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Maximian Galerius (Imperator Caesar Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus in Latin), born around 250 in Felix Romuliana and died on May 5, 311 in Dardania, was a Roman emperor of the Late Empire who reigned during the Tetrarchy.

Born into a modest Thracian family, Galerius entered the army at an early age and quickly rose through the military hierarchy. Spotted by Emperor Diocletian, he married his daughter Galeria Valeria and became his Caesar, or vice-emperor, responsible for Illyria, in 293. Galerius thus became one of the four men who collectively ruled the Empire. In this capacity, he led several campaigns on the Danube against the Sarmatians, Carpathians and Bastarnians from 294 to 296, followed by a major victory over the Sassanids in the East in 298. Highly critical of the Christian religion, he approved, if not encouraged, the implementation of the Great Persecution decreed in 303 by his superior, the emperor Diocletian, over whom he had increasing influence. Weakened by illness, Diocletian decided to retire from power in 304. The joint abdication of the two principal tetrarchs marked the promotion of the two vice-emperors. Galerius became the Augustus at the head of the eastern part of the Empire on May 1, 305.

Of the four tetrarchs, he was in fact the main ruler of the empire. Indeed, the two new Caesars who were to support them, he and his colleague Constantius Chlorus, were both close to him. His vice-emperor, Maximin II Daia, is his nephew, while Constantius Chlorus' deputy, Severus, fought alongside him. The political situation soon deteriorated, however. On the death of his co-emperor Constantius in 306, his son Constantine proclaimed himself emperor in Brittany, immediately followed in Rome by Maxentius, son of Maximian Hercules, Diocletian's former colleague. Galerius immediately sent Severus to march against Maxentius and Maximian to support him. However, the death of Severus and the failure of Galerius' campaign in Italy to defeat the usurpers forced him to revise the tetrarchic system. In 308, at the Carnuntum imperial conference, he directly elevated Licinius to the title of Augustus, replacing Severus, and officially recognized Constantine I, whom he named Caesar. As they protested against Licinius' promotion, the two Caesars, Constantine and Maximin II Daia, were finally appointed Augustus in their turn in 310.

In the meantime, Galerius fell ill and entered a long period of agony. His last political act was the proclamation on April 30, 311 of an edict of tolerance, the Edict of Sardikus, putting an end to Diocletian's persecutions. The last defender of the Tetrarchy, his death in May 311 marked its end.

Galerius was born as Armentarius, then Gaius Galerius Maximinus, around 250 AD at Felix Romuliana in present-day Serbia, not far from Sardica, in one of the provinces of Dacia. His father came from Thrace. As for his mother, Romula, despite her Roman name, she was of barbarian blood (born outside the Roman Empire) since, born beyond the Danube, she took refuge in Roman Dacia at the time of the Carp invasions. The couple's standard of living was very modest: the father was a shepherd, and Galerius followed in his footsteps for a while before joining the Roman legions. He served under Emperor Aurelian, then took part in the campaigns of Probus and Carus, during whose reign he rose through the military hierarchy.

First Tetrarchy

Having become an experienced officer, he was noticed by Emperor Diocletian, who made him Prefect of the Praetorium. Diocletian offered him the hand of his daughter, Galeria Valeria. Galerius had to repudiate his wife, but entered the emperor's household and was given the name Valerius. On March 1, 293, at Sirmium, Diocletian raised him to the rank of Caesar, or vice-emperor. Galerius thus became Diocletian's designated heir, in accordance with the Tetrarchy model, with the title of Nobilissimus Caesar.

Diocletian gradually put in place a structure whereby the Empire's defense would be assured by four legitimate emperors, so as to be able to confront all the Empire's enemies without giving too much power to mere generals who might turn against the central power. He therefore enlisted the help of Maximian Hercules, whom he named Augustus - or co-emperor - and entrusted with the Western Empire. To avoid hypothetical succession problems, each of them in turn appointed a Caesar: Constantius Chlorus for Maximian, and Galerius for Diocletian. Maximian and Constantius were tasked with defending the West, particularly the Rhine, while Diocletian and Galerius looked after the East, including the banks of the Danube and the Sassanian frontier.

