By the end of the second century, the Christian apologist Tertullian complained about the widespread perception that Christians were the source of all disasters brought against the human race by the gods.
They dissolved the sacred ties of custom and education, violated the religious institutions of their country, and presumptuously despised whatever their fathers had believed as true, or had reverenced as sacred.
The edict was in force for eighteen months, during which time some Christians were killed while others apostatised to escape execution.
These persecutions heavily influenced the development of Christianity, shaping Christian theology and the structure of the Church.
All provincial governors had the right to run trials in this way as part of their imperium in the province.
In cognitio extra ordinem, an accuser called a delator brought before the governor an individual to be charged with a certain offense—in this case, that of being a Christian.