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Diocletian

The Roman Emperor, noted for his fierce persecution of the Christians, 303. The Emperor Constantine, on the other hand, was the “nursing father” of the Church.

To make the Church's glory shine
Should Diocletian reign not Constantine.

Crabbe: Borough.

Diocletian
was the king, and Erastus the prince, his son, in the Italian version of the Seven Wise Masters (q.v.).

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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