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1012

DIOCLETIANUS.

ments. Nearly the whole of the ministers and attendants of the deceased monarch, were permitted to retain their offices, and even the praetorian praefect Aristobulus was continued in his com­mand. There was little prospect, however, of a peaceful reign. In addition to the insubordinate spirit which prevailed universally among the soldiery, who had been accustomed for a long series of years to create and dethrone their rulers according to the suggestions of interest, passion, or caprice, the empire was threatened in the West by a formidable insurrection of the Bagaudae under Aelianus and Amandus [aelianus], in the East by the Persians, and in the North by the turbu­lent movements of the wild tribes upon the Danube. Feeling himself unable to cope single-handed with so many difficulties, Diocletian resolved to assume a colleague who should enjoy, nominall}r at least, equal rank and power with himself, and relieve him from the burden of undertaking in person distant wars. His choice fell upon the brave and experienced, but rough and unlettered sol­dier Maximianus [maximianus herculius], whom he invested with the title of Augustus, at Nicomedeia, in 286. At the same time the asso­ciated rulers adopted respectively the epithets of Jovius and Hereulius, either from some super­stitious motive, or, according to the explanation of one of the panegyrists, in order to declare to the world that while the elder possessed supreme wisdom to devise and direct, the younger could exert irresistible might in the execution of all projects.

The new emperor hastened to quell, by his presence, the disturbances in Gaul, and succeeded without difficulty in chastising the rebellious boors. But this achievement was but a poor consolation for the loss of Britain, and the glory of the two Augusti was dimmed by their forced acquiescence in the insolent usurpation of Carausius. [carau-sius.]

Meanwhile, dangers which threatened the very existence of the Roman dominion became daily more imminent. The Egyptians, ever factious, had now risen in open insurrection, and their leader, Achilleus, had made himself master of Alexandria ; the savage Blemmyes were ravaging the upper valley of the Nile; Julianus had as­sumed imperial ornaments at Carthage; a confed­eracy of five rude but warlike clans of Atlas, known as the Quinquegentanae (or Quinquegentiani}, was spreading terror throughout the more peaceful districts of Africa ; Tiridates, again expelled from Armenia, had been compelled once more to seek refuge in the Roman court; and Narses having crossed the Tigris, had recovered Mesopotamia, and openly announced his determination to re-unite all Asia under the sway of Persia ; while the Ger­mans, Goths, and Sarmatians were ready to pour down upon any unguarded point of the long line of frontier stretching from the mouths of the Rhine to the Euxine. In this emergency, in order that a vigorous resistance might be opposed to these numerous and formidable attacks in quarters of the world so distant from each other, and that the loyalty of the generals commanding all the great armies might be firmly secured, Diocletian resolved to introduce a new system of government. It was determined that, in addition to the two Augusti, there should be two Caesars also, that the whole empire should be divided among these four poten-

DIOCLETIANUS.

tates> a certain fixed and definite portion being assigned to each, within which, in the absence of the rest, his jurisdiction should be absolute. All, however, being considered as colleagues working together for the accomplishment of the same object, the decrees of one were to be binding upon the rest ; and while each Caesar was, in a certain de­gree, subordinate to the Augusti, the three junior members of this mighty partnership were required distinctly to recognise Diocletian as the head and guide of the whole. Accordingly, on the 1st of March 292, Constantius Chlorus and Galerius were proclaimed Caesars at Nicomedeia, and to knit more firmly the connecting bonds, they were both called upon to repudiate their wives; upon which the former received in marriage Theodora, the step-daughter of Maximian ; the latter Valeria, the daughter of Diocletian. In the partition of the pro­vinces the two younger princes were appointed to the posts of greatest labour and hazard. To Constan­tius were assigned Britain, Gaul, and Spain, the chief seat of government being fixed at Treves; to Galerius were intrusted Illyricum, and the whole line of the Danube, with Sirmium for a capital; Maximian resided at Milan, as governor of Italy and Africa, together with Sicily and the islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea ; while Diocletian retained Thrace, Egypt, Syria, and Asia in his own hands, and established his court at Nicomedeia. The immediate results of this arrangement were most auspicious. Maximianus routed the Mauritanian hordes, and drove them back to their mountain fastnesses* while Julian being defeated perished by his own hands ; Diocletian invested Alexandria, which was captured after a siege of eight months, and many thousands of the seditious citizens were slain, Busiris and Coptos were levelled with the ground, and all Egypt, struck with terror by the success and severity of the emperor, sank into abject submis­sion. In Gaul an invading host of the Alemanni was repulsed with great slaughter after an obstinate resistance, Boulogne, the naval arsenal of Carausius, was forced to surrender, and the usurper having soon after been murdered by his chosen friend and minister, Allectus, the troops of Constantius ef­fected a landing in Britain in two divisions, and the whole island was speedily recovered, after it had been dismembered from the empire for a space of nearly ten years. In the East the struggle was more severe ; but the victory, although deferred for a while, was even more complete and more glorious. Galerius, who had quitted his own province to prosecute this war, sustained in his first campaign, a terrible defeat in the plains of Carrhae. The shattered army, however, was speedily recruited by large drafts from the veterans of Illyria, Moesia-and Dacia, and the Roman general, taught caution by experience, advanced warily through the moun­tains of Armenia, carefully avoiding the open coun­try where x^ivalry might act with advantage. Per­severing steadily in this course, he at length, with 25,000 men, fell unexpectedly upon the careless and confident foe. They were completely routed, and the harem of Narses, who commanded in per­son and escaped with great difficulty, fell into the hands of the conquerors. The full fruits of this vic­tory were secured by the wise policy of Diocletian, who resolved to seizie the opportunity of offering a peace by which he might receive a moderate but certain advantage. A treaty was concluded, by which the independence of Armenia was guaran-

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