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Encyclopedia > Persecution of Diocletian
Diocletian
Emperor of the Roman Empire
Diocletian
Reign November 20, 284 - 292 (alone);
292 - May 1, 305 (as Augustus of the East, with Maximian as Augustus of the West)
Full name Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus
Born c.245
Dioclea, near Salona
Died c.312
Split
Predecessor Numerian
Successor Constantius Chlorus and Galerius

Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (c. 245c. 312), born Diocles (Greek Διοκλής) and known in English as Diocletian,[1] was Roman Emperor from November 20, 284 to May 1, 305. Roman Emperor is the term historians use to refer to rulers of the Roman Empire, after the epoch conventionally named the Roman Republic. ... The Roman Empire is the name given to both the imperial domain developed by the city-state of Rome and also the corresponding phase of that civilization, characterized by an autocratic form of government. ... Image File history File links Diocletian. ... November 20 is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... For other uses, see number 284. ... [edit] Events [edit] By Place [edit] Roman Empire Constantius Chlorus divorces Helena, mother of Constantine the Great (approximate date). ... [edit] Events [edit] By Place [edit] Roman Empire Constantius Chlorus divorces Helena, mother of Constantine the Great (approximate date). ... May 1 is the 121st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (122nd in leap years). ... Events May 1 - Diocletian and Maximian, emperors of Rome, retire from office. ... Augustus (plural augusti) is Latin for majestic or venerable. The feminine form is Augusta. ... Maximian Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius (c. ... Events Roman emperor Philip the Arabian entrusted future emperor Gaius Messius Quintus Trajanus with an important command on the Danube Trieu Thi Trinh Vietnamese warrior women begins her three year resistance against the invading Chinese. ... This article contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... Events October 28 - Battle of Milvian Bridge: Constantine defeats Maxentius in the fight to become emperor of Rome. ... The perystile viewving towards the entrance of Emperors aquarters Diocletians Palace is a building in Split, Croatia that was built by the emperor Diocletian the 3rd century AD. At the time it was built, there was no such city of Split, and the original town was built around... Numerian, on a coin as caesar Marcus Aurelius Numerianus (d. ... On the reverse of this argenteus struck in Antioch under Constantius Chlorus, the tetrarcs are sacrificing to celebrate a victory against the Sarmatians. ... Galerius Maximianus ( 250–5 May 311), formally Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus was Roman Emperor from 305 to 311. ... Events Roman emperor Philip the Arabian entrusted future emperor Gaius Messius Quintus Trajanus with an important command on the Danube Trieu Thi Trinh Vietnamese warrior women begins her three year resistance against the invading Chinese. ... Events October 28 - Battle of Milvian Bridge: Constantine defeats Maxentius in the fight to become emperor of Rome. ... Roman Emperor is the term historians use to refer to rulers of the Roman Empire, after the epoch conventionally named the Roman Republic. ... November 20 is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... For other uses, see number 284. ... May 1 is the 121st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (122nd in leap years). ... Events May 1 - Diocletian and Maximian, emperors of Rome, retire from office. ...


Diocletian brought to an end the period popularly known to historians as the "Crisis of the Third Century" (235–284). He established an autocratic government and was responsible for laying the groundwork for the second phase of the Roman Empire, which is known variously as the "Dominate" (as opposed to the Principate instituted by Augustus), the "Tetrarchy", or simply the "Later Roman Empire". Diocletian's reforms fundamentally changed the structure of imperial government and helped stabilize the empire economically and militarily, enabling it to remain essentially intact for another hundred years. Crisis of the Third Century (also known as the Military Anarchy or the Imperial Crisis ) is a commonly applied name for the crumbling and near collapse of the Roman Empire between 235 and 284 caused by the three simultaneous crises of external invasion, internal civil war and economic collapse. ... Autocracy is a form of government where unlimited power is held by a single individual. ... The Roman Empire is the name given to both the imperial domain developed by the city-state of Rome and also the corresponding phase of that civilization, characterized by an autocratic form of government. ... The Dominate was the despotic last of the two phases of government in the ancient Roman Empire between its establishment in 27 BC and the formal date of the collapse of the Western Empire in AD 476. ... The Principate is, according to its etymological derivation from the Latin word princeps, meaning chief or first, the political regime dominated by such a political leader, whether or not he is formally head of state and/or head of government. ... Augustus (Latin: IMP•CAESAR•DIVI•F•AVGVSTVS;[1] September 23, 63 BC–August 19, AD 14), known as Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (English Octavian; Latin: C•IVLIVS•C•F•CAESAR•OCTAVIANVS) for the period of his life prior to 27 BC, was the first and among the most important of...

Contents

Life

Early life and rise to power

Coin depicting Diocletian.
Coin depicting Diocletian.

