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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.
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 recently, Emperor Carus and his sons had ruled together, albeit unsuccessfully.
Carinus quickly made his way to Rome from his post in Gaul as imperial commissioner and arrived there by January 284, becoming legitimate Emperor in the West. The Sassanid king Bahram II could not field an army against them as he was still struggling to establish his authority.
By March 284, Numerian had only reached Emesa (Homs) in Syria; by November, only Asia Minor.
Weakened by illness, Diocletian left the imperial office on 1 May 305, and became the first Roman emperor to abdicate the position voluntarily.The title was also claimed by Carus' other surviving son, Carinus, but Diocletian defeated him in the Battle of the Margus.Diocletian's reign stabilized the empire and marks the end of the Crisis of the Third Century.From at least 297 on, imperial taxation was standardized, made more equitable, and levied at generally higher rates.Not all of Diocletian's plans were successful: the Edict on Maximum Prices (301), his attempt to curb inflation via price controls, was counterproductive and quickly ignored.