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His clemency and vic
considered as the founder of a new empire. Like the adopted son of Cæsar, he was distinguished as a statesman rather than as a warrior ; nor did either of those princes employ force, whenever their purpose could be effected by policy.
The victory of Diocletian was remarkable for
its singular mildness. A people accustomed to tory. applaud the clemency of the conqueror, if the usual punishments of death, exile, and confiscation, were inflicted with any degree of temper and equity, beheld with the most pleasing astonishment a civil war, the flames of which were extinguished in the field of battle. Diocletian received into his confidence Aristobulus, the principal minister of the house of Carus, respected the lives, the fortunes, and the dignity, of his adversaries, and even continued in their respective stations the greater number of the servants of Carinus. It is not improbable that motives of prudence might assist the humanity of the artful Dalmatian: of these servants, many had purchased his favour by secret treachery; in others, he esteemed their grateful fidelity to an unfortunate master. The discerning judgment of Aurelian, of Probus, and of Carus, had filled the several departments of the state and army with officers of approved merit, whose removal would have injured the public service without promoting the interest of the successor. Such a conduct, however, displayed to the Roman world the fairest prospect of the new reign; and the emperor affected to confirm this favourable prepossession, by declaring, that, among all the virtues of his predecessors, he was the most ambitious of imitating the humane philosophy of Marcus Antoninus.
The first considerable action of his reign seemed to d In this encomium, Aurelius Victor seems to convey a just, though indirect, censure of the cruelty of Constantius. It appears from the Fasti, that Aristobplus remained prefect of the city, and that he ended with Diocletian the consulship which he had commenced with Carinus.
• Aurelius Victor styles Diocletian, “ Parentem potius quam dominum." See Hist. August. p. 30.
evince his sincerity as well as his moderation. After the example of Marcus, he gave himself a colleague in the
person of Maximian, on whom he bestowed at Association and first the title of Cæsar, and afterward that of Auof Martha gustus.' But the motives of his conduct, as well mian. as the object of his choice, were of a very diffe
rent nature from those of his admired predecessor. April 1.
By investing a luxurious youth with the honours of the purple, Marcus had discharged a debt of private gratitude, at the expense, indeed, of the happiness of the state. By associating a friend and a fellow-soldier to the labours of government, Diocletian, in a time of public danger, provided for the defence both of the east and of the west. Maximian was born a peasant, and, like Aurelian, in the territory of Sirmium. Ignorant of letters, careless of laws, the rusticity of his appearance and manner still betrayed in the most elevated fortune the meanness of his extraction. War was the only art which he professed. In a long course of service he had distinguished himself on every frontier of the empire; and, though his military talents were formed to obey rather than to command; though, perhaps, he never attained the skill of a consumate general, he was capable, by his valour, constancy, and experience, of executing the most arduous undertakings : nor were the vices of Maximian less useful to his benefactor. Insensible to pity, and fearless of consequences, he was the ready instrument of every act of cruelty which the policy of that artful prince might at once suggest and disclaim. As soon as a bloody sacrifice had been offered to prudence or to revenge,
'The question of the time when Maximian received the honours of Cæsar and Augustus, has divided modern critics, and given occasion to a great deal of learned wrangling. I have followed M. de Tillemont, (Histoire des Empereurs, tom. 4. p. 500—505.) who has weighed the several reasons and difficulties with his scrupulous accuracy:
8 In an oration delivered before him, (Panegyr. Vet. 2. 8.) Mamertinus expresses a doubt, whether his hero, in imitating the conduct of Hannibal and Scipio, had ever heard of their names. From thence we may fairly infer, that Maximian was more desirous of being considered as a soldier than as a man of letters; and it is in this manner that we can often translate the language of flattery into that of truth.
Diocletian, by his seasonable intercession, saved the remaining few whom he had never designed to punish, gently censured the severity of his stern colleague, and enjoyed the comparison of a golden and an iron age, which was universally applied to their opposite maxims of government. Notwithstanding the difference of their characters, the two emperors maintained, on the throne, that friendship which they had contracted in a private station. The haughty turbulent spirit of Maximian, so fatal afterward to himself and to the public peace, was accustomed to respect the genius of Diocletian, and confessed the ascendant of reason over brutal violence." From a motive, either of pride or superstition, the two emperors assumed the titles, the one of Jovius, the other of Herculius. Whilst the motion of the world (such was the language of their venal orators) was maintained by the all-seeing wisdom of Jupiter, the invincible arm of Hercules purged the earth from monsters and tyrants.
