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Valerius Maximianus Galerius

d.311. Roman emperor. A native of Illyricum and of humble origin, he was invested with the title of Caesar in 293 by Diocletian, whose daughter he married, and was given responsibility for the Danube frontier. Here he won several victories over the Germans (293-95). When Diocletian decided on measures against the Christians, the severity with which this decision was implemented in the series of edicts after 303 was due largely to the influence of Galerius. As the emperor's health failed, Galerius's power increased, and in 305 he persuaded both Augustuses to abdicate and himself became the Augustus of the East while Constantius became that of the West. The church in the West enjoyed comparative peace after this, but Galerius and his Caesar, Maximin, continued their policy of persecution. After 307 there was some remission, but it was not until his own health failed and he was under the threat of an alliance between Constantine and Maxentius that Galerius published his Edict of Toleration from Nicomedia in the same year that he died.

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