This letter is arguably the most important document of the Christian faith; it stands behind virtually all great movements of God in the last years. The Author Although there is no dispute about Pauline authorship, it may be helpful to rehearse, in brief, why that is the case. External Evidence The ancient writers regularly included Romans in their list of authentic documents.
Although in the first few centuries AD Christians were prosecuted and punished, often with death, there were also periods when they were more secure. Secondly, the rise of Christianity to imperial-sponsored dominance in the fourth and fifth centuries, although surprising, was not without precedent, and its spread hardly as inexorable as contemporary Christians portrayed it.
Christians were first - and horribly - persecuted by the emperor Nero.
Christians were first, and horribly, targeted for persecution as a group by the emperor Nero in 64 AD. A colossal fire broke out at Rome, and destroyed much of the city.
Rumours abounded that Nero himself was responsible. He certainly took advantage of the resulting devastation of the city, building a lavish private palace on part of the site of the fire.
Perhaps to divert attention from the rumours, Nero ordered that Christians should be rounded up and killed. Some were torn apart by dogs, others burnt alive as human torches. Over the next hundred years or so, Christians were sporadically persecuted.
It was not until the mid-third century that emperors initiated intensive persecutions. Top Reasons for persecution Why were Christians persecuted?
Much seems to have depended on local governors and how zealously or not they pursued and prosecuted Christians. The reasons why individual Christians were persecuted in this period were varied.
In some cases they were perhaps scapegoats, their faith attacked where more personal or local hostilities were at issue.
Contemporary pagan and Christian sources preserve other accusations levelled against the Christians. Pagans were suspicious of the Christian refusal to sacrifice to the Roman gods. Pagans were probably most suspicious of the Christian refusal to sacrifice to the Roman gods. This was an insult to the gods and potentially endangered the empire which they deigned to protect.
Furthermore, the Christian refusal to offer sacrifices to the emperor, a semi-divine monarch, had the whiff of both sacrilege and treason about it. He refused, and although he was apparently eager to meet his death, beast-fighting had been declared closed for the day and so he was burnt alive instead.
General persecutions tended to be sparked by particular events such as the fire at Rome under Nero, or during periods of particular crisis, such as the third century. During the third century the turn-over of emperors was rapid - many died violent deaths. As well as this lack of stability at the head of the empire, social relations were in turmoil, and barbarian incursions were on a threatening scale.
The economy was suffering and inflation was rampant. Pagans and Christians alike observed this unrest and looked for someone or something, preferably subversive, to blame. It was hardly surprising that a series of emperors ordered savage empire-wide persecutions of the Christians.
How can we explain this? Well, the Roman empire was in the first few centuries AD expansionist and in its conquests accommodated new cults and philosophies from different cultures, such as the Persian cult of Mithraism, the Egyptian cult of Isis and Neoplatonism, a Greek philosophical religion.
Paganism was never, then, a unified, single religion, but a fluid and amorphous collection. But it would also be a mistake to describe Roman religion as an easy, tolerant co-existence of cults.
The cults of Bacchus and of Magna Mater had also been suppressed. The very history of Christianity and Judaism in the empire demonstrates that there were limits to how accommodating Roman religion could be, and these were not the only cults to be singled out for persecution.
Bacchic revels encouraged ecstatic drunkenness and violence, and the cult of Magna Mater involved outlandish dancing and music, and was served by self-castrating priests. Under particular emperors, Christians were less liable to be punished for the mere fact of being Christians — or indeed, for ever having been Christian.
Thus under Trajan, it was agreed that although admitting to Christian faith was an offence, ex-Christians should not be prosecuted.
Historians have marvelled at this idea.
Emperors had historically been hostile or indifferent to Christianity. How could an emperor subscribe to a faith which involved the worship of Jesus Christ - an executed Jewish criminal? This faith was also popular among slaves and soldiers, hardly the respectable orders in society.
The conversion was the result of either a vision or a dream in which Christ directed him to fight under Christian standards, and his victory apparently assured Constantine in his faith in a new god.Turnitin provides instructors with the tools to prevent plagiarism, engage students in the writing process, and provide personalized feedback.
CHAPTER I. THE BATTLE OF MARATHON Explanatory Remarks on some of the circumstances of the Battle of Marathon. Synopsis of Events between the Battle of Marathon, B.C. , and the Defeat of the Athenians at Syracuse, B.C.
The very idea of empire was created in ancient Rome and even today traces of its monuments, literature, and institutions can be found across Europe, the Near East, and North Africa- .
Decadence, Rome and Romania, the Emperors Who Weren't, and Other Reflections on Roman History What do you think of the state of Romania?
Does it stand as from the beginning, or has it been diminished? Doctrina Jacobi nuper baptizati. I like the faith message that I get out of the "literary device" viewpoint.
My only minor quibble is that the order of Genesis 1 is close enough to the natural scientific order. The festivities of the Roman state religion were steeped in tradition and ritual symbolism. Sacred offerings to the gods, consultations with priests and diviners, ritual formulae, communal feasting—were all practices aimed at fostering and maintaining social cohesion and communicating authority.