More precisely, Galerius seems to have given priority to Greece and Illyria, while Diocletian defended Asia and Egypt. However, this was not a division of the Empire between the tetrarchs, but rather a collegial government. Diocletian and Galerius fought together against the Sarmatians in 294. With the exception of a few Sarmatian warriors, who were incorporated into the Roman army by treaty, most of the barbarians were pushed out of the Empire. In 295 and 296, Galerius fought alone against the Carpathians and Bastarnians, driving them back beyond the limes. Later, in 296, when the usurpations of Domitianus and Achilleus in Egypt forced Diocletian to abandon the Sassanian frontier, Galerius replaced him at the head of the eastern provinces.

Victory over the Sassanids

In Persia, however, the situation had changed. By 294, a new prince, Narseh, had ascended the throne of the Kings of Kings. Proclaiming himself to be in the line of Ardachîr I and Shapur I, victors respectively over the emperors Severus Alexander and Valerian, he declared war on Diocletian in the autumn of 296, invading the Armenian kingdom of Tiridate under Roman protection. Galerius and Diocletian joined forces and, while Diocletian stationed himself on the Syrian border, Galerius was sent to Osroene, beyond the Euphrates, to join forces with Tiridates' remaining troops. Armed with these reinforcements, Galerius set off to meet the Persian army at Callinicum, not far south of Carrhae, where Crassus had suffered a severe defeat at the hands of the Parthians. Once again, the Roman army was defeated and Galerius had to withdraw to avoid another disaster. In Antioch, Diocletian gave him a frosty reception. According to Festus, Eutrope and Ammianus Marcellinus, he even publicly humiliated him by forcing him to walk a mile in front of his chariot.

In 298, Galerius took the offensive again, marching against the Persians at the head of a 25,000-strong army reinforced by Goth and Sarmatian mercenaries, and invading Armenia. Taking advantage of mountainous terrain more favorable to Roman infantry than Persian cavalry, Galerius turned the tide. He attacked the Persian army by surprise between Callinicum and Carrhae, inflicting a heavy defeat. The wounded King of Kings managed to escape, but left behind several of his wives, sisters and daughters, as well as a large haul of booty, which the Romans took. Galerius then took Nisibe and crossed the Tigris. Capitalizing on his success, the Caesar entered the Adiabene region, but was ordered by Diocletian to halt the offensive. Diocletian reunited with Galerius in Nisibe in 298 or early 299, and publicly congratulated his deputy on his victories with a grand ceremony. Keen to build a lasting peace with the Sassanids, Diocletian asked Galerius to send his secretary, Sicorius Probus, to Narseh with peace proposals. The treaty signed by the Persian ambassadors Apharban, Hargbed and Barasabor confirmed the Roman victory: the border between the two empires was raised to the Tigris, Tiridate was confirmed on the throne of Armenia, and the king of Iberia received his royal insignia from the Roman emperor. Nisibe was established as the sole trading center between the two empires. Finally, Diocletian gained control of the five satrapies between Armenia and Roman territory: Ingilene, Sophene, Arzazene, Gordyene and Zabdicene.

Although Diocletian was responsible for the Peace of Nisibia, Galerius is credited with the first major Roman military victory against the Sassanids. To commemorate this event, a triumphal arch was erected in his honor in 299 in Thessalonica, the city where he had lived while fighting on the Danube. From 299 onwards, he seems to have resettled in this city, from where he organized new campaigns against the Sarmatians and Carpathians, notably in 302 and 303, as attested by the victory titles attributed to him in those years. On November 20, 303, the four tetrarchs met in Rome to celebrate the vicennalia, the twenty-year reign of the two Augustinians, and the decennalia, the ten-year reign of the two Caesars. These festivities illustrate the collegiality and uniqueness of the empire, and Galerius celebrates his triumph over the Persians. On his return from Rome, Galerius may have taken part in an inspection on the Danube in early 304, alongside Diocletian.

