Christianity and the Roman Empire: Background Texts
The rise of Christianity during the first four centuries of the common era was the pivotal development in Western history and profoundly influenced the later direction of all world history. Yet, for all that has been written on early Christian history, the primary sources for this history are widely scattered, difficult to find, and generally unknown to lay persons and to historians not specially trained in the field. In Christianity and the Roman Empire Ralph Novak interweaves these primary sources with a narrative text and constructs a single continuous account of these crucial centuries. The primary sources are selected to emphasize the manner in which the government and the people of the Roman Empire perceived Christians socially and politically; the ways in which these perceptions influenced the treatment of Christians within the Roman Empire; and the manner in which Christians established their political and religious dominance of the Roman Empire after Constantine the Great came to power in the early fourth century CE. Ralph Martin Novak holds a Masters Degree in Roman History from the University of Chicago.
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1 A Brief Introduction to Historical Method
The First Century CE
The Second Century CE
The Third Century CE
The Fourth Century CE
6 The Scouring of Alexandria ca 361416 CE
accused Alexandria Ambrose ancient Apostle Augustus believe bishop Caesar Celsus Christ Christian church Christian emperors Christians conﬂict Constantine Council of Nicaea Creed cruciﬁxion Cyprian Cyril death Diocletian divine doctrine Domitian early Christian Ecclesiastical History edict Eerdmans Publishing Empire’s Eusebius Eusebius of Caesarea evidence faith Father Fellows of Harvard ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst ﬂesh fourth century C.E. Galerius gods Gospel of Luke governor Grand Rapids Harvard University Press Herod holy honor Iesus imperial inﬂuence Jesus Jewish Jews Josephus Judaea Julian letter Loeb Classical Library Lord martyrdom martyrs Nicene ofﬁce ofﬁcials pagan Passover Paul permission of Wm persecution persons Pliny Polycarp prefect President and Fellows proconsul provinces punishment Quirinius Ramsay MacMullen reﬂected registered trademark reign religion Robin Lane Fox Roman Empire Rome Rome’s sacriﬁce second century C.E. Senate signiﬁcant sources synagogue Syria temple Tertullian Theodosius things Trajan trans Valentinian worship writings