4th century

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Eastern Hemisphere at the beginning of the 4th century AD. East-Hem 300ad.jpg
Eastern Hemisphere at the beginning of the 4th century AD.
Eastern Hemisphere at the end of the 4th century AD. East-Hem 400ad.jpg
Eastern Hemisphere at the end of the 4th century AD.

The 4th century (per the Julian calendar and Anno Domini/Common era) was the time period which lasted from 301 to 400. In the West, the early part of the century was shaped by Constantine the Great, who became the first Roman emperor to adopt Christianity. Gaining sole reign of the empire, he is also noted for re-establishing a single imperial capital, choosing the site of ancient Byzantium in 330 (over the current capitals, which had effectively been changed by Diocletian's reforms to Milan in the West, and Nicomedeia in the East) to build the city soon called Nova Roma (New Rome); it was later renamed Constantinople in his honor.


The last emperor to control both the eastern and western halves of the empire was Theodosius I. As the century progressed after his death it became increasingly apparent that the empire had changed in many ways since the time of Augustus. The two emperor system originally established by Diocletian in the previous century fell into regular practice, and the east continued to grow in importance as a centre of trade and imperial power, while Rome itself diminished greatly in importance due to its location far from potential trouble spots, like Central Europe and the East. Late in the century Christianity became the official state religion, and the empire's old pagan culture began to disappear.[ citation needed ] General prosperity was felt throughout this period, but recurring invasions by Germanic tribes plagued the empire from 376 AD onward. These early invasions marked the beginning of the end for the Western Roman Empire.

In China, the Jin dynasty, which had united the nation prior in 280, began to quickly face troubles by the start of the century due to political infighting, which led to the opportunistic insurrections of the northern barbarian tribes (starting the Sixteen Kingdoms period), which quickly overwhelmed the empire, forcing the Jin court to retreat and entrench itself in the south past the Yangtze river, starting what is known as the Eastern Jin dynasty around 317. Towards the end of the century, Emperor of the Former Qin, Fu Jiān, united the north under his banner, and planned to conquer the Jin dynasty in the south, so as to finally reunite the land, but was decisively defeated at the Battle of Fei River in 383, causing massive unrest and civil war in his empire, thereby leading to the fall of the Former Qin, and the continued existence of the Eastern Jin dynasty.

According to archaeologists, sufficient archaeological correlates of state-level societies coalesced in the 4th century to show the existence in Korea of the Three Kingdoms (300/400–668 AD) of Baekje, Goguryeo, and Silla.

Long Fourth Century

Historians of the Roman Empire may refer to the "Long Fourth Century" which is the period spanning the fourth century proper, but starting earlier with the accession of the emperor Diocletian in 284 and ending later with the death of Honorius in 423 or of Theodosius II in 450. [1]


Contemporary bronze head of Constantine I. Musei Capitolini-testa bronzea di Costantino-antmoose.jpg
Contemporary bronze head of Constantine I.
Tikal had a population of about 100,000 when it was conquered by Teotihuacan, less than a fourth of its peak population Flickr - archer10 (Dennis) - Guatemala-1619.jpg
Tikal had a population of about 100,000 when it was conquered by Teotihuacan, less than a fourth of its peak population

Significant people

Constantine the Great 0 Constantinus I - Palazzo dei Conservatori (2) (cropped).JPG
Constantine the Great
Constantius Chlorus Const.chlorus03 pushkin.jpg
Constantius Chlorus
Julian the Apostate 1902 - Archaeological Museum, Athens - 4th century bust - Photo by Giovanni Dall'Orto, Nov. 11 2009.jpg
Julian the Apostate
Shapur II the Great Head of king Met 65.126.jpg
Shapur II the Great
Stilicho Stilicho - detail from diptych.jpg
Arcadius Arcadius Istanbul Museum (cropped).JPG

Visual arts



Science and philosophy

Inventions, discoveries, introductions

Related Research Articles

Theodosius I Roman Emperor from 379 to 395

Theodosius I, also known as Theodosius the Great, was a Roman Emperor from 379 to 395. On accepting his elevation, he campaigned against Goths and other barbarians who had invaded the Empire. His resources were not sufficient to destroy them or drive them out, which had been Roman policy for centuries in dealing with invaders. By treaty, which followed his indecisive victory at the end of the Gothic War, they were established as foederati, autonomous allies of the Empire, south of the Danube, in Illyricum, within the Empire's borders. They were given lands and allowed to remain under their own leaders, a grave departure from Roman hegemonic ways. This turn away from traditional policies was accommodationist and had enormous consequences for the Western Empire from the beginning of the fifth century, as the Romans found themselves with the impossible task of defending the borders and dealing with unruly federates within. Theodosius I was obliged to fight two destructive civil wars, successively defeating the usurpers Magnus Maximus in 387–388 and Eugenius in 394, though not without material cost to the power of the Empire.

