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But then it was already a long established practice that Rome itself was only a ceremonial capital, as the actual seat of the Imperial administration was determined by the needs of defense. A deputation from the Roman Senate met with the emperors, renewing its infrequent contact with the Imperial office. Many cities east of the Tigris came under Roman control, including Tigranokert, Saird, Martyropolis, Balalesa, Moxos, Daudia, and Arzan – though under what status is unclear. The following spring, as Maximian prepared a fleet for an expedition against Carausius, Diocletian returned from the East to meet Maximian. The relationship between Diocletian and Maximian was quickly couched in religious terms. His co-ruler had to be from outside his family, raising the question of trust. Augustus, the first Emperor, had nominally shared power with his colleagues, and more formal offices of Co-Emperor had existed from Marcus Aurelius on. Most of the evidence for Carausius' reign comes from his coinage, which was of generally fine quality. Conflict boiled in every province, from Gaul to Syria, Egypt to the lower Danube. Diocletian reigned in the Eastern Empire, and Maximian reigned in the Western Empire. As such, he took part in Carus' subsequent Persian campaign. Some historians state that Diocletian adopted Maximian as his filius Augusti, his "Augustan son", upon his appointment to the throne, following the precedent of some previous Emperors. The panegyrist who refers to the loss suggests that its cause was a storm, but this might simply have been an attempt to conceal an embarrassing military defeat. During the second encounter, Roman forces seized Narseh's camp, his treasury, his harem, and his wife. The Tetrarchic Emperors were more or less sovereign in their own lands, and they travelled with their own imperial courts, administrators, secretaries, and armies. Following Diocletian's victory, both the western and the eastern armies acclaimed him augustus. This arrangement is called the tetrarchy, from a Greek term meaning "rulership by four". Julianus' forces were weak, however, and were handily dispersed when Carinus' armies moved from Britain to northern Italy.

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He was willing to break with a government policy of inaction on the issue. They opened its curtains and inside they found Numerian dead. Narseh sent an ambassador to Galerius to plead for the return of his wives and children in the course of the war, but Galerius dismissed him. Soon after Aper's death, Diocles changed his name to the more Latinate "Diocletianus", in full Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus. Diocletian broke off his tour of the Eastern provinces soon thereafter. According to the Historia Augusta, he quoted from Virgil while doing so. His rule was unpopular, and it was later alleged that he had mistreated the Senate and seduced his officers' wives. Diocletian replaced the prefect of Rome with his consular colleague Bassus. penpals for kids to write to.

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The oracle responded that the impious on Earth hindered Apollo's ability to provide advice. On his return to the East, Diocletian managed what was probably another rapid campaign against the resurgent Sarmatians. Narseh retreated to Armenia to fight Galerius' force, to Narseh's disadvantage; the rugged Armenian terrain was favorable to Roman infantry, but not to Sassanid cavalry. Each emperor burned crops and food supplies as he went, destroying the Germans' means of sustenance. It was all good publicity for Diocletian, and it aided in his portrayal of Carinus as a cruel and oppressive tyrant. The western portion of Armenia was incorporated into the empire and made a province. Within twenty-five years of the persecution's inauguration, the Christian Emperor Constantine would rule the empire alone. Much of Egypt, including Alexandria, recognized his rule. Maximian's son Maxentius and Constantius' son Constantine would then become Caesars. When the Battle of the Margus began, Carinus' prefect Aristobulus also defected. Bahram II's gifts were widely recognized as symbolic of a victory in the ongoing conflict with Persia, and Diocletian was hailed as the "founder of eternal peace". He raised his sword to the light of the sun and swore an oath disclaiming responsibility for Numerian's death. The Sarmatians requested that Diocletian either help them recover their lost lands or grant them pasturage rights within the empire. After his acclamation, Maximian was dispatched to fight the rebel Bagaudae, insurgent peasants of Gaul. In Nubia, he made peace with the Nobatae and Blemmyes tribes. With these territories, Rome would have an advance station north of Ctesiphon, and would be able to slow any future advance of Persian forces through the region. Maximian issued a death-warrant for his larcenous subordinate.

