Who were the significant persons and what events contributed to the negative then positive relationship between Christians and Rome?

A

The figures who played an important role in the negative relationships between Christians and Rome were Diocletian and Galerius. Under Diocletian’s and Galerius’ rule, which took place between 303 and 312, Christians were severely persecuted. The major reason for such treatment was the increased popularity of Christianity among the troops. As a result, the edict ordering to destroy churches and burn scriptures was issued. Moreover, Christians who had privileges were deprived of them, and church leaders were arrested. However, by 311, Galerius relented, asking Christians to pray for his health upon finding out that he had cancer.

The first Christian emperor of Rome was Constantine, without whose support Christianity could not have left the dimension of a minority religion. Constantine made a positive contribution to the relationship between Rome and Christians. Constantine’s support and benevolence toward Christians played an important role in the western world’s history. At the same time, it would be wrong to say that Constantine and his follower, Licinius, took an entirely new direction of governing. In the political dimension, they were adhering to the initiatives introduced by Diocletian. The system of provinces, which was suggested by Diocletian, proved to be successful during Constantine’s rule. Thus, the reforms were followed by Constantine, with the peak of their introduction occurring between 324 and 337 when he was sole emperor. While Constantine supported Christians, he was baptized only before his death. Therefore, Constantine’s attitude toward Christianity may be defined as pragmatic. He never let the church intrude into his authority. However, Constantine’s attitude toward the new religion was enough to create productive grounds for its development.

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