Presenter: Nicola Holm (Mid-candidature review)

The reign of Diocletian and the first Tetrarchy (AD 293-305) is most often associated with the ‘Great Persecution’ of 303, which identified Christianity as a threat to Rome and its empire. However, these policies were not isolated, with a number of imperial documents from the preceding decade featuring rhetoric propagating romanitas in a number of its manifestations (such as the importance of the pax deorum, the dichotomy of human and non-human, and the examples of the emperors). This paper will examine these documents in order to place the persecution of 303 into context as a continuation of policies aimed at maintaining the stability of Rome and its traditions. The three documents that will be discussed are: the Damascus Edict on Incest (295), the Edict on Maximum Prices (301), and the Letter on the Manichees (302). The vigorous promotion of romanitas for the sake of the empire would ultimately provide the backbone for the policies of the later Tetrarchs, especially Galerius and Maximinus Daza.

About Classics and Ancient History Seminars

Event details

  • The seminars take place at 4pm, in the Michie Building (09), Room 536
  • Seminars are also on Zoom. Send an email to Duncan Keenan-Jones ( for the link.
  • Upcoming seminars can be found here.
  • Please be aware that we are still operating under Covid-19 regulations during public events. Masks are no longer required at UQ locations - however, UQ strongly encourages mask wearing when physical distancing is not possible. UQ strongly encourages all campus attendees to be up to date with vaccinations. And finally, those who are feeling unwell, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous 7 days or have been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 7 days, are asked not to attend this seminar.
  • For those attending in person, if you would like to join us for drinks and/or dinner afterwards at UQ’s St. Lucy's from 5:15 pm, please RSVP by email to Duncan Keenan-Jones ( by 9am on the day of the seminar.
  • Please also contact Duncan Keenan-Jones should you have questions about the event.

The Friends of Antiquity, an alumni organisation of the University, runs its own series of public lectures, which take place on Sunday afternoons. The Friends’ program for can be found at