The Impact Of Early Christianity On Ancient Rome

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Over the past two centuries, historians have studied and gave several theories on how early Christianity grew in ancient Rome. An estimated 100,000 Christians were killed between 30 and 313 CE (Christian Era). The leading cause of death was the Roman emperors. Christians in ancient Rome were often brutally punished as the rise of the Christian religion threatened to overtake other religions and strip power from the emperors. Christians often received harsh punishments for their beliefs. In the first centuries AD if someone was found out to be a Christian they were punished and prosecuted. It actually took Roman authorities a long time as they hesitated for what to do with this new “cult”. Their punishment was often death, but sometimes they would get away with only being thrown in jail instead of being tortured. However, there were some periods of time in which Christians were not punished or put to death. Here is an example of a time of peace, given to the people by the emperor. This peace, or toleration, varied from emperor to emperor as they all had different opinions on the situation. (At the time Jews and Christians were not considered different from each other and it was not until later on that the two religion broke apart and officially became two separate religions.) A Greek Papyri in the British Museum has written: “ I entreat you, the Alexandrians, to behave tolerantly and benevolently towards the Jews, since they have lived in the same city as you for many years, and not to abuse the religious rights which they practice in the worship of their god, but to allow them to observe their own customs. But without reservation I order the Jews not agitate for more indulgence than they enjoyed in the past, and not to send in t... ... middle of paper ... ... time did not like, causing them to take action to eliminate this threat. The religion also threatened the Principle of Religious Toleration. The Principle of Religious Toleration had kept Rome at peace from religion wars for a long time (Roman Religion.) It stated a set of rules to restrict religions from doing certain things, which the Christian religion did not follow. Without the religious foundation that the Roman empire was based on the emperor would lose most, if not all of his power. Christianity in ancient Rome threatened to take power away from emperors and to overtake other religions. This lead to the brutal persecution of many Christians. The Romans tried to eliminate the threat of Christianity to keep their empire and religion powerful. The killing of Christians lasted from 30 to 313 CE. There were an estimated 100,000 Christians killed during this time.

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