Analysis Of Constantine's Edict Of Milan

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In Constantine’s “Edict of Milan” in 313 A.D he publicly named the religion of Christianity legal for the first time. This document served as the official law or ruling by Roman government that allowed Christians to practice their religion freely. This document commissioned originally by Constantine was extremely significant because it made Christianity legal, therefore bringing Christians from the state of hiding into being able to freely practice their religion. Although this law was a joyous thing for all Christians (including Constantine), it left some of Roman Authority angry and disappointed.
For some members of Roman Elite, such as the Emperor Diocletian, this new proclamation or law made them very upset. They had a problem with Christianity
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When we think back upon the beginning of Rome, these values were the complete opposite than what they were used to. This is evident in their treatment of slaves and women and their approach towards battle. Roman society had a hierarchy of classes or people. Slaves were seen as being so low on the class system that they weren’t even considered human and women were seen as only good for child-bearing. Roman male citizens were the only people in Roman society that were important. Rome was also a fighting city. Battles were a big part of their culture and they definitely didn’t take the time to consider that maybe they should treat others how they would want to be treated before going into battle. So when the Christian religion comes along and shakes up those original values, some of the Roman authority fight against it. The Roman mindset as a whole however didn’t feel this way. This document shows that most Romans were open to the idea of Christianity and even embraced it. This is evident when the document states that “anyone of these who wishes to observe Christian religion may do so freely and openly, without molestation” and that “no one whatsoever should be denied the …show more content…
This document did however make sure to clarify that it was open to “Christian religions” and not all religions such as Islam or Buddhism. The tolerance for different religions was still very closed off to any other religion not a branch of Christianity. By passing this law, Constantine changed the fate of Christianity both negatively and positively. It was changed positively by his status as Emperor which made Christianity a sought out religion that ended up becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire. By legalizing Christianity, Constantine was able to get rid of the persecution that had previously gone along with being a Christian. Instead of being a secret religion, Christianity was now an open religion and even one that became the religion of the powerful. Although this may seem great, Constantine legalizing Christianity had a negative impact on the religion by getting rid of the martyrdom that was Christianity’s defining attribute. The thrill or attractiveness of the former Christian religion was the feeling of being heroic and dying or being persecuted for something you

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