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He raised his sword to the light of the sun and swore an oath disclaiming responsibility for Numerian's death.He asserted that Aper had killed Numerian and concealed it.On 20 November 284, the army of the east gathered on a hill 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) outside Nicomedia.The army unanimously saluted Diocles as their new augustus, and he accepted the purple imperial vestments. Born to a family of low status in Dalmatia, Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become Roman cavalry commander to the Emperor Carus.
His palace eventually became the core of the modern-day city of Split in Croatia.
Diocletian may have become involved in battles against the Quadi and Marcomanni immediately after the Battle of the Margus.
He eventually made his way to northern Italy and made an imperial government, but it is not known whether he visited the city of Rome at this time.
Under this 'tetrarchy', or "rule of four", each emperor would rule over a quarter-division of the empire.
Diocletian secured the empire's borders and purged it of all threats to his power.but some modern historians state that Diocletian avoided the city, and that he did so on principle, as the city and its Senate were no longer politically relevant to the affairs of the empire and needed to be taught as much.