Transfer of power

The transfer of power

Neither the Senate, who initially had the power, nor the Emperors, who gradually acquired it wanted to acknowledge the gradual inevitable slide slide from Republic to Monarchy.  In theory the Empire was still ruled by bewildering array of Magistracies such as Consul, Praetor, Tribune, Aedile,Quaestor, Military Tribune. Under the republic all these posts were elective. Under the principate they became concentrated in one person the emperor.

The power of the Emperor initially came from the fact that he was granted Consular and Tribuary powers by the senate for ten years Giving him total control over the city of Rome and the Armies.  As well as being given the title “Augustus” i.e “Most Venerable” he was also given the title “Princeps” i.e “ First amongst senators, First amongst the people”.

The Army

Thus, although nothing seemed to have changed everything had changed. The worst effect of having no written constitution was that there was no universally accepted way for succession planning. The traditional combination of patrimony and bribery, used by the republic for senate appointments was extended and in the illusion of the continuing Republic developed a concept that the Emperor should be elected. As the Emperor was the commander of the armies, the armies came to believe that it would be they who elected the next Emperor.  Events of the year of the five emporers proved once and for all that they could do this as long as they gave  total support to the leader they selected. Consequently, from this point onwards the recipient of bribery was often members of the army themselves.

The legions in one part of the Empire often had a different view. The result was intermittent Civil war of various degrees of severity and appalling and totally unnecessary loss of life.

The Celts played a big part in this as the  choice of emperor was made either by the eastern celts (Norica, Pannonia, Dacia, Moesia) or the western celts (Hispania, Gaul Britain. The disruption of the empire was often caused by the ambitions of rival celtic groups.

Critical Provinces

The detailed management of the provinces was at the best erratic. Each civil war resulted in a purge of officials who had supported the wrong Emporer.

The magistracies for the “Existing Provinces” were still awarded by the senate to those of senatorial rank.  The Emporer was however given direct authority over Egypt, where no one of senatorial rank was ever allowed to visit, but also Gaul, Hispania, and Syria where the same restrictions did not apply.

As the Empire expanded its boundaries Brittania, Germania and Arabia were added to these “Imperial” provinces. The public face indicated that all this was achieved apparently by case by case negotiation between the Emperor and the Senate. It was never a negotiation, the Emperor told the Senate what the outcome should be. Before long the Govenors and Magistrates of the Imperial provinces were not elected but appointed by the Emperor directly.

Initial structure

Roman Administration/109/early days/1729


Roman Administration/109/first control/1730

The Dictator

Roman Administration/109/Dictator/1731


Roman Administration/109/Augustus/1732

From AD 217 to 284 in sixty seven years there were twenty four Emperors  with an average tenure of less than two years. One tenure (Gordion) was only twenty-one days.

Fate took a hand when the emperor Carus was struck by lightening during an otherwise successful campaign against the Persians and his son Numerian died of a mystery disease on the journey back to Rome. The army chose the commander of Carus’ cavalry as the new Emporer. This was Diocles .

In 290 Diocletian (name change to make him sound Roman) planned substantial reforms. From now on, the provinces, almost a hundred in number, would be administered directly by the Emperor through a monarchical hierachy of “Vicars”.

Power Shift

Roman Administration/109/power shift/1733

Separation of powers

Roman Administration/109/separation/1735


The Comes

Roman Administration/109/ the comes/1736

In the time of Valentinian III

Roman Administration/109/comes named/1737

Magister Militorum

Roman Administration/109/Dictator/1731

The Church

Roman Administration/109/ the church/1740

Church as Administrators

Roman Administration/109/New order/1741

The Knights

Roman Administration/109/the knights/1743

Power Struggle

Roman Administration/109/power stuggle/1744

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.