Diocletian in Roman Biography

Diocletian, dl-o-kle'she-an, [Lat. Diocletia'nus ; Fr. Diocletien, de'o'kla'te^aV,] or, more fully, Cai'ua Vale'rius Aure'ljus Diocletia'nus, a Roman emperor, was born of obscure parents at Dioclea, in Dalmatiaabout 245 A.D. He entered the army young, served under Aurelian, and obtained a high command under Probus. He accompanied Carus in his expedition against Persia, and at the death of that prince, in 283, he became commander of the imperial guards of his successor, Niimerianus. The latter having been assassinated by Aper, the army at Chalcedon proclaimed Diocletian emperor in 284. In 286 he adopted Maximian as his colleague in the empire, and gave him the title of Augustus. They were successful in suppressing revolts in Gaul and other parts of the empire. About 292 they nominated two Csesars to divide the labours of the administration,- namely, Galerius and Constantius Chlorus. Diocletian reserved to himself Asia and Egypt, and fixed his court at Nicomedia. He assigned Italy and Africa to Maximian, Gaul and Spain to Constantius, and Thrace and lllyricum to Galerius. The supremacy of Diocletian was recognized by the other three, and general prosperity resulted from this arrangement. One design of this policy was to prevent the revolt of the armies in favour of their commanders, by which so many emperors had been ruined. After this division the Roman arms were successful in Egypt, Persia, and Britain. In 297 a peace was made with Persia, which was maintained forty years. The Christians had enjoyed the favour and protection of Diocletian ; but in 303 Galerius, by false accusations, persuaded him to issue an edict against them. This persecution, to which he unwillingly assented, is the chief error of a reign otherwise honourable and happy. In 304 he had a long attack of sickness, and in the next year he abdicated in favour of Galerius, and retired to Salona, where he turned his attention to the cultivation of a vegetable-garden, and died in 313. His political talents were superior, and entitle him to a place among the most eminent Roman emperors. See Tillemont, "Histoiredes Empereurs:" Gibbon, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire;" Ai'kelius Victor, "De Cjesaribus ;" J. C. Sickel, "Dioclelianus et Maximums," 1792.

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Diocletian in Wikipedia

Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus[notes 1] (c. 22 December 244[3] – 3 December 311),[4] commonly known as Diocletian, was a Roman Emperor from 284 to 305. Born to an Illyrian family of low status in the Roman province of Dalmatia, Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become cavalry commander to the emperor Carus. After the deaths of Carus and his son Numerian on campaign in Persia, Diocletian was acclaimed emperor. The title was also claimed by Carus' other surviving son, Carinus, but Diocletian defeated him in the Battle of the Margus. With his accession to power, Diocletian ended the Crisis of the Third Century. He appointed fellow-officer Maximian Augustus, his senior co-emperor, in 285. He delegated further on 1 March 293, appointing Galerius and Constantius as Caesars, junior co-emperors. Under this "Tetrarchy", or "rule of four", each emperor would rule over a quarter-division of the empire. Diocletian secured the empire's borders and purged it of all threats to his power. He defeated the Sarmatians and Carpi during several campaigns between 285 and 299, the Alamanni in 288, and usurpers in Egypt between 297 and 298. Galerius, aided by Diocletian, campaigned successfully against Sassanid Persia, the empire's traditional enemy. In 299 he sacked their capital Ctesiphon - Diocletian led the subsequent negotiations and achieved a lasting and favorable peace. Diocletian separated and enlarged the empire's civil and military services and reorganised the empire's provincial divisions, establishing the largest and most bureaucratic government in the history of the empire. He established new administrative centers in Nicomedia, Mediolanum, Antioch, and Trier, closer to the empire's frontiers than the traditional capital at Rome had been. Building on third- century trends towards absolutism, he styled himself an autocrat, elevating himself above the empire's masses with imposing forms of court ceremonial and architecture. Bureaucratic and military growth, constant campaigning, and construction projects increased the state's expenditures and necessitated a comprehensive tax reform. From at least 297 on, imperial taxation was standardized, made more equitable, and levied at generally higher rates...

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