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L'empereur et la cour de Dioclétien à Théodose Ier (284 - 395) : espace, réseaux, dynamiques de pouvoir en Occident

Abstract : The present subject examines the processes of structuration and configuration of an imperial court. Those processes could be spontaneous or on the emperor’s initiative. As the German sociologist Norbert Elias reminds us, the court doesn’t owe its existence to the will of one person. This study takes place in a long 4th century and highlights the evolution of the court structure and the representation of the imperial dignity over the long term. The Western empire is a priviledged field of study due to the diversity of its political practices of power inherited from the old centrality of power settled in Rome. Our research hypothesis is about moderating the paradigm of the ‘decision-maker prince’. In that sense, the emperor of the Late Roman Empire would become an actor of the court again and not only the nodal point of this structure which is trying to become autonomous. We would like to better comprehend the evolution of a power usually regarded as autocratic, the making process of a court intended to serve the prestige of a restored imperial dignity and the autonomisation of an heavy administration. There is a paradox between the permanency of some political networks at court, the reinforcement of the imperial authority and the decision-making weakness of the emperors in some aspects of the political life. This contradiction creates new spaces of power in empire's territories because of the mobility of the senior officials. In that, the court appears more as a political abstraction than just a topographic reality. The ‘absolutism’ of that time deserves a new historiographical approach to understand those new political practices noticeable since the Tetrarchy.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 23, 2019 - 4:23:46 PM
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Alexandra Pierré-Caps. L'empereur et la cour de Dioclétien à Théodose Ier (284 - 395) : espace, réseaux, dynamiques de pouvoir en Occident. Histoire. Université de Lorraine, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018LORR0271⟩. ⟨tel-02138258⟩



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