An Illyrian of low birth (from Dioclea, near Salona), Diocles[2] rose through the ranks of the army. It is known that he was Dux Moesiae, with responsibility for defending the lower Danube. When, in 282, the legions of the upper Danube proclaimed Emperor the Praetorian prefect Carus, Diocles started gaining the new emperor's trust, obtaining the consulship in 283 and the rank of Comes domesticorum, that is commander of the cavalry arm of the imperial bodyguard. Image File history File linksMetadata Dio_coin3. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Dio_coin3. ... Illyria Illyria (disambiguation) Illyria (Anc. ... This article contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... Dux is Latin for leader (from the verb ducere, to lead) and could refer to anyone who commanded troops, such as tribal leaders. ... Moesia is an ancient province situated in the areas of modern Serbia and Bulgaria. ... The Danube (ancient Danuvius, ancient Greek Istros) is the longest river of the European Union and Europes second-longest[3] (after the Volga). ... Events Carus becomes Roman emperor A new city was constructed in Fuzhou slightly south of the original city Ye. ... Praetorian prefect (Latin Praefectus praetorio) was the constant title of a high office in the Roman state that changed fundamentally in nature. ... Carus on a posthumous coin. ... Consul (abbrev. ... Events December 17 - Pope Gaius succeeds Pope Eutychian December - Numerian was proclaimed Roman emperor by his soldiers. ... Comes (genitive: comitis) is the Latin word for companion, either individually or as a member of a collective known as comitatus (compare comitatenses), especially the suite of a magnate, in some cases large and/or formal enough to have a specific name, such as a cohors amicorum. ...


The rising star within Roman Empire was Flavius Aper, the Praetorian prefect and father-in-law of Carus' son, Numerian. In 283, Carus elected his first son Carinus Augustus, left him in charge of the care of the West, and moved with Numerian, Aper and Diocles in the East, against the Sassanid Empire. Carus plundered the Sassanid capital, winning a major victory, but died in July/August, reportedly struck by a lightning bolt, rather by illness. He left Numerian as new Augustus, and an army to be brought back within the empire borders. Aper claimed that Numerian was ill too, so the emperor travelled in a closed coach, without any external contact. When the soldiers sensed a bad smell and opened the coach, Numerian was dead. Diocles caught the occasion, accused Aper of having killed Numerian, and killed the praetorian prefect personally in front of the troops, who immediately elected him Emperor, on November 20, 284.[3] Numerian, on a coin as caesar Marcus Aurelius Numerianus (d. ... Events December 17 - Pope Gaius succeeds Pope Eutychian December - Numerian was proclaimed Roman emperor by his soldiers. ... Marcus Aurelius Carinus, Roman emperor, 283 - July, 285, was the elder son of the emperor Carus, on whose accession he was appointed governor of the western portion of the empire. ... Augustus (plural augusti) is Latin for majestic or venerable. The feminine form is Augusta. ... The Sassanid Empire or Sassanian Empire (Persian: Sasanian) is the name used for the fourth Iranian dynasty, and the second Persian Empire (226 - 651). ... November 20 is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... For other uses, see number 284. ...


However, another lawful emperor was in the West, Carinus the elder son of Carus. Carinus and Diocletian met near Belgrade, and Diocles won the Battle of the Margus River, killing Carinus and becoming the only ruler of the Roman Empire, with the full name of Diocletianus. The sources disagree on what actually happened at the battle: Aurelius Victor claims (39. 11) that Carinus was winning the battle, when one of his officers, whose wife the young emperor had seduced, backstabbed him; Eutropius holds (9.20.2) that Carinus was deserted by his army. Diocletian, in an unusual act of clemency, did not kill or depose Carinus' Praetorian prefect and consul Aurelius Aristobulus, but confirmed him, and later gave him the proconsulate of Africa and the rank of Urban Praefect — a career that some scholars see as a reward for the treason of Aristobulus. Marcus Aurelius Carinus, Roman emperor, 283 - July, 285, was the elder son of the emperor Carus, on whose accession he was appointed governor of the western portion of the empire. ... Belgrade (Serbian: Београд or Beograd  ) is the capital and largest city of Serbia. ... The Battle of the Margus was fought in 285 between the armies of Diocletian and Carinus. ... Sextus Aurelius Victor, prefect of Pannonia about 360 ( xxi. ... Eutropius was a pagan Roman historian of the later 4th century, writing in Latin, whose brief remarks about himself let us know that he had served under Emperor Julian the Apostate (ruled 361 - 363) and his history covers the reigns of Valentinian and Valens (died 378). ...


Between 235 and 284 there had been some 20 to 25 successive emperors, an average of a new emperor every two to three years. All but two of these emperors were either murdered or killed in battle. Diocletian seemed at first to be following in the footsteps of his short-lived predecessors in the years between 284 and 298, as he fought a lengthy series of wars from one end of the Empire to the other, maintaining the extended boundaries of the frontiers and stamping out domestic uprisings. By 298, however, he had succeeded in repelling Germanic intrusions from across the Danube and Rhine, had put a halt to Sassanid invasions in Syria and Palestine, and had defeated his political foes. The Danube (ancient Danuvius, ancient Greek Istros) is the longest river of the European Union and Europes second-longest[3] (after the Volga). ... Loreley At 1,320 kilometres (820 miles) and an average discharge of more than 2,000 cubic meters per second, the Rhine (Dutch Rijn, French Rhin, German Rhein, Italian: Reno, Romansch: Rein, ) is one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe. ... Map of the British Mandate of Palestine. ...


Diocletian's reforms

His position secure, a remarkable feat after over fifty years of internal instability that nearly saw the collapse of the Roman Empire (what has become known as the Crisis of the Third Century), Diocletian believed that going forward under the current system of Roman Imperial government was unsustainable. He initiated a number of reforms to prevent a return to the disorder of previous generations and maintain the viability of the Empire. These included splitting the Empire into two in order to be more manageable, creating a new system of Imperial succession, ruling as an autocrat and stripping away any remaining façade of republicanism, and economic reforms aimed at the problem of hyperinflation. An autocrat is generally speaking any ruler with absolute power; the term is now usually used in a negative sense (cf. ... In a broad definition, a republic is a state or country that is led by people whose political power is based on principles that are not beyond the control of the people of that state or country. ... In mainstream economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices, as measured against some baseline of purchasing power. ...


