- Oct 2018
The second in a series of essays on the Tetrarchy I wrote a while back, enjoy :) It was said that the first Roman Emperor, Augustus, took walks in Rome during the final years of his reign, speaking freely with the common people. Half a century later, Nero engaged in similar activities...
In this thread it is also stated that Diocletian's wife (Prisca) and daughter (Valeria) were Christians. This is a common claim, but it stems from the Christian writer Lactantius, who in 314/5 related that Diocletian polluted Prisca and Valeria by making them sacrifice to the gods (De Mortibus Persecutorum 15.1). Perhaps they were indeed Christians, but I wouldn't put my money on it because a) Lactantius is producing invective against Diocletian, and b) the claim could be associated with the apparent trope that aristocratic and imperial women (e.g. Julia Mamaea, Otacilia Severa, Zenobia) were especially open to Christian ideas.