The last and worst of the ten persecutions of the early Church was ordered by Diocletian, who enjoyed a relatively long and fruitful reign at the end of the third century. Although the Great Persecution is also known as the Diocletianic Persecution, for most of his reign, Christianity was tolerated in the Empire—during this period, in fact, there were many new converts to the faith. It was at the behest of his subordinates, Galerius and Maximian—who oversaw the Eastern Empire under the Tetrarchy—that Diocletian turned against the Christians. In the event, the persecutions continued for seven years after Diocletian abdicated. Thousands of Christians were martyred—and not in vain. Within a generation, Constantine the Great would make Christianity the official state religion of the Roman Empire.
The Great Persecution: A Box Of Three Coins (Three-Coin Box)
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