Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
There Is No Crime for Those Who Have ChristReligious Violence in the Christian Roman Empire$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Gaddis

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241046

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241046.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use (for details see http://california.universitypressscholarship.com/page/535/privacy-policy-and-legal-notice).date: 20 July 2018

“What has the Emperor to Do with the Church?”

“What has the Emperor to Do with the Church?”

Persecution and Martyrdom from Diocletian to Constantine

(p.29) 1. “What has the Emperor to Do with the Church?”
There Is No Crime for Those Who Have Christ

Michael Gaddis

University of California Press

This chapter describes the Diocletian, the Great Persecution, Christian martyrdom, and then the religious policies of Constantine, with particular attention to his dealings with the early Donatists. It also examines the motives and justifications behind pagan emperors' persecution of Christians, and argues that some of the same attitudes toward violence and coercion persisted under the Christian empire. Moreover, it describes the formation of Christian concepts of martyrdom that cast a shadow over the religious conflicts of later generations. The end of persecution had been accompanied by an even more dramatic development: for the first time in history, an emperor had openly embraced Christianity. Constantine's mention—and dismissal—of martyrdom not only implies his awareness that lethal force was necessary, but also suggests that he anticipated how the Donatists might have responded to coercive violence. Violence used for the sake of unity shatters that unity.

Keywords:   Diocletian, Christian martyrdom, Constantine, Donatists, persecution, violence, coercion, Christian empire, Christianity

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.