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The Last Great Persecution

The last of the persecutions was closely connected with the increased
efficiency of the imperial administration after a period of anarchy, and
was more effective because of the greater centralization of the government
which Diocletian had introduced ( 55). It was preceded by a number of
minor persecuting regulations, but broke forth in its full fury in 303,
raging for nearly ten years ( 56). It was by far the most severe of all
persecutions, in extent and duration and severity surpassing that of
Decius and Valerian. As in that persecution, very many suffered severely,
still more lapsed, unprepared for suffering, as many were in the previous
persecution, and the Church was again rent with dissensions and schisms
arising over the question of the administration of discipline.

Next: The Reorganization Of The Empire

Previous: Manichaeanism

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