Roman empire tolerant of all religious beliefs. Allowed spread of ideas and helped maintain unity across the empire. Rome took greek deities and added them to their beliefs, pantheon was fluid with stories and gods being created flexibility. Cybele earth mother goddess from asian minor. Church/state tension: monotheism was a new idea, not widely accepted by romans, persecution of christians due to the fact they refused to sacrifice to the. State thought that the christians were immoral due to misinterpretations of the language of the faith(cannibals because of body and blood of christ) Diocletian"s persecution of the christians: launch last major persecution in 303, 313 constantine issued edict of toleration. Possibly became christian on his deathbed: says that all peoples and faiths could flourish under the empire with individual decisions allowed. Every following emperor was christian except julian the apostate (361 : who tried to return the empire to previous state, failed and pagan/christian/state religion remained.