Which Emperor Made the Practice of Christianity Legal in the Roman Empire

Constantine`s laws applied and reflected his Christian attitudes. Crucifixion was abolished for reasons of Christian piety, but replaced by hanging to demonstrate the preservation of Roman supremacy. On March 7, 321, Sunday, which was sacred to Christians as the day of the resurrection of Christ and the Roman sun god Sol Invictus, was declared an official day of rest. On that day, markets were banned and public offices closed,[33] except for the purpose of freeing slaves. [34] However, there were no restrictions on the performance of agricultural work, which was the work of the vast majority of the population, on Sundays. [35] Justinian II set a precedent by moving the image of the emperor backwards and placing the image of Christ on the obverse, as seen in this play from 692-695 AD (Kazhdan 1991). The obverse depicts Jesus Christ raising His right hand to bless and hold the gospel, while the edges of the cross protrude from behind His head. The inscription reads: “Jesus Christ, King of kings.” On the reverse is written “Justinian, servant of Christ” while wearing a crown with a cross and holding a strong cross. This important stylistic shift represents the full development of Christianity in the Roman world, from the theme of persecution, through progressive acceptance and representation, to the pioneering role and dethronement of certain places for rulers that were standardized even before the birth of Jesus Christ. The Edict of Milan now granted tolerance and permission to Christians throughout the empire to meet in their assemblies, thus legalizing the movement. Christianity was only one of thousands of indigenous cults throughout the empire.

The Council of Nicaea also set the date for the national celebration of Easter. Some congregations had insisted on following the evangelical tradition during Passover. Constantine is said to have written: Christians suffered sporadic and local persecution over a period of two and a half centuries. Their refusal to participate in the imperial cult was considered high treason and was therefore punishable by execution. The most widespread official persecution was led by Diocletian. During the Great Persecution (303-311), the emperor ordered the demolition of Christian buildings and houses and the collection and burning of their holy books. At the top of the composition, God`s hand descends from heaven to crown Arcadius, which is the propaganda of Christian emperors suggesting to their followers that their reign was legitimized by God`s command (Manders 2020). But conditions were about to improve further for the followers of Christianity. On February 27, 380, in the presence of the Western Roman Emperor Valentinian II (371–392), Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius I (347–395) signed a decree in Thessalonica that made Christianity the state religion and criminalized the practice of pagan rituals.