Second Tetrarchy

Diocletian fell ill during this last campaign, and from the summer of 304 his health began to deteriorate progressively. The emperor was so weakened that he was wrongly declared dead in Nicomedia on December 13, 304. Arriving in Nicomedia at the end of March 305, Galerius met an exhausted Diocletian, visibly marked by illness. According to Lactantius, whose testimony must be taken with the utmost skepticism, Galerius demanded that Diocletian leave power with Maximian, leaving their places to their respective Caesars. Whether Diocletian was impressed by his subordinate or whether these exchanges were fabricated, the emperor decided to address the armies on May 1, 305. He delivered his speech not far from Nicomedia, on the same plain where he had been proclaimed emperor in 284, at the foot of a statue of Jupiter, the patron god of his household. Attesting to his age and illness, he claimed he was no longer in a position to carry the burden of power any longer, which he felt should be passed on to younger and therefore stronger men. So he announced to his veterans that he and Maximian Hercules were abdicating, to make way for Galerius and Constantius Chlorus. Both became Augustus, while two other senior officers were elevated to the rank of Caesar.

However, contrary to expectations, it was not Maxentius and Constantine, the sons of Maximian Hercules and Constantius Chlore, who were honored with the "Caesarate", but two other officers, Maximin and Severus. Both were close to Galerius. Maximin Daia, his Caesar in charge of Egypt and Syria, was a young tribune who was none other than his own nephew, and a native of the same city. Severus, an experienced Pannonian officer, is a former comrade-in-arms of Galerius. Although his allegiance is theoretically to Constantius Chlorus, he is in fact totally devoted to Galerius. In fact, although the order of precedence made Constantius Chlorus the principal emperor of the Second Tetrarchy, it was Galerius who was the principal figure, all the more so as Constantius' son Constantine resided at his court.

However, this balance was soon upset. In July 306, while in Brittany to combat the incursions of the Picts and Scots, Emperor Constantius Chlorus died of an illness. In the meantime, he had recalled his son, Constantine, to his side and, on his deathbed, seems to have handed over power to him at the expense of his Caesar, Severus. In any case, on the death of his father and protector, Constantine was acclaimed emperor by the mainly Frankish troops gathered at Eboracum. Galerius, this time the undisputed master of the empire, became at the same time the guarantor of the system's durability. Anxious to legitimize his usurpation, Constantine immediately sent him a letter reaffirming his loyalty to the tetrarchs and certifying that he had only decided to usurp the purple under pressure from his father's soldiers. Galerius, who knew how loyal the armies of Gaul and Brittany were to the son of Constantius Chlorus, preferred to avoid civil war. Swallowing his anger, he granted Constantine the rank of Caesar, which he accepted, while Severus was elevated to the Augustate.

However, this recognition was not without its problems: while Constantine had won his case, Maxentius, also the son of a tetrarch, felt deeply aggrieved. At this very moment, continuing Diocletian's fiscal policy, Galerius planned to subject Rome and Italy to the same taxes as the rest of the empire, thus putting an end to an ancient privilege enjoyed by the region. Taking advantage of the unpopularity of the new Augustus of the West, who had been charged with preparing the introduction of these future taxes, Maxentius had himself recognized as emperor by the Praetorian cohorts on October 28, 306. Those close to Severus were prosecuted and executed, like the city prefect Abellius, while the Senate of Rome made Maxentius the protector and restorer of the ancient freedoms. Here again, Maxentius wished to conciliate Galerius, and wrote to him, using the same arguments as Constantine, to ask for the purple. Wishing to show the utmost humility, he had also refused the Senate's titles of Caesar or Augustus, contenting himself with that of princeps, so as not to give the impression of forcing the main emperor's hand.

