Diocletian

Numerian 283 – 284 A.D.

Son of Carus and brother of Carinus, Numerian's brief stint as emperor started when he along with his father set out for war against the Sassanians in Persia (Iran). Under mysterious circumstances Carus was incinerated in his tent just prior to the military encounter of the two armies. The official explanation was that the tent had been stricken by lightning but this has been interpreted as much too convenient. As the battle was called off and the army was returning Numerian, too, was found dead in his quarters. This time a hasty investigation was started and the Praetorian Prefect, a certain Aper,...

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Maximianus 286 – 305 & 306 – 308 & 310 A.D.

One of the members of the Tetrarchy, Maximianus had a convoluted reign that started when he and Diocletian began ruling as equals in 286. Maximianus was in charge of the western portion of the empire along with Constantius I, his junior in command, while Diocletian and Galerius ruled the eastern half. After several years of putting down revolts and usurpers, both he and Diocletian abdicated to let their Caesars take their place in 306. However, this peaceful arrangement would come to an end soon when Maximianus's son Maxentius initiated a revolt of his own. Seeing that it would lend an air of legitimacy...

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Maxentius 306 – 312 A.D.

The tale of Maxentius is one of the more convoluted accounts of any Roman emperor. It all started when some years before Diocletian came up with his Tetrarchy scheme. Together with Maximian, both were to be Augusti ruling jointly with each overseeing half of the empire. Each in turn named a Caesar as right-hand-man and would succeed the emperor when the latter died. Maximian was the father of Maxentius and, in other times, would have normally been Maximian's successor but the new ruling format had no place for him. When Diocletian abdicated and forced Maximian to do likewise Maxentius lost all hope....

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Galerius 305 – 311 A.D.

Galerius started as an ordinary soldier in the armies of Aurelian and then Probus. By the time he served under Diocletian his military career had culminated with the position of Praetorian Prefect. Under Diocletian's new scheme for ruling the empire, he named Galerius as one of the Caesars in the new Tetrarchy and assigned him to the eastern half. With Diocletian abdicating soon after, Galerius automatically became Augustus himself. The rest of his reign would be taken up fighting the power grabbing of Constantius Chlorus who, against the principles of the Tetrarchy, would start a dynasty in his own bloodline...

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Galeria Valeria ? – 315 A.D

Valeria was the daughter of Diocletian. To legitimize Diocletian's new scheme of dividing the empire into two halves, he had his daughter marry Galerius and move to the Eastern headquarters. Her marriage to Galerius was apparently an unhappy one and when he died his successor, Maximinus, attempted to marry her to cement his own power. Because this was evidently another marriage of convenience she refused and he exiled her to a remote village. He too died soon after and was succeeded by Licinius who, in turn, still bore her ill will over her spurning Maximinus. He had sent for her to have her executed...

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Diocletian 284 – 305 A.D.

Originally Diokles, a greek name, Diocletian gained the Latinized form of his name shortly before masterminding a revolt against Carinus. When Carinus received news of this insolence he set out at once with a large army to confront him. The two sides met in a prolonged and bloody match the results of which were finally turning against Diocletian. Seeing that all was lost he prepared to flee with what was left of his army when the most amazing thing happened. It seems Carinus had seduced the wife of one of his bodyguards who, for whatever possible reason, chose during the waning moments of the battle...

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