By Jacob Burckhardt
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But unless we are wholly deceived we have here a prescnhed and essential prmciple of the DIOcletianic system, which contemporaries could only partially dIvine. The establishment of a twentyyear period for the lllcumbency of the impenal office constitutes the capstone and safety control of the whole. The bmitation wa, intended to stamp adoptIOns and successions with the seal of necessity and inevitability. But in the followmg year (306) the whole system was irremediably shattered by the usurpation of the Emperors' sons who felt they had been passed over.
Instead of 52 DIOCLETIAN : ADOPTIONS AND REIGN the simple purple with which almost all his predecessors (exceptmg only the mad Emperors) had been content, DIOdetian wore, after 293, silk and gold-embroidered garments, and even his shoes were decorated with precious stones and pearls; upon rus head he wore a diadem, a white band set with pearls. Naturally, these were the official vestments in which he ap,peared only on ceremonial occasions. On his flying journeys and campaIgns he and his colleague Maximian adopted a dif· ferent style, as did also the Caesars, who were quick to fol.
There is a possibility (but no external evidence) that some local religion or superstitlOn was a special bond among these rulers. " Oaths, sacrifices, and dedications may have been Diocletian's substitute for what his pohtical arrangements lacked in strength and pennanence. The reader who is unwilling to accept our explanation may assume that at his elevation of Maximian Diocleaan could not forgo Maximian's co-operation and military talents, but that he passed over Maximian's son Maxentius because Calerius had long been his enemy.