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(174 words)

Author(s): Hahn, Johannes
[German Version] Roman emperor from 306 to 312 (Marcus Valerius Maxentius; 279 – Oct 28, 312). The son of Emperor Maximianus, Maxentius was excluded from the line of succession in 305, ursurped power in Rome in 306, suspended the persecutions of Christians (I) soon thereafter, fell out with his reactivated father in 307, and allied with Constantine against Galerius; he broke with Constantine in the middle of the year 310. The conditional freedom of religion granted to the Christians by Galerius in…


(108 words)

Author(s): Hahn, Johannes
[German Version] Roman emperor (c. 180–251 ce). After a senatorial career, Decius was chosen as (anti-)emperor in 249 at the Danube. In his efforts toward the political order and cultic unity of the empire, he issued a universal sacrificial order ( supplicatio). All citizens of the empire had to have their performance of the sacrifice officially confirmed ( libelli); the refusal of many Christians sparked a major persecution (I) (Eus. Hist. eccl. VI 41.9 f.). After fighting the Goths in the Balkans, Decius fell in 251. Johannes Hahn Bibliography R. Selinger, Die Religionspolitik des K…

Domitilla, Flavia

(97 words)

Author(s): Hahn, Johannes
[German Version] was the granddaughter of Emperor Vespasian. In 95 ce, she and her husband, T. Flavius Clemens (then consul), were charged with atheism and banished by Emperor Domitian, her uncle (Suet. Dom. 15.1; Eus. Hist. eccl. III 18.4). She donated a burial place (later called the cemetery of Domitilla, on the Via Ardeatina). It is uncertain whether she was a Christian, as claimed by Eusebius ( ibid.), or Jewish. See also exegesis: VII, fig. 1. Johannes Hahn Bibliography M. Sordi, II Cristianesimo e Roma, 1965 (Italian); ET: The Christians and the Roman Empire, 1994, 44–47.


(807 words)

Author(s): Uehlinger, Christoph | Hahn, Johannes
[German Version] I. Pre-Hellenistic Period – II. Antiquity I. Pre-Hellenistic Period Gaza was considered the most important city in southwestern Palestine, with a large, fertile trading area on the highway from Egypt to Syria, the destination point of the Frankincense Road from Arabia to the ¶ Mediterranean. It has been almost continuously inhabited since the second half of the 2nd century bce. The history of Gaza began, according to the evidence of its name (Canaanite ‘azzat, Heb. ‘azzāh, “strengthened, fortified”), toward the end of the Middle Bronze Age with the est…

Late Antique Religions

(575 words)

Author(s): Hahn, Johannes
[German Version] The “Constantinian turn” in 312 ce, after which Christianity and the church were massively promoted by the state, was not matched by a general decline of pagan (polytheistic) cults in Late Antiquity and the centuries immediately following. The 2nd and 3rd centuries had witnessed new religious developments such as the invasion of Eastern cults, worship of the sun, and the increasing popularity of oracles. Now in the 4th century, despite growing imperial pressure (conflict over the altar…


(164 words)

Author(s): Hahn, Johannes
[German Version] (Valerius Licinianus Licinius; c. 250, Dacia – 325, Thessalonica), Roman emperor 308–324 ce, was the son of a peasant who became the friend and staff officer of Galerius. In 308 Diocletian promoted him to the rank of Augustus of the West. Involved in the power struggles of the tetrarchy from 311 onward, Licinius adopted a friendly attitude toward the Christians (so-called Toleration Edict of Milan, Feb 313). Having become ruler of the East after checkered military campaigns, he was defeated by Constantine the Great, banished, and then executed in 325. The anti-¶ Christia…


(192 words)

Author(s): Hahn, Johannes
[German Version] (Publius Licinius Valerianus; 199 – after [?] 260), Roman emperor 253–260 ce, of noble birth. After the murder of Trebonianus Gallus in Raetia in 253, Valerian was proclaimed emperor by his troops and headed to Rome, where he was proclaimed emperor by the Senate; his son Gallienus became co-regent. In August of 257, attacks in the East induced Valerian – probably adopting the policies of Decius – to proceed against the Christians (Eus. Hist. eccl. VII 10f.): ban on assembly; supplicatio by the clergy before the Roman gods on pain of banishment (Persecutions o…


(124 words)

Author(s): Hahn, Johannes
[German Version] (Athenais; died Oct 20, 460). Eudocia of Athens was the well-educated daughter of the pagan rhetorician Leontius; on Jun 6, 421, she was married to Theodosius II after being been baptized and taking the name Aelia Eudocia. A devout Christian with increasing influence on her husband, she was styled Augusta in 423. In 438 she went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. With the …

Porphyry of Gaza

(203 words)

Author(s): Hahn, Johannes
[German Version] (c. 247, Thessalonica – Feb 26, 420), bishop c. 395–420, previously staurophylax in Jerusalem. His vita, preserved in divergent Greek, Syriac, and Georgian recensions (dependence unsettled, pace Peeters), is said to have been composed by his deacon Marcus, but it cannot antedate the mid-5th century. The subject of the vita, one of the most colorful pictures of the struggle between paganism and Christianity in Late Antiquity, is the work of Porphyry in Gaza: his ¶ fostering of the small Christian community, his mobilization of imperial support against the…