Ancient Rome

Late Empire

In the third century C.E. the Ancient Roman Empire was threatened by economic crisis, weak and short-lived emperors and usurpers, and the loss of territory to barbarian invasions.

235 - 410 C.E.

videos + essays

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Trebonianus Gallus — emperor or athlete? Rethinking a modern attribution
Trebonianus Gallus — emperor or athlete? Rethinking a modern attribution

In the chaos of the 3rd century, can we be sure about the identification of this statue?

Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine
Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine

Built using new technologies, this building is overwhelming and unprecedented—displaying Roman imperial power.

<em>Portraits of the Four Tetrarchs</em>
Portraits of the Four Tetrarchs

Learn how the solid, abstracted forms of these co-emperors reject earlier understanding of the human body.

The Colossus of Constantine
The Colossus of Constantine

Does the abstraction of form and faraway look in this colossal portrait hint at the growth of Christianity in Rome?

Arch of Constantine, Rome
Arch of Constantine, Rome

For the first time, a Roman emperor celebrated victory over fellow Romans, and appropriated the art of earlier rulers.

Selected Contributors | Late Empire