruled alone as the last emperor, there was a final division of the empire in 395 ; subsequently at least two emperors always ruled. Bruno Bleckmann comments: "The historical significance of the tetrarchy created by Diocletian [...] is [...] based on the fact that from now on Roman imperial rule is practically exclusively designed as the rule of several emperors."

In addition, other Diocletian ideas of rule beyond 324 played a role. Some researchers suspect that the Constantinian family tragedy of 326, during which Constantine had his son Crispus and his wife Fausta killed one after the other, could be traced back to a courtly power conflict between father and son: Crispus therefore urged his father after 20 years of active imperial rule to resign, as it was according to the rules of the Tetrarchy, so that Crispus could succeed him as Augustus . Debate has also triggered another action Constantine: 335 he appointed - in addition to his three sons Constantine II, Constantius II and.. Constans - his nephew Dalmatius to Caesar. With this appointment of four emperors, he could have established a succession order similar to that of the tetrarchy, but this failed after Constantine's death in 337 after a series of murders in which Dalmatius also died.

Even after the death of his two brothers, Constantius II came into contact with the aftermath of the Tetrarchy: in 353/354 he got into a conflict with his Caesar Constantius Gallus , which was also triggered by the different interpretations of the Tetrarchy: while Constantius called his cousin Gallus Considered rulers with representative tasks, to whom he was clearly superior, the Caesar claimed for himself an autonomous position with far-reaching powers, which allowed him to take political measures of his own. Both probably referred to the original Diocletian tetrarchy. Constantius finally had Gallus executed. A similar problem arose a few years later between Constantius and his new Caesar , Gallus' half-brother Julian , who shortly before (in an eulogy to Constantius from the year 356) had expressly praised the system of tetrarchy and its creator Diocletian. As early as the 350s, the tetrarchy was an important part of the legitimizing history policy of the emperors.

Chronological overview


The sources on the history of the tetrarchy and generally on the Diocletian-Constantinian period are rather poor. Contemporary works of profane history are completely absent. It is very likely that Bemarchios and Praxagoras addressed the end of the Tetrarchy in their now-lost works. It is questionable whether there was an abundant historiography in the Diocletian-Constantinian period; the majority of research does not assume this, at least for the Latin West. On the other hand, Bruno Bleckmann did not rule out that this picture is based on the problematic tradition and that Latin histories were written that have not survived. The loss of several later historical works in which the dissolution of the tetrarchy was dealt with (such as the corresponding parts in Ammianus Marcellinus and Virius Nicomachus Flavianus , who presumably dealt with the imperial period) makes a reconstruction much more difficult. However, some fragments of the Anonymus post Dionem have been preserved that refer to this period.

The representations of contemporary Christian authors, especially Lactantius ( De mortibus persecutorum ; "On the ways of death of the persecutors") and Eusebius of Caesarea ( Historia ecclesiastica , "Church history" and the Vita Constantini , "The life of Constantine") are strong taken for Constantine and against the Christian persecutor Galerius, but contain important material. The various late antique breviaries (such as Aurelius Victor , Eutropius , Rufius Festus and the Epitome de Caesaribus ), which have drawn on a common source, the so-called Enmann Imperial History, offer brief and useful information . There is also a short, anonymous historical work from the 4th century, the so-called Anonymus Valesianus (first part), which contains very valuable and reliable material. Orosius in his story against the pagans and Zosimos in his New History also deal with the time of Constantine, whereby the emperor was judged very negatively by Zosimos. Some later Byzantine historians such as Theophanes and Johannes Zonaras are still of importance, some of whom were able to fall back on works that have been lost today.

In the corresponding contemporary Panegyrici there are also valuable information, despite the genre-typical oversubscription. In particular, the Panegyrici reveal a lot about the ideological orientation of the rulers and their attempts at legitimation. Other non-literary sources are above all the corresponding laws, inscriptions, archaeological evidence (such as the representative buildings of Maxentius in Rome) and coins.