The position of emperor had originally been a dictatorial post carefully disguised as a constitutional monarch. While it drew much of its legitimacy from a complex array of republican titles and practices, with the "Emperor" being the Princeps ("First among equals", hence "Principate"), it drew most of its actual power from command over the legions and the Praetorian Guard. This is reflected in the most important of all Imperial titles, imperator (Supreme Commander), from which the word emperor itself is derived. These arrangements, while awkward at times and followed more closely by some emperors than others, worked for the first two centuries of the empire's existence. However, starting with the reign of Septimius Severus, rulers began to strip away or simply ignore many of the republican conventions, and reigned more as dictators than constitutional monarchs. This process undermined the office's foundations and legitimacy. Diocletian recognized that the title had to be based on something more than simply military force, in order to be more recognized and stable. So he sought to build a new basis for imperial legitimacy in the state religion, with himself as semi-divine monarch and high priest. The old republican title of Pontifex Maximus, would begin to take on a new importance. Roman Emperor is the term historians use to refer to rulers of the Roman Empire, after the epoch conventionally named the Roman Republic. ... The Praetorian Guard of Augustus - 1st century. ... The Latin word imperator was a title originally roughly equivalent to commander during the period of the Roman Republic. ... Lucius Septimius Severus (b. ... Alternate meanings: see Pontifex (disambiguation) In Ancient Rome, the Pontifex Maximus was the high priest of the collegium of the Pontifices, the most august position in Roman religion, open only to a patrician, until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post. ...


Diocletian chose a new title for himself, calling himself Dominus et deus, or "Lord and God" (hence "Dominate"). He would actually sit on a throne. He was not to be seen in public, and if an audience was required, he had elaborate ceremonies in which the visitor would be required to lie on the ground prostrate and never to look at the emperor, allowed perhaps to kiss the bottom of his robe. In this way he created a remote, mysterious, theocratic and autocratic office. It is likely that terms such as "Your Majesty" or "Your Excellency" originated during Diocletian's rule.[citation needed]


According to an analysis by Edward Gibbon in his book The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Diocletian did not require such ritual out of vanity. This type of majesty regarding the emperor had existed since the rule of Augustus. However, whereas Augustus disguised it, Diocletian simply displayed it. Edward Gibbon (1737–1794). ... The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, a major literary achievement of Eighteenth Century, was written by the British historian, Edward Gibbon. ... Augustus (Latin: IMP•CAESAR•DIVI•F•AVGVSTVS;[1] September 23, 63 BC–August 19, AD 14), known as Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (English Octavian; Latin: C•IVLIVS•C•F•CAESAR•OCTAVIANVS) for the period of his life prior to 27 BC, was the first and among the most important of...


Tetrarchy

Diocletian's experiences during his first nine years of running around the empire putting out fires brought him to the conclusion that the empire was simply too big for a single Emperor to rule—that it was not feasible to address barbarian invasions along the Rhine and Egyptian problems at the same time, along with the internal problems the empire was experiencing. His radical solution was to split the Empire in two, drawing a line straight down the middle of the map with the axis just east of Rome into eastern and western halves. While this division did not last in the short term, it set the precedent for the permanent division of the empire after 395. // Barbarian is a perjorative term for an uncivilized, uncultured person, either in a general reference to a member of a nation or ethnos perceived as having an inferior level of civilization, or in an individual reference to a brutal, cruel, insensitive person whose behaviour is unacceptable in the purportedly civilized...


The question of imperial succession had never been solved in the Roman system; there was no clear principle of succession, which often led to civil wars. Earlier Emperors had preferred the system of adoption, under which they would adopt a son and heir. The military did not like the system of adoption and preferred biological succession, with the emperor's son being the rightful heir. The Senate believed they should have the right to elect a new emperor. Thus there were usually at least three, if not many more, rightful heirs of succession. List of civil wars List of divided nations List of fictional wars (including fictional civil wars) Wars of national liberation The Logic of Violence in Civil War What makes a civil war? The Wars of the Roses Information about the English civil war fought between 1455 and 1487. ... Adoption is the legal act of permanently placing a child with a parent or parents other than the birth parents. ... The Roman Senate (Latin: Senatus) was the main governing council of both the Roman Republic, which started in 509 BC, and the Roman Empire, which ended in the 6th century AD. The word Senatus is derived from the Latin word senex, meaning old man or elder. ...


In order to solve the problem of succession, and to answer the question of who would be Emperor of the newly divided East and West, Diocletian created what has become known as the system of "Tetrarchy", or "rule of four", whereby a senior emperor would rule in the East and another senior emperor would rule the West, and each would have a junior emperor. Among the many titles traditionally bestowed on Roman emperors, the most important was that of Augustus and therefore only the two senior emperors took this title, with the junior emperors receiving the lesser title of Caesar. Diocletian intended that when the senior emperor retired or died, the Caesar would take his place and choose a new junior emperor Caesar, thus solving the problem of succession. The Tetrarchs, a porphyry sculpture sacked from a Byzantine palace in 1204, Treasury of St. ... Augustus (plural augusti) is Latin for majestic or venerable. The feminine form is Augusta. ... Caesar (plural Caesars), Latin: Cæsar (plural Cæsares), is a title of imperial character. ...


