Make Roma Great Again
ru | en


Attention! The text below was auto-translated from Russian. You can switch the site language to Russian to see the text in its original language or wait until it is fully translated.

Dominatus was a form of government in ancient Rome that replaced the principate and was established by the Emperor Diocletian (284-305). The dominant includes the period of tetrarchy.

Tetrarchy (Greek: τετραρχία — tetrarchy) is the name of a political regime in which the supreme power is divided between four people (tetrarchs, tetrarchs). As a rule, the tetrarchy is the system of government of the Roman Empire, introduced by the Emperor Diocletian in 293 and continued until 313. Its introduction was allowed toThe crisis of the Roman Empire of the 3rd century.

The word "dominant" usually refers to the period of the history of Ancient Rome from the 3rd to the 5th century AD. This period can also be called "late antiquity"or" late empire". The term "dominat" comes from the usual address to the emperor at that time — Dominus et deus noster sic fueri iubet (literally "lord and god" - Lat. dominus et deus). It was the first time Domitian had called himself that.

Map of the Roman Empire of the Dominant era

If at the end of the 1st century such a claim of the emperor was met with hostility by the Romans, then at the end of the 3rd century the term dominus was perceived by society quite calmly. The word dominus can also be translated into Russian as "sovereign".

The dominatum was the next phase of the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into an absolute monarchy - with unlimited power of the emperor. During the period of the principate, the old republican institutions were preserved and formally continued to function, and the head of state — the princeps ("first") - was considered only the first citizen of the republic.

During the dominant period, the Roman Senate is transformed into an estate with decorative functions. The main title of the head of state, instead of " princeps "("first") and" emperor", becomes " Augustus "(Augustus — "sacred") and" domin "(Dominus — "master", which meant that all others are his subjects, being in relation to him in the position of subordinate sons or slaves).

Bust of Diocletian, 3rd-4th century AD

The founder of the dominant system is usually considered to be the Emperor Diocletian. Diocletian established in his retinue customs borrowed from the East. The main center of power was the domin-centered bureaucracy. The committee responsible for collecting taxes was called the committee of " sacred (i.e., imperial) bounties "(sacrarum largitionum). The emperor made laws, appointed officials at all levels and many army officers, and, until the end of the 4th century, held the title of head of the College of pontiffs.

Despite the growing power of the emperor and the even greater sacralization of his power, some Republican traditions continued to exist. Thus, there were still such old republican magistracies as consuls and praetors-although they were only honorary titles in late antiquity. The traditions of Roman popular assemblies continued to exist in the army (Roman army contiones), with which the emperors were forced to reckon.

An important detail that does not allow us to call the dominant regime a classical monarchy was the fact that the principle of hereditary power was not fully established in Rome. Belonging to a ruling dynasty was quite an important argument in the struggle for power, but it was not a mandatory characteristic of the applicant, and the emperors, in order to ensure the legal transfer of power to their descendants, appointed them as their formal co-rulers in childhood.

Related topics

The Roman Empire, Principate


Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus. Domitian, 13 / / Life of the Twelve Caesars, Moscow: Nauka Publ., 1964, p. 217, 376 p. (Literary monuments). — 50,000 copies.