Source editions

Roger Rees' Diocletian and the Tetrarchy offers selected literary sources in English translation . Frank Kolb's ideology of rulers in late antiquity contains a detailed overview of the most important archaeological and numismatic sources.

  • In praise of later Roman emperors. The Panegyrici latini . Introduced, translated and commented on by Charles E. Nixon and Barbara S. Rodgers (=  The transformation of the classical heritage . Volume 21 ). University of California Press, Berkeley et al. a. 1994, ISBN 0-520-08326-1 .
  • Panegyrici Latini. Eulogies for Roman emperors. Latin and German . Introduced, translated and commented by Brigitte Müller-Rettig. tape 1 . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2008, ISBN 978-3-534-18136-0 .
  • Brigitte Müller-Rettig: The Panegyricus of the year 310 on Constantine the Great. Translation and historical-philological commentary (=  Palingenesia . Volume 31 ). Steiner, Stuttgart 1990, ISBN 3-515-05540-1 (also dissertation, Saarbrücken University 1989).



  1. Calculation by Alexander Demandt : Die Spätantike . Munich 2007, p. 47 .
  2. Fundamental to the conception of the tetrarchy Frank Kolb : Diocletian and the First Tetrarchy. Improvisation or experiment in the organization of monarchical rule? (=  Studies on ancient literature and history . Volume 27 ). de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1987, ISBN 3-11-010934-4 .
  3. See the discussion in Frank Kolb: Diocletian and the First Tetrarchy . Berlin / New York 1987, p. 128–158 with conclusion 157 f .
  4. For example Bruno Bleckmann : Comments on the failure of the multiple rule system. Division of empire and territorial claims . In: Alexander Demandt, Andreas Goltz, Heinrich Schlange-Schöningen (eds.): Diokletian and the tetrarchy. Aspects of a turning point . de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2004, ISBN 3-11-018230-0 , p. 74-94, especially 75-77 . Cf. also Alexander Demandt: Die Spätantike . Munich 2007, p. 76 ("The abdication of Diocletian in 305 was followed by twenty years of civil war.").
  5. On Constantius' death and Constantine's uprising, Anonymus Valesianus 4 ; Chronica minora, vol. 1, p. 231 ; Epitome de Caesaribus 41, 2-3 ; Eutropius 10, 1-2 .
  6. To Galerius Anonymus Valesianus 7 .
  7. On Maximian Eutropius 10, 3 ; Orosius , Historiae adversum Paganos 7, 28, 9 .
  8. On the survey of Maxentius Anonymus Valesianus 6 ; Epitome de Caesaribus 40, 2; 40, 12 ; Lactantius , De mortibus persecutorum 26 ; 44, 4 .
  9. ↑ On this Thomas Grünewald : Constantinus Maximus Augustus . Stuttgart 1990, p. 13-25 .
  10. On the defeat and capture of Severus in detail Anonymus Valesianus 9-10 ; Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 26 ; just under Aurelius Victor , De Caesaribus 40, 7 ; Eutropius 10, 2 .
  11. On the death of Severus with explicit reference to Maximian's participation in Epitome de Caesaribus 40, 3 ; Zosimos 2, 10 ; with a hint of Maximian's involvement Anonymus Valesianus 10 ; Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 26 ; without reference to Maximian Eutropius 10, 2 .
  12. Cf. the Panegyrikus Panegyrici Latini 7 held in honor of Constantine and Maximian ; with translation and commentary in Panegyrici Latini . Introduced, translated and commented by Brigitte Müller-Rettig. tape 1 . Darmstadt 2008, p. 102-123 .
  13. To this Bruno Bleckmann: Constantine the Great . Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1996, p. 45 f .
  14. ^ To the meeting in Carnuntum Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 29, 1–2 ; Zosimos 2, 10, 4 . Emperor's inscription from Carnuntum: Inscriptiones Latinae selectae 659. For dating to 308 cf. Chronica minora, Volume 1, p. 231 .
