|The Palace of Diocletian at Split|
From when he became president to his resignation, we know virtually every word that Richard Nixon said. Acres of print have been covered in writing about him. Many of his staff and close friends are still alive and have talked about him freely. And yet the man is an enigma. We don't feel we know him or what motivated him at all. Some people just seem to have opaque characters no matter how much you know about them. On the other hand, Diocletian lived centuries ago and many of his actions were deliberately aimed at obscuring what is true thoughts and intentions were. Despite this Gibbon is able to paint a detailed portrait of the man and we feel that we are getting to know him well. Unlike Nixon, everything he does seems to express his character.