But even the omnipotence of Jovius and HerA ssociation of two culius was insufficient to sustain the weight of Galerius the public administration. The prudence of and Con- Diocletian discovered, that the empire, assailed A. D. 292. on every side by the barbarians, required on every March 1.
side the presence of a great army, and of an emperor. With this view, he resolved once more to divide his unwieldy power, and with the inferior title of Cæsars, to confer on two generals of approved merit an equal share of the sovereign authority." Galerius, surnamed Armentarius, from his original profession of a herdsman, and Constantius, who from his pale complexion had acquired the denomination of Chlorus,' were the two per
Lactantius de M. P. c. 8. Aurelius Victor. As among the Panegyrics, we find orations pronounced in praise of Maximian, and others, which flatter his adversaries at his expense, we derive some knowledge from the contrast.
See the second and third Panegyrics, particularly 3. 3. 10. 14. ; but it would be tedious to copy the diffuse and affected expressions of their false eloquence. With regard to the titles, consult Aurel. Victor. Lactantius de M.P. c. 52. Spanheim de Usu Numismatum, &c. Dissertat. 12. 8.
Aurelius Victor. Victor in Epitome. Eutrop. 9. 22. Lactant. de M. P. c. 8. Hieronym. in Chron.
It is only among the modern Greeks that Tillemont can discover his appella
sons invested with the second honours of the imperial purple. In describing the country, extraction, and manners of Herculius, we have already delineated those of Galerius, who was often, and not improperly, styled the younger Maximian, though, in many instances, both of virtue and ability, he appears to have possessed a manifest superiority over the elder. The birth of Constantius was less obscure than that of his colleagues. Eutropius, his father, was one of the most considerable nobles of Dardania, and his mother was the niece of the emperor Claudius." Although the youth of Constantius had been spent in arms, he was endowed with a mild and amiable disposition, and the popular voice had long since acknowledged him worthy of the rank which he at last attained. To strengthen the bonds of political by those of domestic union, each of the emperors assumed the character of a father to one of the Cæsars; Diocletian to Galerius, and Maximian to Constantius; and each obliging them to repudiate their former wives, bestowed his daughter in marriage on his adopted son. These four princes distributed among
themselves the wide extent of the Roman empire.
The defence of Gaul, Spain,' and Britain, was Departments and intrusted to Constantius; Galerius was stationed of the four on the banks of the Danube, as the safeguard of princes. the Illyrian provinces; Italy and Africa were considered as the department of Maximian; and, for his peculiar portion, Diocletian reserved Thrace, Egypt, and the rich countries of Asia. Every one was sovereign within his own jurisdiction ; but their united authority extended over the whole monarchy; and each of them
tion of Chlorus. Any remarkable degree of paleness seems inconsistent with the rubor mentioned in Panegyric, 5. 19.
** Julian, the grandson of Constantius, boasts that his family was derived from the warlike Mæsians. Misopogon, p. 348. The Dardanians dwelt on the edge of Mæsia.
• Galerius married Valeria, the daughter of Diocletian: if we speak with strictness, Theodora, the wife of Constantius, was daughter only to the wife of Maximian. Spanheim Dissertat. 11. 2.
. This division agrees with that of the four prefectures; yet there is some reason to doubt whether Spain was not a province of Maximian. See Tillemont, tom. 4. p. 517,
Series of events.
was prepared to assist his colleagues with his counsels or presence. The Cæsars, in their exalted rank, revered the majesty of the emperors; and the three younger princes invariably acknowledged, by their gratitude and obedience, the common parent of their fortunes. The suspicious jealousy of power found not any place among them; and the singular happiness of their union has been compared to a chorus of music, whose harmony was regulated and maintained by the skilful hand of the first artist.
This important measure was not carried into
execution till about six years after the association of Maximian; and that interval of time had not been destitute of memorable incidents. But we have preferred, for the sake of perspicuity, first to describe the more perfect form of Diocletian's government, and afterward to relate the actions of his reign, following rather the natural order of the events, than the dates of a very doubtful chronology.
The first exploit of Maximian, though it is State of mentioned in a few words by our imperfect wrisants of ters, deserves, from its singularity, to be recorded
in a history of human manners. He suppressed the peasants of Gaul, who, under the appellation of Bagaudæ, had risen in a general insurrection ; very similar to those which, in the fourteenth century, successively afflicted both France and England." It should seem, that very many of those institutions, referred by an easy solution to the feudal system, are derived from the Celtic barbarians. When Cæsar subdued the Gauls, that great nation was already divided into three orders of men; the clergy, the nobility, and the common people. The first governed by superstition, the second by
P Julian in Cæsarib. p. 315. Spanheim's notes to the French translation, p. 122.
9 The general name of Bagauda (in the signification of rebels) continued till the fifth century in Gaul. Some critics derive it from a Celtic word bagad, a tumultuous assembly. Scaliger ad Euseb. Ducange Glossar.
Chronique de Froissart, vol. 1. c. 182. 2. 73–79. The naïveté of his story is lost in our best modern writers.