AbstractIn the year 308 CE, the African army raised to the purple the agens vices praefectorum praetorio Lucius Domitius Alexander. This rather unique case of a vicarius becoming emperor is deserving of investigation. Scholarly interest on the matter has traditionally focused on the broader political significance, treating Alexander as a traditional usurper. This paper argues that, contrary to traditional studies, the regime of Alexander focused on very local, African tropes. The uniqueness of the advertisement suggests that this African usurpation was the product of discontent internal to Africa; in other words, it is a departure from the usurpations of the third century. The achievements of Diocletian, who supposedly stabilized the Empire, ended when he withdrew, and the rebellion of 308–310 demonstrates that there remained unaddressed tensions between the provinces and the remaining tetrarchs.
Journal of Ancient History – de Gruyter
Published: May 26, 2019