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The Emperor Galerius by Joseph Kleinman

In my last submission I gave an overview of Ancient Numismatics. Now I will discuss an individual who changed the course of history but is seldom recognized as doing such. Consider the Emperor Galerius. As a junior emperor or Caesar under Diocletian he was responsible for initiating the last great persecution of the Christians. It is generally believed that Constantine was the first emperor to grant religious toleration to the Christians but that is not the case, It was in fact Galerius. The text of the edict he issued just a few weeks before he died in AD. 311 reads as follows.

"Amongst our other measures for the advantage of the Empire, we have hitherto endeavored to bring all things into conformity with the ancient laws and public order of the Romans. We have been especially anxious that even the Christians, who have abandoned the religion of their ancestors, should return to reason. For they have fallen, we know not how, into such perversity and folly that, instead of adhering to those ancient institutions which possibly their own forefathers established, they have arbitrarily made laws of their own and collected together various peoples from various quarters. After the publication, on our part, of an order commanding the Christians to return to the observance of the ancient customs, many of them, it is true, submitted in view of the danger, while many others suffered death. Nevertheless, since many of them have continued to persist in their opinions and we see that in the present situation they neither duly adore and venerate the gods nor yet worship the god of the Christians, we, with our wonted clemency, have judged it wise to extend a pardon even to these men and permit them once more to become Christians and reestablish their places of meeting; in such manner, however, that they shall in no way offend against good order. We propose to notify the magistrates in another mandate in regard to the course that they should pursue. Wherefore it should be the duty of the Christians, in view of our clemency, to pray to their god for our welfare, for that of the Empire, and for their own, so that the Empire may remain intact in all its parts, and that they themselves may live safely in their habitations."

So here we have an emperor who reversed a bad decision and changed history of civilization for the better. The coinage of Galerius is readily available and very affordable.

These are Pendants made with Folli of Galerius:

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