1700 years of Edict of Milan marked in Sarajevo

1700 years of Edict of Milan marked in Sarajevo


By Nevena Šarenac – Sarajevo

Round table ‘Lands of Ancient Illyria before and after the Edict of Milan’ was held in Sarajevo on the occasion of 1 700 years since the Edict of Milan, which ended 300 years of persecution of Christians in the Ancient Rome, especially those done by Emperor Diocletian and Galerius.

This scientific gathering represents important and great event for scientific and cultural public of Sarajevo and BiH. It was announced that conclusions from this round table will be published in the book, which will be available in the e-form in October this year.

Selmedin Mesihović from the Department of History of the Faculty of Philosophy said that this scientific gathering was dedicated to marking 1 700 years since the Edict of Milan was passed, which was the turning point in the history of Euro-Mediterranean World.

‘During 300 years of Roman state, Christians did not feel safe and free, and occasionally they’ve been persecuted. Those persecutions were carried out by the state, and those done by Diocletian and Galerius were particularly severe. After that, in 313 CE, emperors Constantine and Licinius made an agreement to give freedom to all Christians. Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and thanks to him, this religion has become ruling ideology’, said Mesihović.

According to him, if the Constantine-Licinius agreement was not reached and is important to know Constantine supported Christianity privately, today’s world would have been a very different place, because the dominance of Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) would not happen, and in place of churches and mosques there would temples dedicated to Jupiter, Apollo, Mithra  or Athena.

Mesihović noted that 1 700 years since the Edict of Milan was passed will be marked all over the world, and that today’s round table will give secular dimension and complete picture of the area of Illyria.

‘Participants of the round table are young people with different views. We want to see the whole and balanced picture of those events without the influence of ideologies’, said Mesihović.

Talking about the current state of interreligious tolerance in BiH, he noted the system of tolerance in this country must be created, unlike the current flawed system.

‘In the ancient period there were no religious wars and religion was not imposed to anyone. Everything changes when we start dealing the absolute truth- the system of religions with divine epiphanies. Person who believes in other dogma is seen as infidel. That is the problem of this flawed system. If we would live in a system of acceptance, that would become a new social, political, economic and cultural enlightenment’, concluded Mesihović.