Milan, Edict (Agreement) of

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Galerius, in 311, issued an edict of religious tolerance; and Constantine, after defeating Maxentius (Oct. 28, 312), published decrees favorable to the Christians. When Constantine and Licinius met in Milan (February 313), they resolved their political problem and agreed on certain legal provisions in favor of the Christians. While no edict was issued at Milan, the contents of these resolutions are recorded in a rescript issued by Licinius for the East on June 13, 313, prescribing that everyone, including Christians, should be given freedom to follow the religion that suited him, in order that the favor of every divinity in heaven might be ensured for the emperor and his realm. Ordinances hostile to Christians were lifted; general and unrestricted freedom of religious practice was guaranteed. Confiscated Church property was to be restored gratuitously, and the Christians were once more given the right of forming a legal corporate body. Without complete agreement on the particulars, both Lactantius (De mort. pers. 48) and Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. 9.9.12; 9a.12; and 10.5.214) supply evidence of this agreement of Milan.

Bibliography: j. r. palanque, Histoire de l'église depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours, a. fliche and v. martin, eds., 3:2024, with literature. v. c. de clercq, Ossius of Cordova (Washington 1954) 145146. Handbuch der Kirchengeschichte 1:462463. h. nesselhauf, Historisches Jahrbuch der Görres-Gesellschaft 74 (1955) 4461.

[a. w. ziegler]