Originally Posted by marcus flavius
The real reason of this reply is to recommend the book by Andrew Alfoldi (translated by Harold Mattingly) titled; A CONFLICT OF IDEAS IN THE LATE ROMAN EMPIRE: Clash between the Senate and Valentinian I. (1952)Oxford at the Clarendon Press. Chapters discussed; Pannonian Emperors, The Pannonians at the Cort of Valentinian I, Corruption and Its Antidote, Terrorism, The Clash between Valentinian and the Guardians of the Traditions of Rome, The Late Classical ideal of culture in conflict with the Illyrian military Spirit. There is also an Appendix entitled The Emperor after the Senate's Heart in the Historia Augusta.
Gives a clear picture of the dynamics during the period your series was minted.
Claims there is an earlier volume that dealt with 312 AD onwards and was expected a third volume with magic as the main topic.
This was a good book when it first appeared but it's pretty outdated now; most of the ideas behind it have been rejected or toned down, just like the idea of the 'pagan revival' at the end of the fourth century. A better book on the period is Noel Lenski's 'Failure of Empire. Valens and the Roman State in the Fourth Century AD' (Berkeley, 2002).