Category: 4th Century

Categories: Time Periods

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The Fourth Century CE, i.e. 301 to 400

In the West, the early part of the century was shaped by Constantine I, who became the first Roman emperor to convert to 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 of the current capitals, which had effectively been changed by Diocletian's reforms to Milan in the West, and Nicomedia 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. General prosperity was felt throughout this period, but recurring invasions by Germanic tribes plagued the empire from AD 376 onward. These early invasions marked the beginning of the end for the Western Roman Empire. (1)

Significant people

Ambrose, Christian theologian, bishop of Milan
Augustine, Christian theologian, bishop of Hippo
Basil the Great, Christian theologian, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia
Constantine I, (306-337), Roman emperor
Diocletian, Roman Emperor
Ephrem the Syrian, (c. 306–373), Syriac speaking deacon, hymnographer, theologian, director of the School of Edessa
Ezana Aksumite Emperor
Gregory of Nazianzus, (c.329- c.390), Christian theologian, bishop of Nazianzus in Cappadocia
Iamblichus, (245-c. 325), Neoplatonist philosopher
Jerome, Christian priest, monk, and translator of the Bible into Latin
John Chrysostom, Syrian-born Patriarch of Constantinople
Lactantius (c.240 – c.320) Christian theologian, advisor to Constantine I
Mesrop Mashtots, (c. 361–c.440), Armenian monk, theologian and inventor of the Armenian alphabet
Theodore, (c. 350–428), Christian theologian, bishop of Mopsuestia
Theodosius I (378-395), Roman Emperor
Ulfilas, Arian priest and translator of the Bible into Gothic

Subcategories (3)

Person Profiles (17)


North Africa, Western Roman Republic - 10 Jan 314 photo
abt 305 Rome, Roman Empire - 11 Dec 384 photo


Rome, Roman Empire - 12 Apr 352 photo
310 Rome, Roman Empire - 24 Sep 366 photo
06 Jan 255 Rome, Roman Empire - 16 Jan 309 photo


abt 325 Sachsen, Germany - aft 411
bef 377 - aft 15 May 392


Greece, Roman Empire - 17 Aug 310 photo


abt 360 Ireland - 452
Rome, Western Roman Empire - 19 Dec 401 photo


Rome, Roman Empire - 07 Oct 336 photo
abt 328 Roman Empire - 390
Rome, Roman Empire - 25 Oct 304 photo


285 Rome, Roman Empire - 31 Dec 335 photo


334 Rome, Roman Empire - 26 Nov 399 photo


Dacia, north of the Danube River, in present day Ukraine - aft 348
abt 340 Spain - 399

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