By 292, Diocletian had the system in place and chose the Eastern Empire for himself and gave Maximian the Western Empire. The imperial power was now divided between two people. The two men established separate capitals, neither of which was at Rome. The ancient capital was too far removed from the places where the empire's fate was decided by force of arms. While improving the ability of the two emperors to rule the empire, the division of power further marginalized the Senate, which remained in Rome. In 293, Diocletian and Maximian each appointed a Caesar (Galerius and Constantius, respectively), formally adopting them as their heirs. However, these were not merely successors - each was given authority over roughly a quarter of the Empire. [edit] Events [edit] By Place [edit] Roman Empire Constantius Chlorus divorces Helena, mother of Constantine the Great (approximate date). ... Maximian Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius (c. ... Events March 1 - Diocletian and Maximian appoint Constantius Chlorus and Galerius as Caesars. ... Galerius Maximianus ( 250–5 May 311), formally Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus was Roman Emperor from 305 to 311. ... On the reverse of this argenteus struck in Antioch under Constantius Chlorus, the tetrarcs are sacrificing to celebrate a victory against the Sarmatians. ...


Considering that during the half-century preceding Diocletian's ascension the empire had been in a nearly constant state of civil war, it is remarkable that the Tetrarchy did not immediately fall apart due to the greed of any of the four emperors. However, the opportunistic nature of Roman imperial politics soon brought about the disintegration of the Tetrarchy and the reinstitution of monarchy. In 305, Diocletian retired and Maximian was persuaded to do the same. The two Caesars became the senior emperors as designed, but when it came time to choose new Caesars, the military and Senate intervened and brought forward their own candidates. In 306, Constantine started a civil war in the west, which he won in 312, and took the eastern half by 324, thus ruling as a united Empire until his death in 337. However, by 395 the division occurred again and the two halves would never be reunited. Bronze statue of Constantine I in York, England, near the spot where he was proclaimed Emperor in 306 For other uses, see Constantine I (disambiguation). ...


Roman Empire under Diocletian
Map of the Roman empire, c. 395, showing the dioceses and the praetorian prefectures of Gaul, Italy, Illyricum and Oriens, roughly analogous to the four Tetrarchs' zones of influence after Diocletian's reforms. However, in 395, the western part of the Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum was attached to the Praetorian prefecture of Italy. This map shows only eastern part of Illyricum, though in the time of Tetrachy the Illyricum was not divided.
Map of the Roman empire, c. 395, showing the dioceses and the praetorian prefectures of Gaul, Italy, Illyricum and Oriens, roughly analogous to the four Tetrarchs' zones of influence after Diocletian's reforms. However, in 395, the western part of the Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum was attached to the Praetorian prefecture of Italy. This map shows only eastern part of Illyricum, though in the time of Tetrachy the Illyricum was not divided.
Diocesis Territories
EAST
Oriens Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Cilicia
Pontus Cappadocia, Armenia Minor, Galatia, Bithynia
Asia (Asiana) Asia, Phrygia, Pisidia, Lycia, Lydia, Caria
Thrace Moesiae Moesia Inferior, Thrace
Moesia Moesia Superior, Dacia, Epirus, Macedonia, Thessaly,

Achaea, Dardania Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1899x1543, 683 KB) Summary Description  Roman Empire about 395, with labeled provinces Author/Source  William R. Shepherd, Historical Atlas (1911) via the Perry-Castañeda Library of the University of Texas Licensing  In the public domain as a work published in... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1899x1543, 683 KB) Summary Description  Roman Empire about 395, with labeled provinces Author/Source  William R. Shepherd, Historical Atlas (1911) via the Perry-Castañeda Library of the University of Texas Licensing  In the public domain as a work published in... Traditional rural Pontic house A man in traditional clothes from Trabzon, illustration Pontus is the name which was applied, in ancient times, to extensive tracts of country in the northeast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) bordering on the Euxine (Black Sea), which was often called simply Pontos (the main), by... Moesia is an ancient province situated in the areas of modern Serbia and Bulgaria. ...

WEST
Africa Africa Proconsularis, Byzacena, Tripolitana, Numidia, part of

Mauretania For other uses, see Africa (disambiguation). ... Africa Province, Roman Empire ... At the end of the third century A.D., the Emperor Diocletian divided the great Roman province of Africa Proconsularis into smaller provinces, including Byzacena, corresponding now to the modern Sahel, region of Tunisia. ... Tripolitania or Tripolitana is a historic region of western Libya, centered on the coastal city of Tripoli. ... Numidia was an ancient African Berber kingdom and later a Roman province on the northern coast of Africa between the province of Africa (where Tunisia is now) and the province of Mauretania (which is now the western part of Algerias coastal area). ...

Hispania Mauretania Tingitana, Baetica, Lusitania,

Tarraconensis Motto: (Latin: Further Beyond) Anthem:  1 (Spanish: Royal March) Capital (largest city) Madrid Spanish. ... In the first century A.D., the Emperor Claudius divided the Roman province of Mauretania into Mauretania Caesariensis and Mauretania Tingitana. ...

Prov. Viennensis Narbonensis, Aquitania, Viennensis, Alpes

Maritimae

Gallia Lugdunensis, Germania Superior, Germania

Inferior, Belgica Motto: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Anthem: La Marseillaise Capital (largest city) Paris French Government Unitary republic  - President Jacques Chirac  - Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin Formation    - French State 843 (Treaty of Verdun)   - Current constitution 1958 (5th Republic)  Accession to EU March 25, 1957 Area  - Total 1 674,843 km...

