From its founding the church spread quickly throughout most of the Roman Empire, despite much official opposition. Widespread, organized persecution finally stopped in 311 when Emperor Constantine I so ordered it in the Edict of Milan. From that time forward, the Byzantine emperor exerted various degrees of influence in the church. Sometimes this was seen as positive, as in the calling of the Ecumenical Councils to resolve disputes and establish church dogma on which the entire church would agree. Sometimes this was seen as negative, as when Patriarchs (usually of Constantinople) were deposed by the emperor, or when the emperor sided with the iconoclasts in the eighth and ninth centuries.
2 -[Orthodoxy : History of Ortodoxy]
3 -[Orthodoxy : Orthodox Structure / organization]
4 -[Orthodoxy : Orthodox Theology]
5 -[Orthodoxy : The four chief Orthodox activities]