Late antiquity and its outcome (up to AD 476): After the death of Carus (283) and his sons Numerianus and Carinus (284 and 285), Diocletian completed the reconstruction of the empire and created the absolutist state of late antiquity (Dominat, after the ruler’s address Dominus “Lord”). To secure his rule he appointed Maximian Augustus for the West in 286 and Galerius and Constantius (I.) as subordinate Caesars (tetrarchy) in 293. Constantius made 297 the British special empire of Carausius and Allectus, which had existed since 286an end. Galerius defeated the Persians in 298; Mesopotamia became a Roman province again. Diocletian tried to stabilize the empire through numerous reforms. The provincial and army reforms (Roman Empire) served to secure rule. The introduction of a new main means of payment (the Follis), a tax reform, the binding of the peasants to the plaice (Kolonat, Kolonen) and the compulsory guild were supposed to rehabilitate the economy, but at the same time established the bureaucratically tightly organized state of late antiquity, based on violence and power of the executive, in which there was no longer any political, social or religious freedom. The maximum price edict of 301 turned out to be a failure. The marriage edict, the decree against the Manichaeans (Manichaism) and, from 303, the empire-wide persecution of Christians, which continued even after the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian (305), served the spiritual and religious renewal. The system of tetrarchy continued, but was already established in 306 after the death of Constantius by the elevation of the emperor sons Constantine (I, the great) and Maxentiusbreached, so that there was new confusion. Galerius made Licinius Augustus next to him in308, but died in 311 after he had ended the persecution of Christians by an edict of tolerance in the same year. Constantine was able todefeat Maxentius, who wasostracized as a usurper,at the Milvian Bridge in312and in 324achieve solerule by defeating Licinius. In 312 Constantine professed Christianity, which he and Licinius legally equatedwiththe old religionin 313(Edict of Tolerance of Milan). In 325 he practically took over the leadership of the Christian Church with the convocation of the Council of Nicaea. The expansion of the court ceremony, the adoption of the diadem and nimbus and the organization of the court officials completed the absolutism of late antiquity.
The introduction of the golden solidus stabilized the currency. The foundation of Constantinople (324, inauguration 330) created the conditions for the later division of the empire. After the death of Constantine(337) a civil war broke out between his sons Constans and Constantine II (340) and the Frankish army master Magnentius (350–353) was raised before Constantine’s third son Constantius II. could achieve sole rule. His relative Julian rose against him, who after the death of Constantius temporarily made paganism the sole state religion again. According to ezinereligion, Julian’s death in the war against the Persians (363) forced Rome to evacuate the areas on the other side of the Tigris. After taking office, Valentinian I took over the border security in the west and entrusted the east to his brother Valens, who was killed in the battle against the Goths near Adrianople in 378. His successor Theodosius I declared Christianity to be the state religion again in 380. His victory over Eugenius and Arbogast 394 also meant the end of the pagan reaction in Rome. Once again Theodosius was able to unite the empire, which after his death (395) finally fell into two halves. In the Western Roman Empire, Stilicho, the general of Emperor Honorius, had to withdraw the troops from Gaul and Britain to repel the Visigoths invading Italy from the east. After his death, the Visigoths conquered and plundered Rome (410; cause of the historical work of Orosius and the “state of God” of Augustine) and then founded their own empire in southern Gaul. The Teutons crossed the Rhine everywhere. In 429 the Vandal reached Africa, 443 the Burgundy Savoy; The Franks spread on the Lower Rhine and the Alemanni on the Upper Rhine (Alsace, Switzerland). The invasion of the Huns under Attila in Gaul could 451 by Aetius, the general Valentinians III. to be fended off in the Catalaunian fields. But the western empire ended in 476 with the deposition of Romulus Augustus (“Augustulus”) by the Germanic army master Odoacer, although the rightful emperor Nepos (474–475, † 480) was still alive. In the Eastern Empire, Theodosius II published (438 ) the first state collection of laws (Codex Theodosianus). The Roman Empire was able to hold its own here. Justinian I, the Great, put an end to the Vandal empire in Africa in 533/534 and the Ostrogoth empire in Italy in 553/554 and restored imperial unity for a short time, albeit on a smaller territorial basis. Its legal codification (Corpus Iuris Civilis) later formed one of the foundations of European legal development. After the death of Justinian (565) the west was lost again, while the eastern empire existed as the Byzantine Empire until the capture of Constantinople by the Turks (1453).