  15. On the survey of Licinius Eusebius of Caesarea , Historia Ecclesiastica 8, 13, 15 ; Eutropius 10, 4, 1 ; Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 29.2 ; Orosius 7, 28, 11 .
  16. On the titles of the emperors Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 32 . In particular on the title filius Augustorum Alexandra Stefan: Filius Augustorum . In: Antiquité Tardive . tape 12 , 2004, p. 273-291 .
  17. According to Anonymus Valesianus 13 , Galerius expected Licinius to overthrow Maxentius, but this was not defeated by Constantine until 312.
  18. On the death of Maximian Panegyrici Latini 6:18 ; Chronica minora, Volume 1, p. 231 . Lactantius , De mortibus persecutorum 30 states that Maximian tried to kill Constantine in his sleep and was therefore executed.
  19. On the descent from Claudius Gothicus Panegyrici Latini 6, 2, 1 f. with commentary by Brigitte Müller-Rettig: The Panegyricus of the year 310 on Constantine the Great . Stuttgart 1990, p. 51-60 . As part of his dating of the writing of the Historia Augusta to the early 4th century (which was rejected by research), Adolf Lippold tried to move the invention and proclamation of the descent of Claudius Gothicus into the reign of Constantius. Cf. Adolf Lippold: Constantius Caesar, victor over the Germanic peoples - descendant of Claudius Gothicus? The Panegyricus of 297 and the Vita Claudii of the HA . In: Chiron . tape  11 , 1981, pp. 347-369 .
  20. Panegyrici Latini 6, 3, 1. On this Heinrich Schlange-Schöningen: Felix Augustus or αὐτοκράτωρ δείλαιος. On the reception of Diocletian in the Constantinian dynasty . In: Alexander Demandt et al. (Ed.): Diocletian and the tetrarchy . Berlin / New York 2004, pp. 172-192, especially 181 .
  21. Wolfgang Kuhoff: Diocletian and the epoch of the tetrarchy . Frankfurt am Main 2001, p. 854 . For example Bruno Bleckmann: Constantine the Great . Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1996, p. 48 f .
  22. To Domitius Alexander Aurelius Victor 40, 17-19 ; Zosimos 2: 12-14 . Dating to spring 309 after Wolfgang Kuhoff: Diocletian and the epoch of the tetrarchy . Frankfurt am Main 2001, p. 864 .
  23. On the accusations Panegyrici Latini 12, 3, 4; Aurelius Victor 40, 23 ; Epitome de Caesaribus 40, 13 ; Anonymous Valesianus 12 .
  24. ^ To the battle of Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 44 ; Panegyrici Latini 12; Epitome de Caesaribus 40, 7 . On moving into Rome Hartwin Brandt: Constantine the Great . Munich 2006, p. 45-49 .
  25. Panegyrici Latini 12, 2, 4-5.
  26. ^ Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 44 .
  27. Knapp Eusebius of Caesarea, Historia Ecclesiastica 9, 9 ; the later Vita Constantini 1, 28–29 in more detail .
  28. On the contemporary sources and the modern research discussion on the “ Constantinian TurnElisabeth Herrmann-Otto : Konstantin der Große . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2007, ISBN 978-3-534-15428-9 , pp. 42-57 .
  29. On the Edict of Tolerance Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 34 ; Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica 8, 17 .
  30. On the events after the death of Galerius Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 36 .
  31. ^ On Valeria Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 39 .
  32. ^ On Candidianus Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 20 ; 50 .
  33. On the alliances Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 43 ; for Constantia also Zosimos 2, 17, 2 .
  34. ^ On the Milan Agreement Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 48 ; Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica 10, 5 .
  35. Cf. for example Bruno Bleckmann: Konstantin der Große . Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1996, p. 77 f .
