Carinus quickly made his way to Rome from his post in Gaul as imperial commissioner and arrived there by January 284, becoming legitimate Emperor in the West. The Sassanid king Bahram II could not field an army against them as he was still struggling to establish his authority.By March 284, Numerian had only reached Emesa (Homs) in Syria; by November, only Asia Minor.
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He defeated the Sarmatians and Carpi during several campaigns between 285 and 299, the Alamanni in 288, and usurpers in Egypt between 297 and 298.
Galerius, aided by Diocletian, campaigned successfully against Sassanid Persia, the empire's traditional enemy. Diocletian led the subsequent negotiations and achieved a lasting and favorable peace.
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.
The title was also claimed by Carus' other surviving son, Carinus, but Diocletian defeated him in the Battle of the Margus.
Diocletian's reign stabilized the empire and marks the end of the Crisis of the Third Century.
Building on third-century trends towards absolutism, he styled himself an autocrat, elevating himself above the empire's masses with imposing forms of court ceremonies and architecture.
Bureaucratic and military growth, constant campaigning, and construction projects increased the state's expenditures and necessitated a comprehensive tax reform.
He lived out his retirement in his palace on the Dalmatian coast, tending to his vegetable gardens.