Cabbages and Kings

Well emperors in Croatia’s case. Diocletian, who finally decided that enough was enough and that the Roman Empire was simply too big for one man to manage, decided to split it up and appointed two Augustii and two underling Caesarii to do the job. He himself retired to his vast palace in Split where he’d been brought up to concentrate on growing cabbages, dragging his own Caesar, Maximian, into retirement with him. Maximian wasn’t too keen on this and the precariously unified empire slid predictably into civil war as four power-crazed would-be sole emperors thrashed it out.

After much slaughter all round, it ended with Constantine coming out on top and shifting the capital from Rome to Byzantium and renaming the city after himself. Rome was overwhelmed by the Huns and Goths and the Byzantine Empire rose like a glamorous phoenix from the ashes of the Graeco-Roman world.

Anyway, this is a view off the Dalmatian coast, which is pretty peaceful these days despite Croatia’s hectic history. Diocletian’s palace can still be seen in Split, and it’s a great place to sip a slivovitz and soak up the imperial atmosphere.

Evening on the coast of Dalmatia

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