Trajan Martyrdom

Decent Essays
This too shows that the upper echelon had reservations about the killing Christians. Trajan’s persecution of the Christians was implemented as a means of social control to ensure that the pagan population did not rebel against the emperor. However, Trajan’s quest for social control did not deter pagans from converting to Christianity, courageous martyrdom in the circus actually promoted the faith. The act of martyrdom is Christianity embracing their ideological differences and exaggerating the behaviours that set them apart from the pagan community namely public sacrifices to the gods and the proclamation that a “criminal” is God . By placing Christ in the centre of the being, Martyrs expressed their devotion to their faith through their willingness …show more content…
For Christians to provide sacrifices to the pagan gods would be to succumb to the practice of idolatry. The Christians were steadfast towards their beliefs and refused to denounce their actions. They lived by doctrine, which stated that it was better to obey God than to fall to the whims of man . Martyrdom was the only option for their deviance, as it was the only means of professing their faith, ultimately showing the pagans that they were willing to die for their faith. The confusion of the pagans towards the pacifistic approach to “war” used by the Christians against the Roman religion implies that Rome was unaccustomed to this kind of rebellion. Romans had been taught to live and die for their emperor and the empire The puzzling behaviour of the Christians to accept their gruesome and humiliating deaths did not deter pagans from converting to Christianity as these martyrs acted as a means to opposing the erroneous aspects of Christianity that previously deterred …show more content…
Through witnessing acts of martyrdom pagan were drawn to Christianity, which eventually led to conversion. The public and humiliating acts of martyrdom experienced by Christians during the antiquity provided the pagan population with personification to the virtues of courage, devotion and loyalty they held dear. Although at first rejected, the acts of martyrdom aroused pagan curiosity, which led to the exploration of a religion that professes love: love for ones enemy, love of neighbour and love of God. It was through these acts of martyrdom that early pagan assumptions about the religious practices of Christianity were dispelled. When looked at in-depth the pagan community would not find the incestuous, bestial, cannibalistic religion they were told about, but an altruistic faith. Through interacting with the Christian minority the pagans would have discovered a faith that it altruistic in nature, a faith that seeks to help everyone regardless of gender, age or religious affiliation. Martyrdom dispelled the myths perpetuated by an empire in fear of malevolent gods and introduced them to the true God, energizing the faithful to embrace martyrdom with joy. To refuse the rejection of God and to embrace martyrdom is the highest honour in the Christian faith. The dogma of martyrdom is the most prevalent in Catholicism, as it is a faith that has experienced

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