History, Facts and Information about Galerius
The content of this article provides interesting history, facts and information about the Emperor Galerius and the all-powerful Caesars who ruled the empire of Ancient Rome. The word "Caesar" was originally the name of the famous aristocratic patrician family of ancient Rome and became synonymous with the Roman Emperors. Refer to the comprehensive List of Roman Emperors for the names of the most famous Romans, their dynasties and the historic eras of all the Roman Emperors and usurpers. Read about the life of Galerius who can be described or remembered as:
"The Emperor who persecuted the Christians but eventually begged for their prayers..."
Short Biography about the life of Galerius
Short Biography profile and facts about one of the most famous Romans of all, in the life of Galerius, Emperor of Rome and provinces of the Roman Empire.
Name commonly known as: Galerius
Latin Roman Name: Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus
Reigned as Roman Emperor / Caesar: Reign 293 - 305 as Caesar, under Diocletian and 305 - 311 as Augustus alongside Constantius Chlorus
Constantius was Augustus in the west
Dynasty / Historical Period: In 285 the Roman Empire was split in half by Diocletian - The Western Roman Empire and the other half became known as the Eastern Roman Empire or the Byzantine Empire.
Name of previous Emperor: His predecessors or the Emperors before Constantius I were:
Diocletian was Augustus of the East: Ruling Asia, Egypt and Thrace
Maximianus was Augustus of the West: Ruling Italy and Africa
Place and Date of Birth: Born c. 250 in Felix Romuliana (Serbia)
Name of previous Emperor: His predecessor or the Emperor before Galerius was
Date succeeded as Emperor of Rome and circumstances of rule:
Family connections / Genealogy
Married: Galeria Valeria
Father: A herdsman
Place and Date of Death: 5 May 311 near Serdica
For the names of the next Roman emperors in the East and the West of the Empire refer to the Timeline of Roman Emperors
Interesting facts about the life of Galerius
Obtain a fast overview of the times of the Roman Emperor Galerius from the following facts and information about his life. Why was Galerius famous? Accomplishments, achievements and important events. Galerius reigned 293 - 305 as Caesar, under Diocletian and between 305 - 311 as Augustus alongside Constantius Chlorus. The war with Persia had started, in which Galerius was at first defeated in A.D. 296. But the next year Galerius passed through the mountains of Armenia at the head of twenty-five thousand chosen men, and, having surprised the Persian army in the night, slaughtered great numbers of them; the booty, too, was immense. Galerius was a barbarian soldier and finding a bag of shining leather filled with pearls he threw away the contents and preserved the bag! The uncultivated savages that Galerius led gathered a vast spoil from the tents of the Persians, unaware of much of their value. Galerius, having taken prisoners several of the wives and children of the Persian monarch Narses, treated them with such tenderness and respect that Narses made peace. Mesopotamia was therefore added to the empire by Galerius, being taken from the King of Armenia, who received in its place a considerable Persian province. After the abdication of Diocletian and Maximianus Galerius ruled the East together with the Caesar he had appointed, whose name was Daza, but who called himself Maximin.
Galerius and the Christians
Galerius had a bitter hatred of the Christians and encouraged his co-rulers in the persecution of the Christian sect. The persecution of the Christians raged in the East under Galerius and Maximin Daza. Christians were hunted down like wild beasts from one end of the empire to the other. The persecution of Christians began A.D. 303, and continued for nearly ten years. The persecution of the Christians raged in the East under Galerius and the Caesar he had appointed, whose name was Daza, but who called himself Maximin. The following link provides details of the Edicts of Diocletian and the persecution of Christians.
Persecution of Christians
So many Christians perished that the emperors of the Tetrarchy boasted that they had totally eliminated the Christian sect. Many Christian Martyrs were later canonised. Details of these Saints, their tortures and deaths are detailed in the following section:
Lives and Deaths of Catholic Saints
The Death of Galerius
Galerius died on 5 May 311 near Serdica of a horrible disease, during which he was filled with remorse for his cruelties to the Christians, sent to entreat their prayers, and stopped the persecution. The laws against Christians therefore eased in 311 when the general edict of toleration was issued. On his death, Licinius seized part of his dominions, and there were other men calling themselves Emperors: Licinius in Asia, Daza Maximin in Egypt, Maxentius at Rome, and Constantine in Gaul. Flavius Valerius Severus became Caesar then Augustus of the west.
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Map of the Roman Empire c395AD illustrating the power of the Emperor