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Monday, January 9, 2017

How did the Roman Empire divide into two parts?

The Roman Empire Splits in Two
As the third century drew to a close, better times returned to the Roman Empire. In A.D. 284, a leader named Diocletian (dy»uh»KLEE»shuhn) came to power. Emperor Diocletian made many changes to strengthen the government.

A fourth-century writer described him as "the man whom the state needed."
One of his changes was to divide the leadership of the Roman Empire. Diocletian put a trusted friend in charge of the western part. He then gave most of his attention to the eastern part.

Diocletian's actions led the way for other strong leaders to rebuild the strength of the empire. One of these was Constantine. Constantine not only made Christianity an accepted religion but also helped keep the Roman Empire alive.

Like Diocletian, Constantine focused on the eastern part of the empire. In A.D. 330 Constantine moved the empire's capital from Rome to the eastern city of Byzantium (buh*ZAN»tee»uhm). A Roman historian boasted,

Byzantium occupies a position the most secure and in every way the most advantageous of any town in our quarter of the world.

Nearly surrounded by water, Byzantium was easy to defend against attack and was well-located for trade. Constantine renamed the city Constantinople in his own honor. Soon Constantinople replaced Rome as the most important city of the Roman Empire. Today, Constantinople is known as Istanbul (is*tuhn»BOOL), Turkey.

In A.D. 395, the empire officially split in two. The east would see the growth of cities and trade. The west would see decline.

How did the Roman Empire divide into two parts?


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