These regions included the passage of the Tigris through the Anti-Taurus range; the Bitlis pass, the quickest southerly route into Persian Armenia; and access to the Tur Abdin plateau. Maximian's campaigns were not proceeding as smoothly. His parents gave him the Greek name Diocles, or possibly Diocles Valerius. Diocletian exacted an oath of allegiance from the defeated army and departed for Italy. The assassinations of Aurelian and Probus demonstrated that sole rulership was dangerous to the stability of the empire. The other figures who retained their offices might have also betrayed Carinus. Diocletian led the subsequent negotiations and achieved a lasting and favourable peace. The edict ordered the destruction of Christian scriptures and places of worship across the empire, and prohibited Christians from assembling for worship. Diocles' parents were of low status, and writers critical of him claimed that his father was a scribe or a freedman of the senator Anullinus, or even that Diocles was a freedman himself. It has even been suggested that Maximian usurped the title and was only later recognized by Diocletian in hopes of avoiding civil war. Following some public disputes with Manicheans, Diocletian ordered that the leading followers of Mani be burnt alive along with their scriptures. Although further persecutionary edicts followed, compelling the arrest of the Christian clergy and universal acts of sacrifice, the persecutionary edicts were ultimately unsuccessful; most Christians escaped punishment, and pagans too were generally unsympathetic to the persecution. They were joined by blood and marriage; Diocletian and Maximian now styled themselves as brothers. The army unanimously saluted Diocles as their new augustus, and he accepted the purple imperial vestments.

