The Belly of Christianity was in Serbia

Felix Romuliana, a Roman fortified villa near the town of Zaječar in Eastern Serbia, almost built for Roman Emperor Galerius’s retirement days, was actually never finished since Galerius died in Serdica on his way back to his birthplace, a village nearby the villa. Galerius was the favorite of his predecessor Diocletian during the Roman Tetrarchy at the beginning of 4th century AD.

For the history of Christianity it is of great importance the fact that after the persecution of the Christians orchestrated by Diocletian, Galerius’s funeral ceremony took place on Magura, a hill above Felix Romuliana, named after the Emperor’s mother Romula who died a few years before that. Actually, history praises 311 AD, since the rite used for Galerius’s funeral was the Pagan Apotheosis.

Two years later, the Emperor Constantine, born not far from Galerius’s villa in the city of Naissus, proclaimed the Edict of Mediolanum, famous for giving to the Christians the same civil rights as to any other faith in the Roman Empire. Constantine was a Pagan, but due to the changed situation in the Empire, his victory in the civil war against Licinius, as well as the influence of his Christian mother Helen, he died as a Christian. Just two years separate the last Apotheosis rite and Constantine and Licinius signatures on the Edict of (now) Milan!

This all happened on a short distance from one villa (Galerius’s Felix Romuliana) to another (Constantine’s Mediana near Naissus). All this happened in present-day Eastern Serbia. It is an historical irony that Constantine died as a Christian in Nicomedia (Asia Minor), the once capital of Galerius, the one who had single-handedly signed his own edict of very similar content as the Milan one signed by Constantine. It was not meant to be for Galerius, who died soon after having signed his edict – the glory went to his successor, meaning that in 2013 the whole Christian world celebrated 17 centuries of the Edict of Milan.