In his brief reign (lasting just over five years) Aurelian contributed more to the recovery of the Roman empire than any other individual of his time. He decisively repelled the German invaders threatening the Danube and crushed the enemies, Zenobia and Tetricus. Among his other achievements he also introduced major monetary reforms and constructed the defensive walls around Rome that still bear his name to this day. Aurelian and the Third Century provides a re-evaluation in the light of recent scholarship of the difficulties facing the Roman empire in the AD 260s and 270s, concentrating upon the reign of the Emperor Aurelian and his part in surmounting them. After an introduction examining the situation in the mid third century, the book is divided into two parts. The first deals chronologically with the military and political events of the period from 268 to 276. The second part analyses the other achievements and events of Aurelian's reign and assesses their importance.
Alaric Watson has a PhD from King's College London in Roman history and has taught Roman history at the University of North London and Queen Mary and Westfield College. He is now a Barrister in Lincoln's Inn.