In an age before oil or coal was used, manpower was required to make things work and run. And so the grain that we shipped to Ostia was Rome's life blood. It had to be moved by physical labor. Any poor harvests or threat of barbarian disruption would gravely affect the city of Rome. From 253 to 268 one Roman emperor, Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus, stayed in power, but he did so hardly with happiness or distinction. Elevated to rule by his father Valerian, he was the troop commander on the Rhine river. And his father fought against the Persians to the east, unfortunately getting himself captured and disgracing all of Rome when he was used as a human footstool by the Persian emperor when he mounted his horse. The litany of emperors who ruled and died violent deaths came to an end at the end of the century with the accession to power of Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus, or a man we call Diocletian, who came from a humble family in Dalmatia, what is now coastal Croatia. Towering above his time. He singlehandedly reordered and restored order to much of the Roman world. But in so doing, further sowed the seeds of collapse and destruction of Rome. Diocletian was the governor of Moesia, M-O-E-S-I-A, a Roman province full of unrest in the Balkans, south of the Danube river. And later on he became head of the imperial bodyguard. Unlike his predecessors who attempted to rule by themselves with little luck, Diocletian decided that tough times required tough new ideas. He created a tetrarchy, or rule of the empire by four men. Reasoning that the empire had become too large and complex for one man to cope with, he set up two Augusti, or principal rulers, and two Cesares, or Caesars, the latter being like apprentices in training to take over when the Augusti retired. His fellow Augustus was to be Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus. We call him Maximian, appointed in 286 CE given the task of looking after the western half of the empire. While Diocletian looked after the east from Nicomedia in modern Turkey near the Bosphorus. Later on, two younger Caesars were appointed, Constantius and Galerius, in the west and east, respectively. Diocletian did what virtually no Roman emperor in memory had been able to do, and he did it 305 CE. He retired, albeit to a huge fortified palace in what is now Croatia, his palace at Split. By this time, Rome rarely even saw an emperor, even though it remained the nominal capital city. Split contained wild baroque architecture. Much of which still survives and shows some of the innovative qualities of Diocletian's Syrian architect. Two monumental streets lined with beautiful Corinthian columns. Replaced within the walls with a main piazza in the center and four gates opening out from it. Eastern style, long, colonnaded streets ending in the palace entrance portico and vestibule, which features a pediment with an arched central area, richly carved moldings, and defensive towers flanking its entry were what we see. The overall plan was not truly symmetrical, but asymmetricality was commonly found during the third century at numerous sites in North Africa and was increasingly accepted during this period. Numerous small chambers are found all over the immediate area, no doubt intended as headquarters in the palace that split for the palace guard. In this complex, too, Diocletian planned to be buried. His mausoleum was to be a major attraction for future visitors just as the mausolea of Augustus or Trajan or Hadrian were in Rome. Outside, it was an octagonal form surrounded by corinthian columns, and featuring a crypt inside within the central podium. The strange angled columns of the podium featured an upper abacus with five sides, a nontraditional form for a column capital. The columns themselves seemed to be recycled from earlier structures, since they do not agree with each other. Some are marble, some granite, some fluted, some not. But the asymmetricality of the entire complex and the mismatching of the columns do not seem to have bothered the architect or apparently the emperor at all. In the mausoleum, there is an outer and an inner dome. The inner one rises over 70 feet above the ground, drawing on a base of 12 semicircular relieving arches. Between and above these are bricks arranged in a scale pattern. Now this is not just decoration but actually an attempt to stabilize the high dome, and horizontal rows of bricks were added into the mix. Just how exactly this was all intended to strengthen the dome isn't fully clear and is still debated. But the key thing is that it is still standing today. A lasting monument to a visionary emperor, ruling in a deeply troubled time.