The Roman Empire had its greatest time before Emperor Diocletian came to power. Pax Romana, ”Peace of Rome”, beginning with Emperor Augustus was already over and declining Roman power caused the crisis of the third century.
Diocletian was born in 243 into this crisis and had an empire in turmoil to rule. Emperor Diocletian realized the greatest reason of the empire was its own size. A state of the size of Roman Empire was impossible to be ruled with the technology of the third century. He decided to do something radical and split the Roman Empire into two pieces.
He pointed himself as the ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire on 1st April 286. The city Rome stayed as the capital of the western Roman Empire and Constantinople became the capital of the western wing of the Roman Empire.
Persecution of Christians by Diocletian
Diocletian was not fond of Christians and had terrible acts of vandalism against them. One of these terrible acts was ripping the tongue of deacon Romanus of Caesarea for speaking against sacrificing animals.
He declared Edict against the Christians in the year 303. Diocletian ordered destruction and sacking of Christian churches also he forbid Christians to have masses.
The Palace of Emperor Diocletian was burned after the persecution of Christian began. The Emperor blamed Christians for this crime and started to execute any Christian who could have a connection to this fire. Saint Gorgonius of Nicomedia had the worst faith he was executed by slowly boiling.
Persecution of Christians started by Diocletian was stopped by the first Christian Emperor Constantine and all the plundered possessions of Christians were given back. It is rumored that Diocletian committed suicide in 311 after witnessing his reforms fail and the empire fell into turmoil again.