Emperor Diocletian came from a poor family from the Salona area. He owe his position to hard work and military capabilities, thanks to which he quickly advanced to the highest levels of the Roman army. Among other things, he was the commander of the Emperor Numerian’s bodyguard. Therefore, he enjoyed high trust. The emperor proclaimed himself in 284 CE.
Diocletian had many successes on the battlefields. He also carried out administrative reforms – for example, dividing the country into dioceses or changing the monetary system. He reformed the Roman army. This ruler, however, was particularly well-known for the tetrarchy system (he held power with three emperors: Maximian, Galerius and Constantius) and persecutions against Christians which began the destruction of the church in Nikomedia.
He issued four edicts, the first of which (issued in 303) made it impossible for Christians to profess their faith. After his abdication from state offices, he died in 313 – he was supposedly poisoned by Constantine I. During his lifetime, he enjoyed divine reverence among his subjects, who universally believed he came from the very god Jupiter. This shows his high position and authority.