The Rise and Reign of Diocletian in the Roman Empire

TLDR Diocletian, born from humble beginnings, becomes emperor during the crisis of the third century in the Roman Empire. He faces numerous challenges including external threats, internal conflicts, and the need to stabilize the chaos in Rome. Diocletian successfully campaigns, establishes a tetrarchy, captures the Persian royal family, and implements significant reforms, but his reign is also marked by persecution of Christians and ultimately ends in civil war.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The podcast discusses the rise of Diocles, who was born from a humble background but eventually became the emperor Dioclesian during a period of chaos and anarchy in the Roman Empire known as the crisis of the third century.
05:12 During the crisis of the third century, the Roman Empire faced external pressures from barbarians and the collapse of the Parthian Empire, as well as internal conflicts, resulting in the collapse of the tax base, economic collapse, famine, and plague, with the army becoming the only institution capable of maintaining order.
10:07 The rise of Illyricum-born individuals in the Roman army leads to the emergence of successful emperors like Claudius, Aurelian, and Probus, who restore order and push back against external threats, but their reigns are short-lived and plagued by mutinies and untimely deaths.
14:48 Diocles becomes emperor in the east after accusing Appa of murdering Numerian, and Carinas, Numerian's brother, is assassinated by Dioclesian just as he is about to win the battle against him, making Dioclesian the sole emperor.
19:43 Diocletian becomes emperor and faces the challenge of stabilizing the chaos in Rome, including dealing with barbarian invasions, a crisis in Gaul, and a commander who has declared unilateral independence.
25:08 Diocletian effectively campaigns in the Balkans, pushes back the barbarians, and appoints Maximian as his partner and co-emperor, dividing the rule of the empire between them.
29:48 Diocletian establishes a tetrarchy, dividing the rule of the empire between himself, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius, and they successfully govern different regions of the empire.
34:42 Diocletian's successful capture of the Persian royal family leads to a treaty that strengthens the Roman frontier and allows him to focus on significant reforms, including the restructuring of the provincial system and the introduction of a militarized bureaucracy.
39:49 Diocletian's attempts to impose order on the Roman Empire include stabilizing the currency, imposing maximum prices, and launching a campaign of persecution against Christians.
44:32 Diocletian's persecution of Christians leads to the destruction of scriptures, banning of worship, and brutal executions, causing him to view it as a war on terror, while the memory of this persecution continues to live on in the church.
49:12 Diocletian retires to his homeland in Dalmatia, builds a palace in Solona, grows cabbages, and rejects Maximian's request to reunite, ultimately dying in 312, while the tetrarchal system he established fails and civil war breaks out, leading to Constantine emerging as the sole ruler of the Roman Empire.
Categories: History

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