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Diocletian, Maxentius and the legal status of Christianity: An interdisciplinary dialogue on rediscovered Tetrarchic and Maxentian legislation

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Event description

It is my pleasure to announce the following online colloquium, which will be hosted over zoom by the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Sydney:

'Diocletian, Maxentius and the legal status of Christianity: An interdisciplinary dialogue on rediscovered Tetrarchic and Maxentian legislation'


Saturday, 29 June

It will run for approximately 2 hours, beginning at:

8am (US West Coast)

11am (US East Coast)

4pm (UK)

5pm (Western Europe)

1am, 30 June (Australian East Coast)

The colloquium will focus on the following recent studies, which recover and reconstruct Diocletianic and Maxentian legislation on the legal status of Christians, including the Tetrarchic persecution, and the toleration granted by Maxentius:

Serra, D., M. Cecini, F. M. Serra & A. Podda. 2021: El rescriptum del emperador Majencio sobre Lucilla de Cartago en vísperas del cisma donatista, Antigüedad y Cristianismo 38, 85–113.

Serra, D., F. M. Serra, M. Cecini & A. Podda. 2021: Marcianus Gr. II, 145 (1238 F. 1R): Nota preliminare a due inedite epistulae dell’imperatore Massenzio nel quadro dei rapporti tra Cristianesimo e Impero. Riflessioni sulla cronologia del primo editto di tolleranza. Anejos de Antigüedad y Cristianismo 8, Murcia.

Serra, D. & M. Cecini. 2022: El Senatoconsulto y el edicto de Diocleciano y Maximiano contra Christianos y el edicto abrogativo de Majencio: BHG 1576, BNF Grec. 1470, ff. 120v-121r. Antigüedad y Cristianismo 10, Universidad de Murcia.


Researcher presentations:

Dr. Diego Serra (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos): "Convicting and allowing Christianity. The language of law in Diocletian and Maxentius' provisions: a legal-philological and legal-historical analysis"

Dr. Marco Cecini (Independent): "From Crown Prince to Public Enemy: The Political Consequences of Maxentius' Tolerance"

Interlocutor presentations:

Prof. David J. DeVore (Cal Poly Pomona): "Rediscovered Directives and Revised Narratives: Lactantius, Eusebius, and Scholars Now"

Prof. Carl Rice (Vassar College): "Epistemicide and Knowledge Destruction in the Tetrarchic Period"

Prof. Mark Humphries (Swansea University): "Making sense of Maxentius"

The colloquium will then conclude with a group discussion facilitated by Dr. Byron Waldron (University of Sydney)

A finalised programme and Zoom link will be provided closer to the date.

For any inquiries, please email Dr. Byron Waldron at

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