Civil wars begin

This time, however, Galerius refused to accept the fait accompli. Maxentius's elevation would mean sacrificing the balance brought about by the Tetrarchy, since there would then be not four but five emperors. Galerius therefore ordered Severus to march on Italy. Unable to turn back, Maxentius decided to usurp the Augustate and prepare for war. He took the opportunity to recall his father, Maximian Hercules, who had been forced to abdicate under pressure from Diocletian and Galerius. Heralded Augustus for the second time, he agreed to return to power alongside his son. This choice quickly paid off: the troops recently placed under Severus' command were the same ones who, for decades before, had served under Maximian. Severus was soon faced with a series of defections from his ranks, a phenomenon further exacerbated by Maxentius' offers of bribery. Severus' own praetorium prefect betrayed him to join his adversary's camp. These desertions became such that the emperor was forced to flee to the fortified city of Ravenna. Having been promised his life by Maximian, Severus finally surrendered to Maxentius. As soon as he left the fortress, he was arrested and taken to prison in Rome, where he was forced to commit suicide in early 307.

After snatching another victory from the Sarmatians in the summer of 307, Galerius took command of the Illyrian armies with the firm intention of breaking the double usurpation himself. Maxentius and Maximian, who wished to avoid an alliance between Galerius and Constantine, decided to secure Caesar's neutrality. Before the end of summer 307, while Maxentius was waiting for Galerius at the foot of the Alps, Constantine and Maximian met. There, Maximian offered the young Caesar the hand of his daughter, Fausta, and elevated him to the rank of Augustus, thus bringing him back into the usurping camp. Galerius entered Italy in September 307. Maxentius, who wished to avoid any pitched battles, withdrew to Rome, but closed the gates of all northern Italian cities. Galerius reached Latium safely, but was unable to refuel his army on the way. Although large, his troops were in any case not numerous enough to besiege the city of Rome, which was well protected behind Aurelian's walls. Galerius soon found himself in the same situation as Severus before him: as a result of their pessimism or of bribes generously distributed by the masters of Rome, some of his soldiers decided to desert. Unlike Severus, Galerius was able to stem the tide quickly, but his situation remained precarious. Aware of his weakness, he envisaged negotiations and sent his lieutenants, Licinius and Probus, to

In fact, the situation has not changed: Galerius has not been defeated and retains all his troops, while Maximian and Maxentius are still considered usurpers. However, a new event changed the situation somewhat, as dissension broke out between Maximian and his son. Maxentius had recalled his father solely to take advantage of his name and his talents as a general. However, Maximian, who had ruled the West as emperor for over twenty years, found it hard to accept being relegated to second place. Addressing the troops, he denounced his son's ingratitude and mediocrity, going so far as to wrest the purple from him. To his surprise, however, the soldiers sided with his son. Spared, he nevertheless had to flee and took refuge with Constantine. Meanwhile, Domitius Alexander's usurpation of Maxentian-controlled Africa in 308 further reduced the power of the Prince of Rome.

Carnuntum conference

Keen to restore stability to the tetrarchic system, Galerius, after another campaign against the Carps on the Danube in the summer of 308, set off to seek advice from his former mentor, Diocletian. He managed to persuade the latter to leave his holiday resort of Spalatum for a few days, for a meeting at Carnuntum. Although Diocletian was determined not to return to power, he agreed to bring his experience, prestige and influence to bear on Maximian in an attempt to save the system. On his advice, Galerius organized a conference in the presence of Diocletian and Maximian Hercules, with the aim of putting a definitive end to the troubles following the death of Constantius Chlorus.

At the end of this conference, on November 11, 308, several important decisions were taken. Firstly, Maximian, like Diocletian, had to withdraw once again from the political scene. Secondly, Maxentius and Alexander were again condemned as usurpers, while Constantine lost his title of Augustus and reverted to that of simple Caesar. Finally, a new Augustus was appointed to replace Severus: Licinius, a lieutenant of Galerius, was entrusted with Illyria while he reclaimed the Italy and Africa occupied by the usurpers. Although Licinius had not followed the prescribed curriculum - he had never passed through the "Caesarate" stage - Galerius nevertheless re-established a structure comparable to those of the first two tetrarchies, with two Augustinians, in the East and West, Galerius and Licinius, and two Caesars, Maximin Daia and Constantine.

