380: Christianity becomes the state religion of Rome

Missorium of Theodosius


The emperor Theodosius I (r. 379-95) makes Christianity the official state religion of the Roman Empire in 380. More pagans and heretics are persecuted. The same year, the emperor issues the Theodosian Code:


“It is Our will that the people who are ruled by the administration of Our Clemency shall practice that religion which the divine Peter the apostle transmitted to the Romans… The rest, however, whom We adjudge demented and insane, shall sustain the infamy of heretical dogmas, their meeting places shall not receive the name of churches, and they shall be smitten first by divine vengeance and secondly by the retribution of Our own initiative, which We shall assume in accordance with the divine judgment.”
Theodosian Code, 380 AD