Christianity In The Roman Empire

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Throughout the first three centuries, Christianity faced persecution from the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was one of the most powerful and influential empires in history. Roman allies associated themselves with Roman traditions. Despite the division of the Roman Empire, Christians continued to be persecuted. Constantine, one of Caesar’s sons from the Tetrarchy, would go on to become emperor of Rome and challenged traditional beliefs. Under the rule of Constantine, he implemented a series of reforms such as the edict of Milan, Nicene Creed and changes in the culture of Rome, shifted the empire’s paganist ideology toward a Christian one.
Christians under the reigns of Diocletian and Galerius, were not allowed to practice their religion freely.
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In 313 AD, Constantine and Licinius issued the famous Edict of Milan. This was crucial for religions because it created a universal toleration by which Christians and others were permitted to worship freely. Christians were given back land that was confiscated and were allowed to build churches. Walson in “Constatine I” writes that emperor Constantine, “While he tolerated certain pagan religious practices, pagan sacrifices were forbidden, temple treasures seized, gladiatorial contests ended, crucifixions were abolished, and laws were enacted against sexual immorality and ritual prostitution” (1). Though Constantine proclaimed himself as the ruler of all Romans, it was evident that there was favoritism towards Christianity, which could be seen through the restrictions that were implemented on pagan practices. His mother also advocated Christianity by spreading the religion and building churches. “He gave vast amounts of money from his own personal treasury to the churches of God, for the enlarging and heightening of their sacred buildings and for decorating the sanctuaries of the church” (Christian History Institute, 1). The basilicas of Old St. Peters and St. John Lateran in Rome were financed by Constantine. The establishment of these churches allowed Christians to have a place to worship and helped strengthen the …show more content…
“The Council of Nicaea established the equality of Father and Son and documented this in a creed, or universal statement of faith” (“National Geographic, 1”). At this meeting, the basis for a Christian ideology was established. The Christianity that we are familiar with today is based upon that things that were agreed on during these meetings with Bishops at the Council of Nicaea. A majority of Constantine’s successors practiced Christianity, which ultimately led to the disappearance of the Greek and Roman Gods. Constantine also began changing the pagan feasts and festivals to a Christian’s festivities, symbols and oracle were replaced by saints and bishops (Dutton, Marchand, & Harkness, 178). He also changed the customs that were profound to Romans for many years and integrated Christian traditions and values which infuriated many paganist. Rome was to paganist which led to creation of Constantinople which was a Christian State where paganist churches were not permitted. An extraordinary achievement for the Christian religion was when Constantinople was named the capital of the

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