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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.
Galerius, aided by Diocletian, campaigned successfully against Sassanid Persia, the empire's traditional enemy. Diocletian led the subsequent negotiations and achieved a lasting and favorable peace.Diocletian may have become involved in battles against the Quadi and Marcomanni immediately after the Battle of the Margus.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.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.Bureaucratic and military growth, constant campaigning, and construction projects increased the state's expenditures and necessitated a comprehensive tax reform.Diocletian separated and enlarged the empire's civil and military services and reorganized the empire's provincial divisions, establishing the largest and most bureaucratic government in the history of the empire.
He established new administrative centres in Nicomedia, Mediolanum, Sirmium, and Trier, closer to the empire's frontiers than the traditional capital at Rome.
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.
After the deaths of Carus and his son Numerian on campaign in Persia, Diocletian was proclaimed emperor.
He lived out his retirement in his palace on the Dalmatian coast, tending to his vegetable gardens.
His palace eventually became the core of the modern-day city of Split in Croatia.
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