soldier emperors are often called in the context of the old persons history the emperors, who exercised power in the Roman realm in the period from 235 to 284. Also the emperors of the years 180-235 (Commodus and the Severer ) are isolated and/or. 285-305 (Diokletian) ranked among the soldier emperors. The term became already in 19. Century coined/shaped however in particular made by Franz old home (around 1940) popular.
The beginning of the epoch, which as the last section of the Prinzipats is generally considered, is usually dated on 235, when after the death of the Severus Alexander with Maximinus Thrax an emperor from the numbers of the Roman troops was raised in Gallien. A certain terminator point of this development is reached with Diokletian 284, which made the chaotic conditions an end prepared and a fundamental re-organization of the Roman state, why one lets late ancient times begin with the year 284 mostly. Subsequently, it came also to the collection of emperors from the numbers of the army, but was coined/shaped the time of the soldier emperors of a rapid change of the emperors. The rulers had quite different background; still few of them originated ( as for instance Decius or Gallienus) from the senatorischen Oberschicht. But it was common all that its rule depended more than ever on the favour of the troops, and this circumstance lets it appear justified to summarize the rulers of this time as “soldier emperors” because although the military exerted often crucial influence also before and afterwards, was very much less exclusively dependent on the favour of the soldiers the emperors before 235 and after 284.
It lacked the rulers around 250 legitimacy, and it did not succeed to them to strengthen their power durably. Rather often were there itself several emperors next to each other, the mutually fought and those often only a short reign and (nearly?) a death by force was vergönnt always. In addition it came that the realm was from the outside everywhere pressed: the Teutons in the north and northeast, the Sassaniden in the east attacked the realm and plünderten the provinces, while the army did not show itself to the attack waves breaking from all pages as grown. Meanwhile centrifugal effects ensured for the fact that a part of the realm separated from central power (Galli special realm), while in the east several provinces were conquered by Palmyra. These losses could be cancelled again, them clarify however the structural weaknesses of the Imperiums in this time, which was driven by cooperating all these factors almost to the edge of the collapse.
As characteristic the purge of the Staatsmacht is considered to this epoch; generally often of a crisis period one speaks (realm crisis of the 3. Century), which could turn away only Diokletian. However in this period also important reforms were angepackt, as for instance in the administration (division of the rule area). These were the foundation, on which in late ancient times the Roman state relied. Besides one may not ignore the substantial regional differences with the view of the conditions in the third century. Whether of a realm-far “crisis” can be really spoken is not doubted, therefore in the meantime by few researchers. The fact that however the character changed itself dock ore around in this time crucially can hardly be denied - many elements, which should become typical for the lateantique rulers (so for instance the increasing religious authentication of the rule or the Mehrkaisertum), leave themselves to the soldier emperors to attribute.
- and-race Alföldi: Studies for the history of the world crisis of the 3. Century after Christ. Scientific book company, Darmstadt 1967
- Felix Hartmann: Ruler change and realm crisis. Investigations to the causes and consequences of the ruler changes in the Imperium Romanum of the soldier Kaiser era (3. Jh. n. Chr.). Long, Frankfurt/Main 1982, ISBN 3-8204-6195-7
- Michael summers: The soldier emperors. Scientific book company, Darmstadt 2004 (history compactly), ISBN 3-534-17477-1 (Knappe and informative introduction. Straight one, but not only, to recommend for laymen.)
- Karl Strobel: The Imperium Romanum in the “3. Century ". Model of a historical crisis?. Steiner, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-515-05662-9
- Gerold Walser, Thomas Pekáry: The crisis of the Roman realm. de Gruyter, Berlin 1962 (one only for experts collection of detailed studies, which can be recommended.)
- Christian Witschel: Crisis recession stagnation? The west of the Roman realm in the third century n. Chr. To Clauss, Frankfurt/Main 1999, ISBN 3-934040-01-2