Edict Of Milan: A Source Analysis On The Results Of The Document

894 words - 4 pages

Emperor Constantine was the key to a major religious change in the Roman Empire. Paganism was the religious practice of the early empire, and while paganism was publically expressed those who followed Christianity were persecuted. These Christians had their property and pride ripped away from them if they did not recant their religious views. This was a harsh life for those who followed Christianity until Emperors Constantine and Licinius meeting in Nicomedia to create the Edict of Milan. The edict, created in the year 313, proved to be a major change in the religious culture of the Roman Empire by granting religious freedom to Christians and all other religions practiced in the empire; not ...view middle of the document...

Imbued with a strong heritage of Paganistic beliefs the ancient Greek city of Byzantium was completely reformed around Christianity and was called Constantinople, named after Emperor Constantine himself. It was here that the Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical church council, had their meeting in 325. At this meeting the bishops gathered and made some of the basic laws and doctrines of the Christian church. Having been watching their leader convert and take a greater interest in Christianity most people had too begun converting the religion. What started out as a change towards a new Rome was soon corrupted by the successors to Constantine, for they brought with them unethical forms of Christianity.
Emperor Constantine did not plan for a new religious war to begin because of the Edict of Milan. The edict was made to allow religious freedom to aid in unity, however allowing the various factions of Christianity to roam free, including those led by heretics, made it impossible for the new system to work out and was bound to create tensions between all the different groups. The start of the Christians’ disagreements was after their push to annihilate paganism. In 391 and 292 two edicts, Anti-Pagan legislation issued by Emperor Theodosius I, removed all the old public and private cults. The Christians were not satisfied with just outlawing the pagan beliefs, so led by their religious leaders Christians began to destroy any remaining links to paganism; such a leader was the bishop of Hippo, Saint Augustine, who in 401 made it clear to his followers that he wanted all things related to paganism destroyed. While the Christians were...

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