However, this solution did not satisfy two of the main parties involved. Constantine, Caesar in the West, hoped that Galerius would recognize the new title of Augustus that Maximian had granted him. At the same time, Maximin Daia, Caesar in the East, refused to accept that Licinius, just appointed Augustus, was hierarchically superior to him. Rejecting the appeasement advocated by Galerius, he finally demanded the "Augustate" for himself and Constantine to remedy this injustice. Galerius decided to add the title of filii Augustorum to Caesar's, and finally granted them the title of augustus in the spring of 310. Indeed, Galerius once again needed the support of the other three tetrarchs as a new usurpation threatened the restored balance of the Tetrarchy.

With Constantine officially recognized as Augustus, Maximian Hercules lost all usefulness in the eyes of his son-in-law. Realizing that he could no longer count on him to return to power, he tried his luck. Taking advantage of the fact that Constantine had left for the Rhine to fight the Bructers, he went to Arles and announced the false news of the emperor's death. For the third time in his life, Diocletian's former brother-in-arms donned the imperial purple. This time, too, it was a failure: the soldiers, warned of the lie, quickly refused to follow him, and Constantine's southward march forced Maximian Hercules to flee Arles for Massilia, where he shut himself away. His adventure ended there: as soon as Constantine and his army reached the city walls, the inhabitants opened the city gates to him. Maximian Hercules was captured and stripped of his purple. Driven to suicide, he hanged himself a few days later in July 310.

Constantine was increasingly seen as the strong man of the regime. His elevation to the "Augustate", along with that of Maximin Daia, established a tetrarchic system: there were still four legitimate emperors, but the hierarchical relationships between the various tetrarchs were becoming less and less clear. While Galerius was still theoretically the principal emperor, in practice each emperor ruled his territory more or less independently.

Diocletian's great persecution

From the outset, the Tetrarchy, symbolizing unity and renewed stability, was closely associated with pagan religion. Emperors were deified: Diocletian took Jupiter, the Conservator of the Roman State, as his protector, while Maximian was related to Hercules, the son of Jupiter. The prominence of traditional Roman religion soon raised the question of how to deal with a growing Christianity. After several years of prevarication, Diocletian finally decided to fight the religion of Christ, and issued several imperial edicts that marked the last great persecution of the Roman Empire. From February 24, 303 to early 304, four increasingly severe edicts were issued in the names of Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius and Galerius. Churches were destroyed, holy books confiscated, clergy arrested and all those who refused to sacrifice to the gods of the Empire were tortured, condemned to death or deported to the mines.

The question of who was responsible for this persecution has been historically debated. In fact, ancient sources, starting with the contemporaries, the Christians Lactantius and Eusebius of Caesarea, point to Galerius as the main instigator of this policy. According to them, the brutal Caesar, under the influence of his mother Romula, a fiercely anti-Christian pagan priestess, had coerced or manipulated Diocletian into carrying out this great persecution. This explains why the edicts were not issued until the eighteenth year of Diocletian's reign. However, while Galerius undoubtedly approved of these anti-Christian measures, which he continued to enforce after Diocletian's departure, his role is probably greatly exaggerated. Indeed, the burning of the imperial palace at Nicomedia and the growing number of incidents in the army, where Christian soldiers refused to sacrifice, may also have prompted the emperor to implement the persecution. Galerius' influence was not fully felt until the last of the four edicts, which obliged all Christians to sacrifice to the gods of the empire on pain of death, was published in early 304, when Diocletian was overcome by illness. Nevertheless, this last edict, while more radical, was no less in keeping with the previous texts and was first and foremost the result of Diocletian's will.

The scale of persecution also needs to be put into perspective. It was applied very unevenly throughout the empire. Constantius Chlorus in the West was content to destroy a few monuments, while Maximian Hercules, who had initially fully implemented Diocletian's orders, soon tired of the persecution. Finally, Maxentius and Constantine both had strong reservations about the appropriateness of such a policy, which they virtually never implemented. This is a clear distinction between the East, where Galerius and Maximin Daia were very zealous in enforcing imperial edicts, and the West, where persecution was on a lesser scale. This distinction, which beyond the attitude of the various tetrarchs can be explained by the much higher proportion of Christians in the East than in the West, reinforced the idea, among contemporaries, that Galerius was largely responsible for this outburst of violence.