5th century Century

The 5th century is the time period from 401 to 500 Anno Domini (AD) or Common Era (CE) in the Julian calendar. The 5th century is noted for being a period of migration and political instability throughout Eurasia.

The 300s decade ran from January 1, 300, to December 31, 309.

The 310s decade ran from January 1, 310, to December 31, 319.

The 380s decade ran from January 1, 380, to December 31, 389.

The 410s decade ran from January 1, 410, to December 31, 419.

The 370s decade ran from January 1, 370, to December 31, 379.

The 290s decade ran from January 1, 290, to December 31, 299.

Constantius Chlorus Roman emperor

Constantius I, posthumously known after the sixth century as Constantius Chlorus, was a Roman Emperor. He ruled as Caesar from 293 to 305 and as Augustus from 305 to 306. He was the junior colleague of the Augustus Maximian under the Tetrarchy and succeeded him as senior co-emperor of the western part of the empire. Constantius ruled the West while Galerius was Augustus in the East. He was the father of Constantine the Great and founder of the Constantinian dynasty.

Western Roman Empire Independently administered western provinces of the Roman Empire

In historiography, the Western Roman Empire refers to the western provinces of the Roman Empire at any time during which they were administered by a separate independent Imperial court; in particular, this term is used to describe the period from 395 to 476, where there were separate coequal courts dividing the governance of the empire in the Western and the Eastern provinces, with a distinct imperial succession in the separate courts. The terms Western Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire were coined in modern times to describe political entities that were de facto independent; contemporary Romans did not consider the Empire to have been split into two separate empires but viewed it as a single polity governed by two separate imperial courts as an administrative expediency. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476, and the Western imperial court in Ravenna was formally dissolved by Justinian in 554. The Eastern imperial court survived until 1453.

Constantinian shift

Constantinian shift is used by some theologians and historians of antiquity to describe the political and theological aspects and outcomes of the 4th-century process of Constantine's integration of the imperial government with the Christian Church that began with the First Council of Nicaea. The term was popularized by the Mennonite theologian John H. Yoder.

Flavia gens families from Ancient Rome who shared Flavius nomen

The gens Flavia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Its members are first mentioned during the last three centuries of the Republic. The first of the Flavii to achieve prominence was Marcus Flavius, tribune of the plebs in 327 and 323 BC; however, no Flavius attained the consulship until Gaius Flavius Fimbria in 104 BC. The gens became illustrious during the first century AD, when the family of the Flavii Sabini claimed the imperial dignity.

Dominate "despotic" phase of government in the ancient Roman Empire from the conclusion of the Third Century Crisis of 235–284 until the formal date of the collapse of the Western Empire in AD 476

The Dominate is the name sometimes given to the "despotic" later phase of imperial government, following the earlier period known as the "Principate", in the ancient Roman Empire. This phase is more often called the Tetrarchy at least until 313 when the empire was reunited.

The accession on November 20, 284, of Diocletian, the lower-class, Greek-speaking Dalmatian commander of Carus's and Numerian's household cavalry, marked a major departure from traditional Roman constitutional theory regarding the Emperor, who was nominally first among equals during the Principate. Whereas before Emperors had worn only a purple toga and were greeted with deference, Diocletian wore jewelled robes and shoes, and required those who greeted him to kneel and kiss the hem of his robe. In many ways, Diocletian was the first monarchical Emperor, and this is symbolised by the fact that the word dominus ("Lord") rapidly replaced princeps as the favoured word for referring to the Emperor.

Justina was the second wife of the Roman Emperor Valentinian I and the mother of Valentinian II, Galla, Grata and Justa.

Events from the 4th century in Roman Britain.

Christianity in the 4th century Christianity-related events during the 4th century

Christianity in the 4th century was dominated in its early stage by Constantine the Great and the First Council of Nicaea of 325, which was the beginning of the period of the First seven Ecumenical Councils (325–787), and in its late stage by the Edict of Thessalonica of 380, which made Nicene Christianity the state church of the Roman Empire.


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