Britannia Britannia, Caesariensis
Italia annonaria
capital Mediolanum
Venetia et Histria, Aemilia et Liguria, Flaminia et Picenum, Raetia, Alpes Cottiae
Italia suburbicaria
capital Rome
Tuscia et Umbria, Valeria, Campania et Samnium, Apulia et Calabria, Sicilia, Sardinia et Corsica
Pannonia Pannonia Inferior, Pannonia Superior, Noricum,

Dalmatia Britannia on a 2005 £2 coin. ... A portion of the Tabula Peutingeriana, a Roman map of the 4th century, depicting the southern part of Italia. ... Milan (Italian: Milano; Milanese: Milán (listen)) is the main city of northern Italy, located in the plains of Lombardy. ... A portion of the Tabula Peutingeriana, a Roman map of the 4th century, depicting the southern part of Italia. ... Nickname: The Eternal City Motto: SPQR: Senatus PopulusQue Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 8th century BC Mayor Walter Veltroni Area    - City 1,285 km²  (496. ... Position of the Roman province of Pannonia Pannonia is an ancient country bounded north and east by the Danube, conterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia. ... Map of Dalmatia, in present day Croatia highlighted Dalmatia (Croatian: Dalmacija, Italian: Dalmazia) is a region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, in modern Croatia, spreading between the island of Rab in the northwest and the Gulf of Kotor (Boka Kotorska) in the southeast. ...

Economic reforms

When Diocletian ascended to the throne, the Roman economy was on the verge of dissolution. Five decades of civil war, conflict with Sassanid Persia, politically motivated confiscations of property, and looting of the citizenry by the army had caused widespread impoverishment. [4] Most of the existing taxes, which were traditionally low, already went to pay the army, either in the form of regular pay or generous bonuses meant to ensure loyalty. This left little or no fiscal breathing room. Imperial budgets were crude, when they existed at all, and there were few opportunities to cancel other spending in order to meet sudden expenses. The quickest and easiest solution to this problem was to debase the silver coinage, to "print more money," as it were. [5] This resulted in extreme hyperinflation, mass distrust of imperial coinage, and localized regression to a barter economy in some areas. Despite these developments, quality of life for many residents of the empire didn't change significantly. Regions that were free from conflict fared better, naturally, than those which frequently saw the armies march through. Farmers and landlords who had direct access to the empire's agricultural base were not seriously affected by the currency fluctuations.[6] The Sassanid Empire or Sassanian Empire (Persian: Sasanian) is the name used for the fourth Iranian dynasty, and the second Persian Empire (226 - 651). ... Certain figures in this article use scientific notation for readability. ...


In 290, Diocletian began a comprehensive reform of the coinage system. In 294, he introduced the first pure silver antoninianus in decades. The follis, a large bronze coin with added silver to provide intrinsic value, was issued for the first time. A new, heavier aureus and several smaller fractions were also introduced. Further, in 301, Diocletian attempted to curb the rampant inflation with his Edict on Maximum Prices. This edict fixed prices for over a thousand goods, fixed wages, and threatened the death penalty to merchants who overcharged. Instead of curbing inflation, the edict's price controls drove goods onto the black market and created shortages. In some areas, the edict was simply ignored, and it was soon withdrawn in failure. Row 1: Elagabalus (silver 218-222AD), Trajan Decius (silver 249-251AD), Gallienus (billon 253-268AD Asian mint) Row 2: Gallienus (copper 253-268AD), Aurelian (silvered 270-275AD), barbarous radiate (copper), barbarous radiate (copper) The antoninianus was a coin used during the Roman Empire that was valued at 2 denarii. ... A follis of Galerius as caesar The follis (plural folles) was a large bronze coin introduced in about 294 with the coinage reform of Diocletian. ... Aureus minted in 193 by Septimius Severus to celebrate XIIII Gemina Martia Victrix, the legion that proclamed him emperor. ... The Edict on Maximum Prices (also known as the Edict on Prices or the Edict of Diocletian; in Latin Edictum De Pretiis Rerum Venalium) was issued in 301 by Roman Emperor Diocletian. ... Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the State as punishment for crimes known as capital crimes or capital offenses. ...


Diocletian increased tax collection and, correspondingly, the size of the Roman civil services. An extensive new tax system based on "heads" (capita) and land (iugatio) was linked to a regular, five-year census conducted beginning in 287. Skilled laborers, local bureaucrats and tenant farmers (coloni) were made hereditary by law in an effort to stablize both the tax base and the apparatus for tax collection. The position of decurion, very roughly analogous to a mayor, had been an honor sought by wealthy aristocrats during the Principate. While tax collection had always been part of the job description, under Diocletian, its requirements became much more rigorous. Decurions were responsible for producing the taxes dictated by the census data for their area (and for making up the shortfall when they failed to collect from the populace). Whatever benefits the posting may have afforded in earlier times were quickly outweighed by its financial burdens, and many decurions abandoned their posts and fled. If caught, the penalties for this ranged from forfeiture of property to execution. Nor was flight from taxation restricted to the bureaucracy. Lactantius, a contemporary Christian chronicler who was understandably hostile to Diocletian, wrote that because of the new obligations, "There began to be fewer men who paid taxes than there were who received wages; so that the means of the husbandmen being exhausted by enormous impositions, the farms were abandoned, cultivated grounds became woodland, and universal dismay prevailed."[7] While Lactantius's description undoubtedly contains some exaggeration, it seems equally certain that the Roman populace, long accustomed to irregular and ineffective tax collection, went through an uncomfortable period of adjustment to Diocletian's reforms. In classical Greece Colonus was a demus about a mile to the northwest of Athens, near Platos Academy. ... A decurion was a member of a city council in the Roman Empire. ... Lucius Caelius (or Caecilius?) Firmianus Lactantius was an early Christian author who wrote in Latin (c. ... A Christian is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, referred to as Christ. ...


