New tax system
Attempted to curb inflation by establishing prices for everything
303: Edict against Christians and persecution
With Diocletian's accession to the Throne, the Empire found peace after a century of being on the defensive and in crisis. Diocletian campaigned in the east and in the Danube area while his general Maximian drove invaders out of the west. Maximium was rewarded by being made co-emperor in 286 AD. The imperial college of emperors was expanded to 4 when in 293 both Diocletian and Maximian selected junior emperor. Diocletian selected General Gaius Galerius, while Maximian selected General Flavius Constantius. The arrangement of these 4 rules, Diocletian and Maximian and their co-rulers, is known as the Tetrarchy. Its aim was to put an end to the tradition of succession by assassination and civil war, which had been the primary means of selecting emperors in the previous century. The Tetrarchs solidified their connection through marriage between families. The characterisitics of the Tetrarchs began to resemble that Kings more so than Roman Emperors. The pretense that emperors were appointed by the Senate and the People was discarded, instead the emperors soverighty was bestowed by the gods. The interactions with the Emperor and organization of his advisory council reflected the supreme rule of the emperor, rather than a "first among equals" concept. Even a crown was worn by the new emperors.
Multiplication of emperors permitted a more effective defense of the Empire, and Roman armies were able to beat back their enemies on all frontiers.
Like a new Augustus, Diocletian set about a thorough reorganization of the Empire in every area- Military, administrative, fiscal, and economic. He reigned long enough to implement his reforms.
-numbers increased by double
- major building on all frontiers
- successfully reorganized the collection of goods into a regular system of levies as part of the creation of a true budget for the Empire.
- replaced old system with new uniform system applicable throughout the empire, measuring productivity of both individuals and land
- the new tax system was hard for enforce and corruption made it harder
- tried to fight inflation with price fixes, but that failed
- tried to make Roman culture uniform
- banned Christianity and Manichaeism, and destroyed much of the property
- The persecutions lasted for 10 year but failed to achieve their aim of suppressing the two religions
- The administration was expaned and professionalized to provide the necessary taxes, manpower, and supplies for the reconstituted state.
- Involved dividing states into smaller, more manageable states and attaching a bureaucracy to handle the administration of that state.
When Diocletian and Maximiam retired in 305 ad, civil war broke out again. Diocletian's co-emperor, Constantius, died in 306 and his son Constantine was proclaimed Caesar in his place. Maxentius, the son of Maximiam entered the contest for emperor but was defeated at the battle of Mulvian Bridge in 312 A.D.