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Maximian's consistent loyalty to Diocletian proved an important component of the tetrarchy's early successes. Diocletian travelled south along the Nile the following summer, where he visited Oxyrhynchus and Elephantine. The Sassanid king Bahram II could not field an army against them as he was still struggling to establish his authority. Galerius was initially assigned Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and responsibility for the eastern borderlands. This suggestion is unpopular, as it is clear that Diocletian meant for Maximian to act with a certain amount of independence. Most recently, Emperor Carus and his sons had ruled together, albeit unsuccessfully. Born to a family of low status in Dalmatia, Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become Roman cavalry commander to the Emperor Carus. His appointment is unusual in that it was impossible for Diocletian to have been present to witness the event. There may have been a revolt in the eastern provinces at this time, as he brought settlers from Asia to populate emptied farmlands in Thrace. Galerius left the city for Rome, declaring Nicomedia unsafe. He eventually made his way to northern Italy and made an imperial government, but it is not known whether he visited the city of Rome at this time. In the East, Diocletian engaged in diplomacy with desert tribes in the regions between Rome and Persia. Under the terms of the peace treaty Rome's borders moved north to Philae and the two tribes received an annual gold stipend. Under this 'tetrarchy', or "rule of four", each emperor would rule over a quarter-division of the empire. The martyrs' sufferings strengthened the resolve of their fellow Christians. The two men added territory to the empire and allowed Maximian to continue preparations against Carausius without further disturbance. Diocletian's reforms in the region, combined with those of Septimius Severus, brought Egyptian administrative practices much closer to Roman standards. Most officials who had served under Carinus, however, retained their offices under Diocletian. Diocletian, in Jovian style, would take on the dominating roles of planning and commanding; Maximian, in Herculian mode, would act as Jupiter's heroic subordinate. Further information: Diocletianic Persecution At the conclusion of the Peace of Nisibis, Diocletian and Galerius returned to Syrian Antioch. It may be posited, however, that Diocletian felt the need to bind Maximian closer to him, by making him his empowered associate, in order to avoid the possibility of having him striking some sort of deal with Carausius. Rome secured a wide zone of cultural influence, which led to a wide diffusion of Syriac Christianity from a center at Nisibis in later decades, and the eventual Christianization of Armenia. At the conclusion of the peace, Tiridates regained both his throne and the entirety of his ancestral claim. The temporary apostasy of some Christians, and the surrendering of scriptures, during the persecution played a major role in the subsequent Donatist controversy. Diocletian was demonized by his Christian successors: Lactantius intimated that Diocletian's ascendancy heralded the apocalypse, and in Serbian mythology, Diocletian is remembered as Dukljan, the adversary of God. In an act of denoted by the epitomator Aurelius Victor as unusual, Diocletian did not kill or depose Carinus' traitorous praetorian prefect and consul Ti. Claudius Aurelius Aristobulus, but confirmed him in both roles. Aurelius Julianus, Carinus' corrector Venetiae, took control of northern Italy and Pannonia after Diocletian's accession. Under Constantine's rule, Christianity would become the empire's preferred religion. Diocletian then returned to Sirmium, where he would remain for the following winter and spring. Constantius and Maximian did not apply the later persecutionary edicts, and left the Christians of the West unharmed. Diocletian believed that Romanus of Caesarea was arrogant, and he left the city for Nicomedia in the winter, accompanied by Galerius. The next day, Diocletian's first "Edict against the Christians" was published. It was too much for one person to control, and Diocletian needed a lieutenant. It is possible that Flavius Constantius, the governor of Dalmatia and Diocletian's associate in the household guard, had already defected to Diocletian in the early spring. Building on third-century trends towards absolutism, he styled himself an autocrat, elevating himself above the empire's masses with imposing forms of court ceremonies and architecture. The nomadic pressures of the European Plain remained and could not be solved by a single war; soon the Sarmatians would have to be fought again. He was skilled in areas of government where Diocletian presumably had no experience. Diocletian's elevation of Bassus as consul symbolized his rejection of Carinus' government in Rome, his refusal to accept second-tier status to any other emperor, and his willingness to continue the long-standing collaboration between the empire's senatorial and military aristocracies. Roman sources insist that the act was entirely voluntary. Diocletian refused and fought a battle with them, but was unable to secure a complete victory. In a public ceremony at Antioch, the official version of events was clear: Galerius was responsible for the defeat; Diocletian was not. The meeting was undertaken with a sense of solemn pageantry. The emperors spent most of their time in public appearances. Diocletian invaded Germania through Raetia while Maximian progressed from Mainz. An investigation was commissioned, but no responsible party was found. The new forts became part of a new defensive line called the Ripa Sarmatica. Although effective while he ruled, Diocletian's tetrarchic system collapsed after his abdication under the competing dynastic claims of Maxentius and Constantine, sons of Maximian and Constantius respectively. It has been surmised that the ceremonies were arranged to demonstrate Diocletian's continuing support for his faltering colleague. The defense came at a heavy cost, but was a significant achievement in an area difficult to defend. In the course of the battle, Carinus was killed by his own men. Diocletian argued that forbidding Christians from the bureaucracy and military would be sufficient to appease the gods, but Galerius pushed for extermination. He demanded that its scriptures be burned, and seized its precious stores for the treasury. The title was also claimed by Carus' other surviving son, Carinus, but Diocletian defeated him in the Battle of the Margus. Diocletian's attempts to bring the Egyptian tax system in line with Imperial standards stirred discontent, and a revolt swept the region after Galerius' departure. The haruspices were unable to read the entrails of the sacrificed animals and blamed Christians in the Imperial household. Before the end of February, a fire destroyed part of the Imperial palace. He established new administrative centres in Nicomedia, Mediolanum, Sirmium, and Trier, closer to the empire's frontiers than the traditional capital at Rome. By the end of his reign, Diocletian had secured the entire length of the Danube, provided it with forts, bridgeheads, highways, and walled towns, and sent fifteen or more legions to patrol the region; an inscription at Sexaginta Prista on the Lower Danube extolled restored tranquilitas to the region. Executions followed anyway, and the palace eunuchs Dorotheus and Gorgonius were executed. He ordered that the deacon Romanus of Caesarea have his tongue removed for defying the order of the courts and interrupting official sacrifices. The often-unreliable states that he served in Gaul, but this account is not corroborated by other sources and is ignored by modern historians of the period. Numerianus' generals and tribunes called a council for the succession, and chose Diocles as Emperor, in spite of Aper's attempts to garner support. All Manichean property was to be seized and deposited in the imperial treasury.

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After his accession, Diocletian and Lucius Caesonius Bassus were named as consuls and assumed the in place of Carinus and Numerianus. As leader of the united East, Diocletian was clearly the greater threat. As Carausius was allied to the Franks, Maximian's campaigns could be seen as an effort to deny the separatist emperor in Britain a basis of support on the mainland. Manichaeanism was also supported by Persia at the time, compounding religious dissent with international politics. In preparation for their future roles, Constantine and Maxentius were taken to Diocletian's court in Nicomedia. Both Eutropius and Aurelius Victor describe Numerian's death as an assassination. The Sarmatians' defeat kept them from the Danube provinces for a long time. Despite having the stronger, more powerful army, Carinus held the weaker position

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