The Edict of Sardique and the death of Galerius

Although Galerius is considered the main architect of the repression of Christianity, it was he who first repealed the persecution measures that had been enacted against the followers of Christ's religion. The stated aim of the persecution edicts of 303 and 304 was, in fact, to force Christians back to the beliefs of their ancestors. However, contrary to what Diocletian and Galerius had hoped, the violent anti-Christian measures proved totally unproductive. While the religion of Christ was well and truly deserted by some, they did not return to traditional Roman cults; even worse, they seemed to have decided not to worship any divinity at all. Acknowledging the failure of the persecutions to eradicate Christianity, Galerius decided to put an end to them once and for all.

On April 30, 311, he published an edict of tolerance in Nicomedia or Sardique, recognizing the existence of the Christian religion. This "Edict of Sardikus" or "Edict of Galerius" put an end to all anti-Christian measures still in force in the empire. Issued by Galerius without consulting his peers, it was promulgated not only in his own name, but also in that of his three fellow tetrarchs - Constantine, Licinius and Maximin Daia. Going further than the "little peace of the Church" granted by Gallien at the end of Valerian's persecution in 260, during which the practice of the Christian religion and the construction of places of worship were tolerated, Galerius went so far as to give Christianity a form of legitimacy, humbly asking his followers to pray for him and for the salvation of the empire. Immediately after the publication of this text, all imprisoned Christians were released. If persecution measures had already been effectively abandoned in the West, they ceased in the East, in the territory under Galerius' control. Maximin Daia, who was very reticent about this new policy, opposed it. Taking advantage of the withdrawal of his former master Galerius, he kept Diocletian's edicts in force.

During the winter of 310, while preparing to celebrate his vicennalia, Galerius was struck down by illness. The precise nature of this long and painful illness is difficult to deduce from the testimonies of both Christian authors, whose statements are polemical in nature, and less oriented authors such as Zosimus and Aurelius Victor, who remain vague, referring to an infected wound.

In his De Mortibus Persecutorum, the Christian apologist Lactantius describes the appearance of an abscess in the emperor's genitals, paralleling the description of Antiochus IV Epiphanes' illness, terrible suffering and remorse, reported in the Book of the Maccabees in a literary motif of the persecuting ruler's redemption regularly repeated by Jewish and Christian authors, also follows the pattern of Antiochus' death, stating that after the promulgation of the Edict of Sardikus, Galerius had been relieved of his suffering, only to die a few days later. Later, the Ruffin apologists added that the emperor had committed suicide out of pain.

Based on these texts, which are replete with atrocious, complacently-reported and perhaps imaginary details, modern studies have hypothesized a form of penile cancer. According to historian Arnold H. M. Jones, Galerius came to believe that he was being avenged by the Christian god, which would also explain his change of religious policy.

Wishing to die in his birthplace, at Felix Romuliana, where he had built himself a fortified residence modelled on Diocletian's palace at Spalatum, Galerius, faced with a new outbreak of the disease, did not arrive alive at his destination: Galerius died in the province of Dardania, at the beginning of May 311, just a few days after the promulgation of his edict of tolerance. His body was buried in his palace at Felix Romuliana, in the presence of Emperor Licinius.

Galerius' death left the Tetrarchy in deep crisis. Power was shared between three legitimate emperors - all three Augustans - Licinius, Maximin Daia and Constantine, and one usurper, Maxentius. However, no one attempted to re-establish the system as Galerius had done at Carnuntum. Thus, no new emperor was elected to replace the deceased Augustus; Licinius and Maximin hastened to place his former provinces under their authority and move the border between their territories to the shores of the Bosphorus. At the same time, Maxentius, claiming revenge for the death of his father Maximian, declared war on Constantine. However, neither of them took any immediate major action. From then on, alliances were formed: in the winter of 311, Constantine allied himself with Licinius, to whom he offered the hand of his sister Constantia. Reacting to what he saw as an alliance against him, Maximin officially recognized Maxentius and signed a military alliance of mutual defense. In the meantime, Diocletian died, probably affected by the turn of events and Constantine's condemnation of his former companion Maximian to damnatio memoriae.

