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On March 1, 293, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus established the Tetrarchy, a system of rule by two senior Emperors and two junior sub-Emperors. The two coequal senior emperors were styled identically to previous Emperors, as Imperator Caesar NN. Pius Felix Invictus Augustus ("Elagabalus" had introduced the use of Pius Felix, "the Pious and Blessed", while Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus "Thrax" introduced the use of Invictus, "the Unconquered"), and were called the Augusti, while the two junior sub-Emperors were styled identically to previous Emperors-designate, as Nobilissimus Caesar. Likewise, the junior sub-Emperors retained the title "Caesar" upon accession to the senior position.

The Tetrarchy was quickly abandoned as a system (though the four quarters of the empire survived as praetorian prefectures) in favour of two equal, territorial emperors, and the previous system of Emperors and Emperors-designate was restored, both in the Latin-speaking West and the Greek-speaking East.

While Augustus had political and military supremacy, he needed the assistance of his fellow Romans to manage the Empire.

Princeps officius was the chief of staff, permanent secretary or chef de cabinet Cornicularius was a military title, for an administrative deputy of various generals etc. Adiutor (literally "helper") seems to have been the chief (general) assistant, or adjutant Commentariensis was the keeper of "commentaries", an official diary Ab actis was the keeper of records, the archivist Numerarius ("accountant") seems to have been the receiver of taxes Subadiuva ("under-helper") seems to have been a general assistant Cura epistolarum was the curator of correspondence Regerendarius may have been a registrar Exceptor seem to have been a secretary Singularius has been called a notary, but the word can also refer to a bodyguard