From A.D. 30 to A.D. 311, a period in which 54 emperors ruled the Empire, only about a dozen took the trouble to harass Christians. Furthermore, not until Decius (249–251) did any deliberately attempt an Empire-wide persecution. Until then, persecution came mainly at the instigation of local rulers, albeit with Rome’s approval. Nonetheless, a few emperors did have direct and, for Christians, unpleasant dealings with this faith. Here are the most significant of those rulers.
The volume presents in seven chapters papers on early Christian topics by Geoffrey de Ste. Croix. Three of the chapters include papers which have previously been published and are widely accepted as classic studies, while the other four now appear in print for the first time – though they have already proved influential as a result of presentation at seminars and circulation in manuscript. The volume's central themes are: martyrdom, the evidence for which Ste. Croix scrutinizes closely in order to reveal the extent to which Christians, through the process of volunteering, were responsible for bouts of persecution; persecution, which extends from the Christian experience as recipients to their role as far more effective agents of the persecution of non-Christians and doctrinal opponents; orthodoxy, the determination of which through Church Councils, especially at the Council of Chalcedon, emerges as the product of calculated imperial intervention; and finally property and slavery, on which a clear divide emerges between the radical message of the Gospels and the actual practice of the early Church. In addition, the editors of the volume contribute essays on the historiographical impact of Ste. Croix's contributions to the study of early Christianity and on his views of toleration in the ancient world.
The Spread Of Christianity In Rome Essay | EssaysTopic
In the spring of 312, Constantine entered on a final bid for supremacy in the West. Campaigning against his rival, Maxentius, through north and central Italy, he reached within five miles of Rome on October 27. That night he had a vision or dream that convinced him that his own destiny lay with Christianity. Next day he defeated Maxentius’s superior forces and entered Rome in triumph. In February 313 Constantine met Licinius (who had succeeded to Galerius’ European dominions), and in a document that has become known as the Edict of Milan formally ended the persecution. All individuals were to be free to follow their own consciences. In fact, the Edict proved to be the deathknell of the immortal gods. Eleven years later (in 324), Constantine defeated Licinius and proclaimed his adherence to Christianity and his aim that Christianity should become the religion of the Empire now united under his sole rule. The church had triumphed.
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He visited Palestine about 400 when a young man, and,according to his own account, was much persecuted by Jews and Samaritansduringhis visit, "for there were few Christians in Palestine and the Jews andSamaritans who dominated the country persecuted them."47Jerome,however, who was living in Bethlehem at this time and was himself no friend ofthe Jews,relates nothing which could be called persecution.
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(2) Persecution showed that the Christian faith is immortal even in this world. Of Christ's kingdom there shall be no end. "Hammer away, ye hostile bands, your hammers break, God's altar stands." Pagan Rome, Babylon the Great, as it is called by the apostle John in the Apocalypse, tried hard to destroy the church of Christ; Babylon was drunk with the blood of the saints. God allowed this tyranny to exist for 300 years, and the blood of His children was shed like water. Why was it necessary that the church should have so terrible and so prolonged an experience of suffering? It was in order to convince the world that though the kings of the earth gather themselves against the Lord and against His Christ, yet all that they can do is vain. God is in the midst of Zion; He shall help her, and that right early. The Christian church, as if suspended between heaven and earth, had no need of other help than that of the unseen but divine hand, which at every moment held it up and kept it from falling. Never was the church more free, never stronger, never more flourishing, never more extensive in its growth, than in the days of persecution.
What I believe (by E.M. Forster) - Spichtinger
The Synagogue isboth of these, and if shecontinues in fornication and adultery, God will strip off her clothes andremove the ornaments which He gave her."167 Jerome evenmaintains that the Jews and their adherents were still "persecuting" theChristians of his day, something very hard to believe in the light of the otherevidence previously reviewed: "Right up to the present time, moreover, those whointerpret the Scriptures according to the Jewish manner persecute the Church ofChrist, and fill the church not with zeal for the word of God, but with thetraditions of depraved individuals."168 Note how vague thesereferences to the "depraved" Jews are.Several passages from the seem todemonstrate that Jerome knew of an actual ritual of cursing which the Jewsemployed against the Christians in their synagogues.