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Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus was Roman Emperor from 20 November 284 to 1 May 305. Diocletian was one of the few emperors of the third and fourth centuries to die naturally, and the first in the history of the empire to retire voluntarily. Once he retired, however, his Tetrarchic system collapsed. Without the guiding hand of Diocletian, the empire frequently broke into civil war. Only in 324, when Constantine alone emerged triumphant, did stability return. Under the Christian Constantine, Diocletian was maligned. Constantine's rule, however, validated Diocletian's achievements and the autocratic principle he represented: the borders remained secure, in spite of Constantine's large expenditure of forces during his civil wars; the bureaucratic transformation of Roman government was completed; and Constantine took Diocletian's court ceremonies and made them even more extravagant.

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Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus was Roman Emperor from 20 November 284 to 1 May 305. Diocletian was one of the few emperors of the third and fourth centuries to die naturally, and the first in the history of the empire to retire voluntarily. Once he retired, however, his Tetrarchic system collapsed. Without the guiding hand of Diocletian, the empire frequently broke into civil war. Only in 324, when Constantine alone emerged triumphant, did stability return. Under the Christian Constantine, Diocletian was maligned. Constantine's rule, however, validated Diocletian's achievements and the autocratic principle he represented: the borders remained secure, in spite of Constantine's large expenditure of forces during his civil wars; the bureaucratic transformation of Roman government was completed; and Constantine took Diocletian's court ceremonies and made them even more extravagant. More...

 
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