The confrontation between Maxentius and Constantine finally took place in 312 and, after the Battle of Milvian Bridge, resulted in Maxentius' death. Contrary to Galerius' expectations, it was Constantine and not Licinius who conquered the usurper's former territories. Once again, the new master of Rome tried to win Licinius' alliance. The two men met in Milan in February 313. There, they agreed to govern their two territories together. On this occasion, they again proclaimed, as Galerius had done in his edict of 311, freedom of worship for all inhabitants of the empire. Going further than Galerius, Constantine also convinced Licinius to consider forms of compensation for Christians who had been robbed of their property. This declaration of principle must be seen in the context of the fact that Maximin Daia, in the East, where Christian populations were greatest, still refused to apply the Edict of Sardikus.

Fearing once again that the rapprochement between the other two tetrarchs would be at his expense, Maximin crossed the Bosphorus and invaded Licinius' territory. Defeated by Licinius at Hadrianople on April 30, 313, he retreated to Nicomedia and then Tarsus, where, caught by his adversary, he committed suicide. Licinius condemned the memory of the deceased and took the opportunity to get rid of all his potential opponents. Severianus, Severus' son, was executed for serving Maximin, while Gaius Valerius Candidianus, Galerius' bastard son born in Thessalonica around 297, was murdered in Nicomedia. Maximin's wife, also Galerius' daughter, was drowned; Galerius' wife Valeria and her mother Prisca, Diocletian's wife, were beheaded. Licinius then moved to the East, where he enforced the Edict of Sardikus everywhere, and shared power with Constantine in the West for a time. Civil war broke out again in 324, pitting the two former allies against each other. Constantine's triumph over Licinius marked the end of the system of Diocletian and Galerius.


  1. Galerius
  2. Galère (empereur romain)
  3. Il est dès lors surnommé Armantarius, « celui qui garde les troupeaux ».
  4. De fait, la mise en place de la Tétrarchie par Dioclétien tient plus de choix pragmatiques que d'une doctrine préconçue. Voir à ce sujet Le Glay 2005, p. 512).
  5. Cela n'est peut-être toutefois qu'une invention postérieure, l'événement n'étant mentionné chez aucun contemporain. Voir Williams 1997, p. 80. D'après Roger Rees, ce peut être tout simplement une marque de déférence d'un César pour son Auguste. Voir Diocletian and the tetrarchy, p. 14.
  6. Carus a mené une campagne victorieuse contre Vahram II en 283, au cours de laquelle il a pillé les villes sassanides du Moyen-Euphrate et est parvenu à prendre d'assaut Ctésiphon et Weh-Ardashîr, les capitales perses. Sa mort quelques jours plus tard amorce, toutefois, la retraite de l'armée romaine. Ses successeurs se montreront incapable de tirer profit de cette victoire.
  7. junto con Constancio (hasta 25 de julio de 306) luego Severo (hasta la primavera de 307) después Constantino (desde circa septiembre de 307; no reconocible por acuñamiento de moneda de Galerio desde circa septiembre de 307 hasta noviembre de 308) luego Licinio (desde 11 de noviembre de 308)[1]​
  8. ^ Gai Galeri Valeri Maximià, Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana
  9. ^ Timothy David Barnes,The new empire of Diocletian and Constantine, Harvard University Press, 1982, p.37.
  10. ^ Timothy Barnes (New Empire, 33–34) questions the parentage of Theodora shown here. He proposes that Maximian is her natural father (and that her mother is possibly a daughter of Afranius Hannibalianus). Substituting Afranicus Hannibalianus and switching the positions of Maximian and Eutropia would produce a diagram that matches the alternative lineage.

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