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Valerius Diocles, better known to history as Diocletianus, or simply Diocletian, brought a new determination to governance of the recovering empire.
The coin (right, both faces) of Maximian bears the image of the fighting god Hercules on
the reverse to attest to the
co-Augustus’s adopted title
of Herculius, god of the
earth. His partner
Diocletian, as senior,
had the title Jovius,
father of the gods.
The usurper Carausius (left) first made Britain
his base, then
extended his power
along the Gallic coast. Having forced Diocletian and Maximian to accept his power, Carausius struck this coin on the right, showing him with his “co-Augusti.”
Former chief minister, then murderer, of Carausius, Allectus declared himself Augustus in Britain. He held on to the title for three years before Constantius Caesar defeated him.
The Tetrarchs, Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius Chlorus, and Galerius, show their unity of purpose in this sculpture to be found in Venice (a place that did not exist before the fifth century).
Domitius Domitianus’s short-lived usurpation of the purple in Alexandria in 296 led Diocletian to institute wide-ranging reforms within the provinces to strenghten central government, as shown in the map below.
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Illustrations © Oliver Frey; Maps © Roger M. Kean © 2010–2016 Reckless Books, England