Diocletian (284 - 305)
In addition to poverty, high taxes and unjust discrimination, Egypt also suffered from the attacks of the Blemmyes who came from the South. The Egyptian people did not show any resistance to these tribes, perhaps because they were tired of the Roman occupation. During the decline, the Roman administration did not find soldiers who wanted to serve in desert sites deprived from any sign of civilization.
Diocletian decided to move the defensive line to Aswan and convinced Bedouin tribes to move to the South to defend the Southern border in exchange for financial support. Moreover, Diocletian tried to buy peace through giving the Blemmyes large sums of money on the condition that they abstained from looting and pillaging.
In Alexandria, revolutions erupted one after another, the strongest of which was headed by Lucius Domitius Domitianus, who was declared emperor. Diocletian sent a large force that besieged Alexandria for 8 months and then attacked the city causing a great destruction. When Diocletian came to Alexandria, he found it an impoverished destroyed city with diseases and plagues striking its peoples. Diocletian decided to buy the Alexandrians' loyalty decreeing that part of the city's wheat reserve was to be donated to satisfy their hunger. In appreciation, the Alexandrians erected a monument in the form of a 26-meter column.
Diocletian decided to cancel the Alexandrian currency. Thus Egypt became incorporated with the monetary system of the Empire.
Diocletian had to face the danger of the new Christian Religion, which put obstacles in the way of materializing his project to revive the Empire. Christianity had spread in the Delta among the Greco-Egyptians and gradually spread to Alexandria that was evangelized by St. Mark in 60 AC. In 68 AC, he was martyred by an attack of pagans. Diocletian ordered the persecution of Christians and massacred thousands of them, so the year of his coronation is considered the year of the martyrs and the beginning of the Egyptian Coptic Calendar.
Diocletian divided the Empire into four regions, each two regions were governed by an emperor.
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