Military reforms

Diocletian expanded the army from around 400,000 to over 450,000: About two-thirds of the army's strength was frontier forces (limitanei or ripenses); The remainder were in the mobile units that the Augusti and Caesares kept centrally located in their territories (comitatenses). Since they were closer to the centers of power, and therefore more politically dangerous, the mobile troops were better paid than the frontier forces. This proved a cause for resentment and, later on, trouble. Limitanei were border guards in the armies of the late Roman Empire. ... Comitatenses is the Latin plural of comitatensis, originally the adjective derived from comitatus (company, party, suite; in this military context it came to the novel meaning of the field army), itself rooting in Comes (companion, but hence specific historical meanings, military and civilian). ...


The experience with the vexillatio system led Diocletian to reduce the legions of the field forces to about 1,000 men each, to assure greater strategic and tactical flexibility without the need for detachments. The legions of the frontier were kept at full strength (4,000-6,000 men). Auxiliary units in both mobile and frontier forces were usually 1,000 men each. A Vexillatio was a detachment of a Roman legion usually consisting of about 1000 infantry and/or 500 cavalry. ... A modern reconstruction of a Roman centurion around 70 A modern reconstruction of a Roman miles, (10-240) The Roman legion (from Latin , from lego, legere, legi, lectus — to collect) is a term that can apply both as a transliteration of legio (conscription or army) to the entire Roman army... A strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. ... Military tactics (Greek: Taktikē, the art of organizing an army) is the collective name for methods of engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. ...


Also, under Diocletian the post of Praetorian prefect was greatly reduced in power. Instead, each Augustus and Caesar had two major military commanders, a Magister militum (commander of the infantry) and a Magister Equitum (commander of the cavalry). This not only divided military responsibilities, thus reducing political dangers, but it also acknowledged the increased importance of cavalry in the Roman army. Praetorian prefect (Latin Praefectus praetorio) was the constant title of a high office in the Roman state that changed fundamentally in nature. ... Magister militum (Latin for Master of the Soldiers) was a top-level command used in the later Roman Empire, dating from the reign of Constantine. ... The Master of the Horse was (and in some cases, is) a historical position of varying importance in several European nations. ... Soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback in combat are commonly known as cavalry (from French cavalerie). ... The Roman army is the set of land-based military forces employed by the Roman Kingdom, Roman republic and later Roman empire as part of the Roman military. ...


Many of the military reforms started by Diocletian were continued by his successors and largely completed under Constantine, who abolished the Praetorian Guard, replacing it with a smaller, more controllable personal bodyguard (the Scholae) of about 4,000 men. Scholae was a Latin word used by the Romans to classify their Imperial Guards. ...


Persecution of Christians

In 303, the last and greatest persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire began. First Christians in Kiev by Vasily Perov; Christians worshipping secretly in fear of persecution Many Christians have experienced persecution from both non-Christians and from other Christians during the history of Christianity. ...


In the earlier part of Diocletian's reign, Galerius had been the instigator of such persecution. However, later Diocletian embraced the policy of persecution with unequivocal zeal, issuing his first "Edict against the Christians" (February 24, 303). First Christian soldiers had to leave the army, later the Church's property was confiscated and Christian books were destroyed. After two fires in Diocletian's palace, he took harder measures against Christians: they had either to apostatize or they were sentenced to death. This wave of persecution lasted intermittently until 313, with the issue of the Edict of Milan by Constantine I and Licinius. Galerius Maximianus ( 250–5 May 311), formally Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus was Roman Emperor from 305 to 311. ... February 24 is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Apostasy (from Greek αποστασία, a defection or revolt from a military commander, from απο, apo, away, apart, στασις, stasis, standing) is a term generally employed to describe the formal renunciation of ones religion, especially if the motive is deemed unworthy. ... February - Wtf is up mah cracka??. Constantine issues the Edict of Milan, ending all persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. ... The Edict of Milan (AD 313) declared that the Roman Empire would be neutral with regard to religious worship, officially ending all government-sanctioned persecution, especially of Christianity. ... Bronze statue of Constantine I in York, England, near the spot where he was proclaimed Emperor in 306 For other uses, see Constantine I (disambiguation). ... As of Licinius Aureus of Licinius, celebrating his tenth year of reign and the fifth year of his son Licinius (on the obverse). ...


