Born of Illyrian peasant stock, Licinius advanced in the army and was suddenly elevated to the rank of augustus (November 308) by his friendGalerius, who had become emperor. Galerius hoped to have him rule the West, but sinceItaly, Africa, and Spain were held by the usurperMaxentius, while Constantine reigned in Gaul and Britain, Licinius had to content himself with rulingPannonia. When Galerius died in 311, Licinius took over Galerius European dominions. He married Constantines half sister Constantia (313) and in the same year defeated the Eastern emperorMaximinusat Tzurulum, east of Adrianople,Thrace, pursuing him into Asia, where Maximinus died. Licinius thus added the entire eastern half of the empire to his dominion.

After a brief accord between the two augusti,Constantineforced Licinius to surrender the provinces of Pannonia andMoesia. There followed 10 years of uneasy peace in which Licinius built up his army and accumulated a huge reserve of treasure. In 324 Constantine defeated him at Adrianople and again at Chrysopolis (now skdar, Tur.). Licinius surrendered, was exiled to Thessalonica, and was executed the next year on a charge of attempted rebellion.

During the campaign against Maximinus, Licinius had made his army use a monotheistic form of prayer closely resembling that later imposed by Constantine. On June 5, 313, he had issued an edict granting toleration to the Christians and restoring church property. Hence his contemporaries, the Latin writerLactantiusand Bishop Eusebius, hailed him as a convert. But he eventually became alienated from the Christians and about 320 initiated a mild form of persecution.

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(who had been promoted Augustus in 308 by Galerius against Constantine), and, in Africa, the usurper Domitius Alexander.

(Galerius having died in 311): Constantine became Western emperor and

defeated Maximinus and became the sole Eastern emperor but lost territory in the Balkans to Constantine in 316. After a further period of tension, Constantine

in February 313. The proclamation, made for the East by

in June 313, granted all persons freedom to worship whatever deity they pleased, assured Christians of legal rights (including the right to organize churches), and directed the prompt return to Christians of confiscated

, Roman emperor from 305 to 311, notorious for his persecution of Christians. Galerius was born of humble parentage and had a distinguished military career. On March

, Roman emperor from 310 to 313 and a persistent persecutor of the Christians. He was a nephew of Galerius, one of the two men named augustus after the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian.

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