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Diocletian. Reorganization of the empire of Diocletian

Biography of Diocletian

Full name:Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus
Date of birth:22 December 242 AD
Death day:305 AD
The thread of life:63 years old
Place of birth:Salona, Croatia
Father's name:Anullinus
Mother's name:Valeria
Spouse:Prisca, Alexandra
Children:Valeria II
Physical appearance:average height, dark blonde hair, attractive features
Summary of life:Diocletian (284/285-305) with Emperor Diocletian, a new period in the history of the Roman Empire begins. The political system of the principality, inaugurated by August, became dominated. Diocletian shared the office of emperor with Maximian, calling him first "Caesar" on 1 March 286, then "August" on 19 September 286.
Life lessons:The lesson Diocletian learned is that one man can never win. Diocletian, kept the initiative and took over the East; Maximian got the West. The Empire was considered unitary; laws were passed in the names of both Augustus.
Life accomplishments:Diocletian, brought stability and introduced reforms in 284 that would prolong the survival of the Roman Empire for a while longer.
Death cause:Normal Causes- His Illness

Key Verse related to Diocletian

In 302, the Roman emperor Diocletian commanded:” Therefore, there should be cheapness,” declaring „Unprincipled greed appears wherever our armies…march…Our law shall fix a measure and a limit to this greed.” So the predictable results of Diocletian’s food price controls were black markets, hunger, and food confiscation by his soldiers.

Despite the disastrous history of price controls, politicians never resist tampering with prices that are not a flattering observation of their learning abilities.”

Walter E. Wiliams


Primary Takeaways

  • He is called emperor, a position in which he showed his intelligence, And also brought the empire out of a great collapse and succeeded in passing over the crisis of the third century.
  • To overcome all the revolts within the empire, Diocletian decided to divide the kingdom into four large territories, which were due to be very beneficial for it. In the final, he could celebrate 20 years of rule.
  • Emperor Diocletian proclaims four edicts against Christianity and restores the old cults, finally triggering the most significant persecution in history.


In the desire to install a new constitutional system, Diocletian and Maximian both abdicate on the same day (May 1, 305). They are leaving space for another tetrarchy and returning to their particular personalities. 

If we look at the situation, Diocletian was lenient with Christians at the beginning of his reign. Although confused, Diocletian sought an answer from the Oracle of Apollo, where he found guidance and saw the answer as support for Galerius’ idea.

All this situation made Diocletian believe that his desire for an activist government and his attempt to restore the greatness of the Roman Empire’s past would have beneficial consequences on all fronts, so on February 24, 303,  he began the persecution of Diocletian. 


  • Rees, R. (2004). Diocletian and the Tetrarchy. In Diocletian and the Tetrarchy. Edinburgh University Press.
  • Williams, S. (1996). The Roman Recovery. Routledge.
  • Barnes, T. D. (2013). The new empire of Constantine. In The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine. Harvard University Press.
  • Wallace, S. L. (2015). Taxation in Egypt from Augustus to Diocletian (Vol. 2382). Princeton University Press.
  • Crook, J. A. (1955). Consilium principis: imperial councils and counselors from Augustus. CUP Archive.