The persecution made such an impression on Christians that the Alexandrian church used the start of Diocletian's reign (284) as the epoch for their Era of Martyrs. Among the recorded martyrs, there are Pope Marcellinus, Philomena, Sebastian, Afra, Lucy, Erasmus of Formiae, Florian, George, Agnes, Cessianus, Saint Dujam (bishop of Salona) and others ending with Peter of Alexandria (311). Another effect of the persecution was the escape of one Marinus the Dalmatian to Mount Titano, forming what eventually became the Republic of San Marino. In chronology, an epoch is an instant chosen as the origin of a particular time scale. ... The anno Diocletiani era or the Diocletian era or the Era of Martyrs is a method of numbering years used by Alexandrian Christians during the fourth and fifth centuries. ... Saint Marcellinus, Pope, according to the Liberian Catalogue, became bishop of Rome on June 30, 296; his predecessor was Pope Caius. ... An antique Holy Card of Saint Philomena. ... This article is about St. ... Saint Afra (died 304) was a Christian martyr. ... Saint Lucy of Syracuse, also known as Saint Lucia, Santa Lucia, or Saint Lukia, (traditional dates 283-304) was a rich young Christian martyr who is venerated as a Saint by Catholic and Orthodox Christians. ... The martyrdom of St. ... Saint Florian, 1473 painting by Francesco del Cossa. ... Saint-George is a municipality with 695 inhabitants (as of 2003) in the district of Aubonne in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. ... St. ... Saint Cessianus was a Roman Catholic Saint and Martyr. ... This article contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... Peter of Alexandria was a Patriarch of Alexandria (300 - 311). ... San Marino, the worlds third-smallest state, also claims to be the worlds oldest republic. ...


Retirement and death

Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, around which the Croatian city of Split emerged
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Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, around which the Croatian city of Split emerged

In 305, at the age of 59, after almost dying from a sickness, Diocletian retired to his palace in Dalmatia, near the administrative center of Salona on the Adriatic Sea, taking up his beloved hobby of growing cabbages. When solicited at a later date to resume the honours which he had voluntarily resigned, his reply was, "If only you could see the vegetables planted by my hands at Salona, you would then never think of urging such an attempt". He was the first Roman Emperor to voluntarily remove himself from office; all previous holders of the title either died of natural causes or were removed by force. According to Edward Gibbon, a report of at least doubtful nature has survived until the present that Diocletian ended up committing suicide. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1600x985, 503 KB) Bird eye of a restitution of Diocletians palace in Split/Spalato by the architect E. Hébrard. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1600x985, 503 KB) Bird eye of a restitution of Diocletians palace in Split/Spalato by the architect E. Hébrard. ... Events May 1 - Diocletian and Maximian, emperors of Rome, retire from office. ... Map of Dalmatia, in present day Croatia highlighted Dalmatia (Croatian: Dalmacija, Italian: Dalmazia) is a region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, in modern Croatia, spreading between the island of Rab in the northwest and the Gulf of Kotor (Boka Kotorska) in the southeast. ... This article contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... A satellite image of the Adriatic Sea. ... Coronary artery bypass surgery is sometimes pronounced Cabbage(s). See also Cabbage car. ...


Diocletian's Palace later became the seed of modern Split, Croatia. The perystile viewving towards the entrance of Emperors aquarters Diocletians Palace is a building in Split, Croatia that was built by the emperor Diocletian the 3rd century AD. At the time it was built, there was no such city of Split, and the original town was built around... Look up Split in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Legacy

Overall Diocletian's reforms — in particular those of the military, civil administration, and Roman bureaucracy — were sound and helped to extend the life of the empire for centuries longer. A.H.M. Jones observes that "It is perhaps Diocletian's greatest achievement that he reigned twenty-one years and then abdicated voluntarily, and spent the remaining years of his life in peaceful retirement".[8] However, his Tetrarchy would prove a formula for civil war, as he witnessed before his death. Once he retired, the Tetrarch system collapsed upon itself, with a new, single strong ruler eventually emerging triumphant. The division of the empire into western and eastern halves, eventually led to a permanent split, with the eastern half becoming the Byzantine Empire. Although the western empire would last only another couple of centuries, the Byzantine Empire, partly through Diocletian's own reforms, would continue in various forms for another one-thousand years. Arnold Hugh Martin (A.H.M.) Jones (1904-1970) was a prominent 20th century historian of classical antiquity, particularly of the later Roman Empire. ... Abdication (from the Latin abdicatio disowning, renouncing, from ab, from, and dicare, to declare, to proclaim as not belonging to one), the act whereby a person in office renounces and gives up the same before the expiry of the time for which it is held. ... Retirement is the status of a worker who has stopped working. ...


Although his reign and achievements have been largely overshadowed by Constantine's, they mark an important turning point in Roman history. Diocletian remains one of the more enigmatic and contradictory personalities of history: although he stripped away much of what had remained of the Republic, yet would end up in later life acting much as Cincinnatus had, in giving up power for farming. With one hand he returns the fasces, symbol of power as appointed dictator of Rome. ...


Diocletian in the arts

  • Diocletian is the main character of the novel Numerius, written by V. Martucci (2005)
  • Aranykoporsó ("Golden casket"), the novel of Ferenc Móra (the Hungarian writer of the early 20th century) is about the last years of Diocletian's reign.

Ferenc Móra (Kiskunfélegyháza, 19 July 1879 – Szeged, 8 February 1934) was a Hungarian (Magyar) novelist, journalist, and museologist. ...

