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but some modern historians state that Diocletian avoided the city, and that he did so on principle, as the city and its Senate were no longer politically relevant to the affairs of the empire and needed to be taught as much.
Diocletian dated his reign from his elevation by the army, not the date of his ratification by the Senate, However, Diocletian was to offer proof of his deference towards the Senate by retaining Aristobulus as ordinary consul and colleague for 285 (one of the few instances during the Late Empire in which an emperor admitted a privatus as his colleague) The concept of dual rulership was nothing new to the Roman Empire.
Under this 'tetrarchy', or "rule of four", each emperor would rule over a quarter-division of the empire.
Diocletian secured the empire's borders and purged it of all threats to his power.
Augustus, the first Emperor, had nominally shared power with his colleagues, and more formal offices of Co-Emperor had existed from Marcus Aurelius on.
Most recently, Emperor Carus and his sons had ruled together, albeit unsuccessfully.
In spite of these failures and challenges, Diocletian's reforms fundamentally changed the structure of Roman imperial government and helped stabilize the empire economically and militarily, enabling the empire to remain essentially intact for another 150 years despite being near the brink of collapse in Diocletian's youth.
Weakened by illness, Diocletian left the imperial office on 1 May 305, and became the first Roman emperor to abdicate the position voluntarily.
After the deaths of Carus and his son Numerian on campaign in Persia, Diocletian was proclaimed emperor.
He appointed fellow officer Maximian as Augustus, co-emperor, in 286.
Diocletian delegated further on 1 March 293, appointing Galerius and Constantius as Caesars, junior co-emperors.
Julianus minted coins from the mint at Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) declaring himself as emperor and promising freedom.
It was all good publicity for Diocletian, and it aided in his portrayal of Carinus as a cruel and oppressive tyrant.