Spread Of Christianity In The Roman Empire Essay Questions
Essay on Roman Persecution of Christians
1235 Words5 Pages
From the third to the fourth century, the Roman Empire witnessed a widespread attempt to stop the spread of Christianity. Initially, leaders of the church were predominately targeted, but later anyone admitting to Christianity became a target. The persecutions hit a climax during Diocletian’s reign. These persecutions actually helped the spread of Christianity by glorifying Christians and beginning a tradition of martyrdom that shaped the Church, and the strength that Christians displayed shows that the persecutions could not have possible stopped the spread of Christianity. In the first half of the third century, Christian persecution was fragmented and while Christianity was illegal, there is not evidence that it was widely persecuted.…show more content…
This also persisted throughout the fourth century. Often, enforcement of persecution laws was really left up to local officials. There are reports of terrible and unrelenting persecution in some areas, while there are no reports at all in others. Additionally, issues at the border throughout this time often plagued emperors, so it was impossible to ensure that their edicts were universally carried out. As a result, the empire simply was not equipped to completely halt the spread of Christianity.
Because Christianity could not be completely purged by the Empire, it created an opportunity for Christians to display how strongly they were devoted to the religion. The way in which they responded made all the difference. Under pressure, they would not submit, and this was proof of the force and influence of Christianity.
During the persecutions, churches and scripture were destroyed. Many were killed and tortured. Despite this, many remained brave and unafraid according to accounts. The idea of redemption and a magnificent afterlife led many Christians to almost fervently pursue martyrdom. These martyrs were glorified, and miracles were reported to have occurred in their presence. They refused to reject Christ and, in turn, were subjected to torture and humiliation. Eusebius describes the proceedings during the Great Persecution: “…the rules in question brought a certain man into a public place and commanded him to sacrifice. When he refused,
Essay on The Spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire
1117 Words5 Pages
Factors Which Led to the Spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire
Christianity was not born in a vacumn. There were many social, geographical, historical and religious issues prevailing at the time of Christ and all of which were favorable to the spread of Christianity.
Geograpicly, Christianity came into being in the Meditation world, the largest of the various centers of civilization at that time. Israel stands almost central to the five continents, dividing the east and west.
Another factor, which many scholars believe to be the single most important in the spread of Christianity, is the Pax Romana. This saw a period of over two hundred years, between 30 b.c. and a.d. 193, in…show more content…
This could only be done if travel was easy, which required good roads connecting every part of the empire with the capital. These roads were not exclusively for military use and the progress of travel was increased for all, this included the travel of Christian missionaries.
Another extremely important factor which contributed to the spread of the Christian faith was the creation of a universal language- this came in the form of Greek. The result was that the movement of ideas was no longer restricted by the language barrier. The Old Testament was translated into Greek and, outside Israel, it was widely used in Jewish communities- it was often the Greek and not the Hebrew version of the bible which was used by Paul and other early missionaries quoted from. For the first one hundred years of the church's writings, Greek was the medium used for expansion into the Gentile world. Wand highlights the importance of a universal language, "One coinage and one language would carry the traveler all the way... Greek was a kind of universal language which one could make shift anywhere- there would always be found someone who could speak it.
Growing cosmopolitism must also be considered as a factor which favored the spread of Christianity. In both the Greek and Roman Empires there was a tendency to conform to a set pattern; this resulted in local peculiarities being