Notes

  1. ^ The full name Diocletian is derived from the Greek díos kletos ("sky-called").
  2. ^ He was the first emperor (after Philip the Arab) with a certifiably Greek full name: Dioclês. This is a full name similar in form to Heracles (Hêras kléos, the "fame/glory of Hera"), with the stem for Zeus substituted for the stem for "Hera" (Diós kléos, the "fame/glory of Zeus"). This was Latinized to Diocletianus when Diocles became emperor.
  3. ^ Historia Augusta retells a legend about this killing, allegedly reported by Diocletian to the grand-father of the fictious author of this book, Flavius Vopiscus: "When Diocletian," he said, "while still serving in a minor post, was stopping at a certain tavern in the land of the Tungri in Gaul, and was making up his daily reckoning with a woman, who was a Druidess, she said to him, 'Diocletian, you are far too greedy and far too stingy,' to which Diocletian replied, it is said, not in earnest, but only in jest, 'I shall be generous enough when I become emperor.' At this the Druidess said, so he related, 'Do not jest, Diocletian, for you will become emperor when you have slain a boar". Diocles would have started hunting dozens of boars, to no effect. When the episode of the discovery of Numerian corpse happened, Diocletian was compelled to kill Aper (according to the often unreliable Historia Augusta) to fulfill the profecy, since in Latin language "aper" stands for "boar". (Carus et Carinus et Numerianus xiv-xv, [1]).
  4. ^ Lewis, Naphtali, Meyer Reinhold (1990). Roman Civilization: Volume 2, The Roman Empire. Columbia University Press, 428. ISBN 0-231-07133-7.
  5. ^ Bowman, Alan K., Peter Garnsey, Averil Cameron (2005). The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume XII: The Crisis of Empire. Cambridge University Press, 59. ISBN 0-521-30199-8.
  6. ^ Bowman, Alan K., Peter Garnsey, Averil Cameron (2005). The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume XII: The Crisis of Empire. Cambridge University Press, 63. ISBN 0-521-30199-8.
  7. ^ Lactantius. Of the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died. Retrieved on 2006-10-21.
  8. ^ Jones, A.H.M., The Later Roman Empire, 284-602: A Social, Economic and Administrative Survey, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, 1986, p. 40.

This coin struck under Philip to celebrate Saeculum Novum bears, on the reverse, a temple devoted to Roma goddess. ... Hercules, a Roman bronze (Louvre Museum) For other uses, see Heracles (disambiguation). ... In the Olympian pantheon of classical Greek Mythology, Hera (IPA pronunciation: ; Greek or ) was the wife and older sister of Zeus. ... The Statue of Zeus at Olympia Phidias created the 12-m (40-ft) tall statue of Zeus at Olympia about 435 BC. The statue was perhaps the most famous sculpture in Ancient Greece, imagined here in a 16th century engraving In Greek mythology, Zeus (in Greek: nominative: Ζεύς Zeús, genitive... The Augustan History (Lat. ... The Augustan History (Lat. ... The Tungri were a tribe of ancient Gaul who occupied the lands of the northern Arduenna Silva (Ardennes), along the lower valley of the Mosa (Meuse). ... Two druids, from an 1845 publication, based on a bas-relief found at Autun, France. ... Latin was the language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion, because: If you disagree with its speedy deletion, please explain why on its talk page or at Wikipedia:Speedy deletions. ... The headquarters of the Cambridge University Press, in Trumpington Street, Cambridge. ... The headquarters of the Cambridge University Press, in Trumpington Street, Cambridge. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 21 is the 294th day of the year (295th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 71 days remaining. ...

Further reading

  • Roger Rees, Diocletian and the Tetrarchy, Edinburgh University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-7486-1661-6
  • Pat Southern, The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine, Routledge, 2001. ISBN 0-415-23944-3
  • Michael Rostovtzeff: The social and economic history of the Roman Empire. Oxford 1966

Mikhail Ivanovich Rostovtzeff, or Rostovtsev (October 29, 1870-October 20, 1952) was one of the 20th centurys foremost authorities on ancient Greek and Roman history. ...

External links

  •  Media on Diocletian in the Wikicommons.
  • Diocletian by Ralph W. Mathisen, University of South Carolina.
  • Diocletian from the Catholic Encyclopedia.
  • 12 Byzantine Rulers, by Lars Brownworth. 15 minute audio lecture on Diocletian.
  • Diocletian Palace in Split
  • Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalato in Dalmatia, by Adam, Robert from the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center.
Preceded by:
Numerian and Carinus
Roman Emperor
284–305
with Maximian (286-305)
Succeeded by:
Constantius Chlorus
and Galerius

  Results from FactBites:
 
Diocletian - LoveToKnow 1911 (582 words)
DIOCLETIAN (GAIUS AURELIUS VALERIUS DIOCLETIANUS) (A.D. 245-313), Roman emperor 284-305, is said to have been born at Dioclea, near Salona, in Dalmatia.
At the age of fifty-nine, exhausted with labour, Diocletian abdicated his sovereignty on the 1st of May 305, and retired to Salona, where he died eight years afterwards (others give 316 as the year of his death).
Under Diocletian the senate became a political nonentity, the last traces of republican institutions disappeared, and were replaced by an absolute monarchy approaching to despotism.
Roman Emperors - DIR Diocletian (1592 words)
Diocletian found favor under the new emperor, and was promoted to Count of the Domestics, the commander of the cavalry arm of the imperial bodyguard.
Diocletian was identified with Jupiter and Maximianus with Hercules.
In 286, Diocletian promoted Maximianus to the rank of Augustus, "Senior Emperor," and in 293 he appointed two new Caesars, Constantius (the father of Constantine I), who was given Gaul and Britain in the west, and Galerius, who was assigned the Balkans in the east.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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