February 19: Edict of Milan
2016/02/19 § Leave a comment
During this month in 313, emperors in the East and West issued the Edit of Milan.
Depending on the tolerance of each passing Roman emperor, different religious sects would be persecuted or protected from time to time. It was only with the definitive statement of the Edict of Milan, issued jointly by the emperors of the East and West, Licinius and Constantine, that religious toleration was firmly established throughout the Roman empire. Its particular focus was to support Christians, who were assured legal rights, the return of their confiscated property and the ability to organize. In fewer than one thousand words, the emperors issued one of the most monumental changes in global history, with obvious ramifications for architecture too, since it was only after the Edict of Milan that Christians could build in a big public way. Constantine was one of the first out of the gate, directing the construction of shrines, baptisteries, mausolea and churches in Rome and throughout the Empire, paving the way for amazing churches from Rome to . . . well, almost everywhere. Let the Bored Panda be your guide, and then tell us what the panda got wrong.
Image: San Paolo fuori le Mura, Rome; rebuilt on its 4th-cent. design (Clio’s)