  36. On the dispute between Licinius and Maximinus Daia Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 45-47 , who constructed a dream in which Licinius was meant to say a Christian prayer before the battle in order to win ( de mortibus persecutorum 46).
  37. On Maximinus Daias Tod Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 49 ; Eutropius 10, 4, 4 ; Aurelius Victor 41, 1 .
  38. On the death of the family members of the Tetrarchs, see Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 50–51 .
  39. ^ To Bassianus Anonymus Valesianus 14-15 .
  40. On the defeat of Licinius Anonymus Valesianus 18 ; Zosimos 2, 20 ; Eutropius 10, 5 .
  41. On the appointment of Caesares Anonymus Valesianus 19 .
  42. ^ On Constantine's campaigns in the east, Zosimo 2, 21-22 ; Eusebius of Caesarea, Vita Constantini 4, 5-6 ; Anonymous Valesianus 21 .
  43. On the Christian policy of Licinius Hieronymus , Chronicle to 326; Eusebius of Caesarea, Historia ecclesiastica 10, 8 .
  44. to Adrian Opel Zosimos 2, 22 ; to Chrysopolis Anonymus Valesianus 27 . For dating cf. Chronica minora, Volume 1, p. 232 .
  45. On the execution of Licinius Eutropius 10, 6 ; Orosius, Historiae adversum Paganos 7, 28, 26 .
  46. Bruno Bleckmann: Comments on the failure of the multiple rule system. Division of empire and territorial claims . In: Alexander Demandt et al. (Ed.): Diocletian and the tetrarchy . de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2004, p. 74-94, especially 74 .
  47. On the murders of 326 and the various research positions, for example: Elisabeth Herrmann-Otto: Konstantin der Große . Darmstadt 2007, p. 141-146 . Oliver Schmitt: Constantine the Great (275–337) . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-17-018307-0 , pp. 221-229 .
  48. ↑ In addition, about Heinrich Chantraine : The order of succession to Constantine the Great . Steiner, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-515-06193-2 .
  49. Heinrich Schlange-Schöningen: Felix Augustus or αὐτοκράτωρ δείλαιος. On the reception of Diocletian in the Constantinian dynasty . In: Alexander Demandt et al. (Ed.): Diocletian and the tetrarchy . Berlin / New York 2004, pp. 172-192, especially 178 f .
  50. Julian, Speech 1, 7b. In addition Heinrich Schlange-Schöningen: Felix Augustus or αὐτοκράτωρ δείλαιος. On the reception of Diocletian in the Constantinian dynasty . In: Alexander Demandt et al. (Ed.): Diocletian and the tetrarchy . Berlin / New York 2004, pp. 172-192, especially 175 .
  51. General information on the following explanations is provided by the various (partly problematic) articles in Gabriele Marasco (ed.): Greek and Roman Historiography in Late Antiquity. Fourth to Sixth Century AD Brill, Leiden u. a. 2003, ISBN 90-04-11275-8 .
  52. So Bruno Bleckmann: Reflections on Enmann's imperial history and the formation of historical traditions in Tetrarchic and Constantinian times . In: Giorgio Bonamente, Klaus Rosen (ed.): Historiae Augustae Colloquium Bonnense (=  Historiae Augustae Colloquia ). New series, volume 5 . Edipuglia, Bari 1997, ISBN 88-7228-180-6 , pp. 11-37 .
  53. Comprehensive information from Wolfgang Kuhoff: Diocletian and the epoch of the tetrarchy . Frankfurt am Main 2001. Terse but useful information also from Roger Rees: Diocletian and the Tetrarchy . Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2004, ISBN 0-7486-1661-6 . On the sources for the time of Constantine see also Bruno Bleckmann: Sources for the History of Constantine . In: Noel Lenski (Ed.): The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2006, ISBN 0-521-52157-2 , pp. 14th ff . Thomas Grünewald offers a catalog of the Latin inscriptions of Constantine: Constantinus Maximus Augustus . Stuttgart 1990, p. 179-280 .
  54. ^ Roger Rees: Diocletian and the Tetrarchy . Edinburgh 2004, p. 93-1196 .
  55. ^ Frank Kolb: Ruler ideology in late antiquity . Berlin 2001, p. 141-254 .