October 2011
Review of Military History;2011, Vol. 2011 Issue 5/6, p1
Academic Journal
The Christians were considered enemies of the Roman Empire, because it was considered that the security was threatened by their refusal to perform the required offerings to the traditional gods, which ensured pax deorum. The security (securitas) of the Roman people and state depended on this alliance with the gods. The systematic persecution was initiated in the last years of Diocletian, after some isolated cases of conviction due to the opposition to the laws or to the military regulations. Christians were expelled from the army only after the end of the war against Persia (299). he general persecution started in February 303, the most important consequences had the fourth edict issued in February or March 304. Diocletian and Galerius ordered that every person in the empire was obliged to make offerings to the gods, regardless of their religion. Many Christians were persecuted on the basis of this edict. In the Danubian provinces, the persecution started in 303 occurred at the same time with a series of wars against the Sarmats and Carpi. he Christians were convicted because they were considered a danger for the security, especially if they were military. Several military martyrs are known at Durostorum, the garrison of Legio XI Claudia. hey were killed in 303 and 304. In the same years suffered the martyrdom many civilian Christians from the Danubian provinces. Two of them, Epictet and Astion from Halmyris are better known because it was preserved the relation about them, and because the archaeological excavations unearthed their relics. he date of their martyrdom was set in 290, but the analysis of the source shows that their trial should be dated after the fourth edict against the Christians. hey were convicted because they influenced the citizens to reject the offerings to the gods, in a fortress important for the security of the frontier. Therefore, the true year of their martyrdom is 304.


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