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Friday, 11 October 2013

The Monetary Reform Of Diocletian – Part One

We present here the first part of a series of articles devoted to analyze in detail about the currency reform introduced by Diocletian in the late third century AD, it would, in many ways, the starting point of the monetary system of the Lower Empire.

Diocletian's rise to the throne of the Roman Empire in the year 284 AD did not differ from that of most of his predecessors during the controversial shooting third century AD, the murder of an emperor confusing circumstances and choice, by the army, a successor from their own ranks, but the new sovereign achieved the current cycle of instability for decades and started a lasting reign marked by the significant reforms in many of the central aspects of the organization of the State. Some, such as the establishment of the Tetrarchy (multiple-emperor government) would only experiments that would lack continuity, but others, such as tax reform and the creation of a bureaucracy, laid foundation for what we know as the Lower Roman Empire.

One of the most complex political changes introduced by Diocletian and his colleagues was his effort to provide the Roman world of a new monetary system. The deterioration in the quality of the coin, the loss of confidence in it and inflation was three inherited problems which might have faced if Diocletian intended that fiscal and administrative plans viable. In the year 274 AD, Emperor Aurelian had already introduced a currency reform to address these challenges, but their impact was limited and new standards were quickly relaxed. The changes brought on by the Tetrarchs have, however, a much more profound impact, especially since it would implement in phases over an extended period of time.

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