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The paper focuses on the personal relationship between the eminent emperors of the later Roman history, Diocletian and Constantine the Great. Both emperors are considered to be the founders of the Dominate, new socio-political system of the Roman Empire. Moreover, Constantine the Great is recognized by scholars as the successor of Diocletian’s undertakings in the fi eld of administration. The question of the personal relationship between the two rulers, however, hasn’t attracted due attention. Meanwhile its resolution would help in the future to understand the nature of both reformers and Constantin’s perception of himself as the successor of Diocletian. The two emperors had known each other since about 293 and had been in contact until Diocletian’s death. It is noteworthy that during the period of communication they managed to change roles: Diocletian began as an emperor and died as a private person witnessing the collapse of his system. Constantine, on the contrary, achieved the imperial title. As a source base for the research, the author of the present article uses the extensive narrative tradition (within which the Constantine’s statements are preserved), as well as epigraphic and numismatic data. Thus, the conclusions can be supported with the help of a comprehensive analysis of sources of different types.


Constantine the Great, the Constantinian Dynasty, Diocletian, Tetrarchy, Imperial Ideology in the Roman Empire, the Epoch of Dominate, Later Roman Empire.

Ivan A. Mirolyubov

Moscow State Integrated Museum-Reserve, Moscow, Russia

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