He split the empire into West and East, keeping the eastern part for himself because it was richer in goods and trade. It was too big for one man to manage and he well knew that the army was thoroughly out of hand. He divided the Empire into two parts, the Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Roman Empire. Gravity Why did Diocletian divide the Roman Empire? The Roman emperor abdicated on May 1st, 305. To maintain control and stability. Carinus was assassinated the following year and Diocletian became master of the Roman world. In 293 each of them was given a Caesar as a right-hand man, Galerius in the east and in the west Constantius Chlorus, who ran Gaul and Britain and was the father of the future Constantine the Great. He did so in truly godly style laying down his diadem and sceptre at the foot of a statue on a hill near Nicomedia on May 1, 305. With two emperors, the empire was effectively split into East (ruled by Diocletian) and West (ruled by Maximian) but the demands on the co-emperors continued to be a major issue. Licinius surrendered and though at first promising to spare him, Constantine had him murdered a year later in 325. Diocletian had built what has been described as, if not a new house for the empire, at least an emergency shelter. In 303, the Emperors Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius issued a series of edicts rescinding Christians' legal rights and demanding that they comply with traditional religious practices. Thanks to trade and taxes from its vast domains, Rome was the most magnificent city globally, studded with the significant buildings of emperors keen to … Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus was sixty years old or so, had been Roman emperor for twenty years and had had enough. Diocletian began by destroying the churches and forbidding Christian gatherings. ə ˈ k l iː ʃ ən /; Latin: Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus; born Diocles; 22 December c. 244 – 3 December 311) was a Roman emperor from 284 to 305. At a stroke he severed the Roman world in two: henceforth there would be two empires with two capitals. Diocletian had built what has been described as, if not a new house for the empire, at least an emergency shelter. © Copyright 2021 History Today Ltd. Company no. Within a year Constantius Chlorus died in Britain. Over the next hundred years or so, Rome would be reunited, split into three parts, and split in two again. He was not by any means the only one. Whichever was the case, Constantine issued at Nicomedia in 313 an edict proclaiming full toleration for all religions. Diocletian secured the empire’s borders and purged it of all threats to his power. Emperor Diocletian was looking for a way to fix this and other problems. The black mark against the “divine” emperor was his cruel persecution of the Christians. However, things did not run as smoothly as he had hoped. The 2 Caesars would be “junior” emperors and under the command of the “senior” Augustus Posted in Ancient History, Famous battles, Historical articles, History, Politics, Religion, War on Friday, 3 February 2012. It was made by a man who was not even a Roman, a man who, in that pedigree-conscious empire, had origins which were veiled in obscurity. Roman Empire under the tetrarchy, showing the territories of the four tetrarchs: Diocletian, Galerius, Maximian, and Constantius. If you look at a map of Europe you can now see how Rome had a man capable of making all important decisions in four stategically important areas which enabled him to travel rapidly to any trouble spot in his territory. By 293 A.D., Diocletian decided to go a step further and resolve the issue of succession once and for all. The army was brought under control, the barbarians kept at bay and the imperial administration centralized under a swarm of bureaucrats. This edited article about Ancient Rome originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 627 published on 19 January 1974. Diocletian understood that a major problem in ruling a territory of the extent of the Roman Empire was its immense size. the east was wealthier than the west, so he decided to control this area, and left a different person to … The Roman Empire was soon left in no doubt about Diocletian’s divinity. Related Questions in History. These help us understand and improve your and other users’ experience with the website, and make it easy for you to share pages. Diocletian split the empire into eastern and western halves in order to make governing easier. His decision was that Rome should no longer be the empire’s capital. In the summer of the year 306 Rome suddenly found herself again with an embarrassment of emperors – no fewer than six men were claiming the imperial title. He decided it would be easier to control the vast empire if it was split into smaller parts. Why did the Diocletian decide to split the empire. Diocletian's original given name was Διοκληϛ (Diocles), which is a very common Greek first name. “Henceforth I am more than just the Emperor,” he declared. Attila the Hun. At the urging of the caesar Galerius, in 303 Diocletian began the last major persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, resulting in the destruction of churches and the torture and execution of Christians who refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods. He had scarcely come to power when he made an unexpected decision—to share the throne with a colleague of his choice. This edict marked a great moment in the story of the world, for it was the first time in which the principle of freedom of conscience was recognised. the Eastern side. It commanded a view over two great seas and was an ideal trading port. It worked for a short while until Constantine the Great united the empire once again under his leadership. There was a time when the Roman Empire was really large that it was already a bit hard to control. Diocletian had split the empire into twelve “dioceses”, with each of four “tetrarchs” running three of them apiece. Constantine’s vision before battle with Maxentius at the Gates of Rome, by. Constantine divided his empire between his three sons in his old age. Diocletian’s successors soon fell out, but apart from a brief, unsuccessful intervention in affairs in 308, he lived on quietly at Split until his death. The new religion was obviously totally opposed to a government run by an Eastern “god,” and Diocletian was not prepared to be disobeyed. 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