Essay on The Decline Of The Roman Empire

800 Words Sep 29th, 2016 4 Pages
Christianity has over two billion followers, which clearly makes it the most popular religion today. Moreover, Christianity is a relatively young religion when compared to other popular religions like Judaism or Hinduism. Thus, historians have looked for reasons as to why Christianity rose so astronomically compared to other popular religions. Consequently, this question leads Rodney Stark to the answer that women in the Roman empire played a massive role in popularizing Christianity in western society. In Stark’s most famous work Reconstructing the Rise of Christianity: The Role of Women, it argues that the unbalanced gender ratios in both pagan and Christian societies and the charitable nature early Christianity offered to women would create the ideal scenario as to why Christianity rose so quickly in the Roman empire.
In the Roman empire infanticide was practiced heavily amongst pagans, they would mostly target “unwanted female infants and deformed male infants” (Stark 231). Furthermore, many females died from extremely painful abortions. However, only the pagans partook is these atrocious practices while Christian society made these practices taboo. Stark argues that thanks to these different ideologies both societies had, it caused disproportionate gender ratios in the Roman empire. Additionally, Stark found evidence for his thought as J.C Russel a historian who researched the populations of classic civilizations had “estimated that there were 131 males per 100 females…

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