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
The Triumph of Christianity in the Roman Empire Essays
560 Words3 Pages
Christians went from being persecuted to dominating Rome rather quickly. In a world where separation between church and state does not exist, a Christian becoming the sole emperor of Rome symbolized a huge turning point in history. The power switched and the Pagans in turn became persecuted. Christians rose up and took control of all aspects of Roman society. The Pagan past was destroyed, banned, or forgotten about. Those Christians that did not agree with how things were being run either left the empire and became monks or formed their own sect. All of Rome changed.
The part that interested me the most in these readings were those that strayed away from the standard Christianity that the emperor instated and followed their own…show more content…
Like the monks they too believed in "penance, suffering, and martyrdom" (164). Led by Donatus, this movement dominated North Africa. The church was not purely religious; however, its underlay was a revolutionary social movement. It was popular among peasants due to promises of reversing roles of slaves and masters. What confuses me is that the base of their religion seems very much involved with the government. That alone would not be surprising, since many religions share that quality; but, Donatus "insisted on complete separation of this Spirit-directed Church from the state" (164).
Separation of church and state was a big issue in the beginning of Christianity, mostly because it didn't exist. God supposedly chose the emperor Constantine and in turn Constantine chose Christianity as the empire's official religion. The union of church and state may not have been as great a problem if freedom of speech had also existed. It seems weird to imagine a right that I have taken for granted all of my life not to be present. Pagans experience a loss of political rights and status. Anti-pagan and anti-Semitic preaching rallied everyone against the "outsiders." Those, such as the popes, that enjoyed high ranks in Christianity now enjoyed high ranks in the government. Those, such as the emperor, that enjoyed high ranks in the government now enjoyed high ranks in Christianity. The line