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Kosovo hosts symposium “Edict of Milan- Constantine the Great”

Prishtina, 3 September 2013 - Today marked the beginning of a 3-day Symposium, “Edict of Milan- Constantine the Great”, organized by the Roman Catholic Church in Kosovo, Institute of History, Institute of Albanology, Prishtina University “Hasan Prishtina” and Institute of Archaeology.

This symposium marks the 1700 year anniversary of the Edict of Milan, a document granted by Constantine the Great, who controlled the Western part of the Roman Empire, and Licinius, who controlled the Balkans. This document marked the Roman Empire’s decision to support religious freedom for all, as it abandoned persecution of Christians. 

Supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, the Symposium takes place from 3-5 September, commencing with the exhibition of historic maps giving an insight into the old cartography related to Constantine and Edict of Milan.

The exhibition was be opened by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Petrit Selimi. The highlight is Tabula Militaris Itineraria, also known as Tabula Picta map, in which the old roads marked in Roman Empire at IV century AD, are shown. The exhibition will take place at the National Library in Prishtina, from 3-7 September, 2013.

Don Lush Gjergji, Vicar General of the Catholic Church in Kosovo said:
“This “map”, this very specific and very rare display in world cartography, markes the various roads in the Roman Empire with the three famous centers of the ancient era: Roma, Constantinople and Antiochia. This cartography marks the transition from paganism to Christianity, after the Edict of Constantine (313), and it was printed for the first time in 1793 on twelve foil papers, and 8-meter long, as a rare document of that historical period, which is also very precious for our Illyrian – Albanian world.”

Arben Arifi from the Institute of History said:
“The life of Constantine the Great was positive in the sense that he had perceived the foundations of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire. He, thereby dramatically, suddenly changed the course of the Western civilization. This was one of the most powerful transformations of history. As we can also see in the Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers, at the “De Imperatoribus Romanis” (DIB) section, Constantine the Great was rightly called the most important emperor of late antiquity.”

Day two of the Symposium will be opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj.

Minister Hoxhaj will deliver a speech will speak about the subject and the role of Constantine the Great, author of the Edict of Milan, as the principal act of Western civilization.

Distinguished historians and experts from Italy, Croatia, Albania, and France will lecture on a variety of subjects, including the historical significance of the Edict of Milan and the personality, achievements and legacy of Constantine the Great.

The symposium closes on 5 September with a visit to the old site the ancient Roman city of Ulpiana and with a mass and inauguration of the Cathedral of Blessed Mother Teresa in Prishtina on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s beatification.