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According to Tacitus, Nero used Christians as human torches There are no references to the persecution of Christians by the Roman state prior to Nero, who according to Tacitus and later Christian tradition, blamed Christians for the Great Fire of Rome in 64, : Tacitus records Annals However, it has been argued that in context, the institutum Neronianum merely describes the anti-Christian activities; it does not provide a legal basis for them.
Furthermore, no known writers show knowledge of a law against Christians. Eusebius wrote that Flavia Domitilla was banished because she was a Christian. In one of his letters Letter Some who admitted that they had formerly been Christians but proved, by passing the test, that they were such no longer declared that Christians did not commit the crimes attributed to them, a declaration confirmed under torture by two slave women who were called deaconesses.
Pliny therefore asked the emperor whether ceasing to be a Christian was enough to secure pardon for having been one, and whether punishment was merited just for being a Christian "the name itself" or only for the crimes associated with the name. Trajan responded that the problem could only be dealt with case by case.
The authorities were not to seek Christians out, but people who were denounced and found guilty were to be punished unless, by worshipping the Roman gods, they proved they were not Christians having denied Christ and so obtained pardon.
Anonymous denunciations were to be ignored. Hadrian stated that merely being a Christian was not enough for action against them to be taken, they must also have committed some illegal act. In addition, "slanderous attacks" against Christians were not to be tolerated, meaning that anyone who brought an action against Christians but failed would face punishment themselves.
The pole in the arena is a memorial to the people killed during this persecution. Sporadic bouts of anti-Christian activity occurred during the period from the reign of Marcus Aurelius to that of Maximinus.
Governors continued to play a more important role than emperors in persecutions during this period. It was pressure from below, rather than imperial initiative, that gave rise to troubles, breaching the generally prevailing but nevertheless fragile, limits of Roman tolerance: The extent to which Marcus Aurelius himself directed, encouraged, or was aware of these persecutions is unclear and much debated by historians.
The sole account is preserved by Eusebius. The persecution in Lyons started as an unofficial movement to ostracize Christians from public spaces such as the market and the bathsbut eventually resulted in official action.
Christians were arrested, tried in the forumand subsequently imprisoned. Slaves belonging to Christians testified that their masters participated in incest and cannibalism.
Barnes cites this persecution as the "one example of suspected Christians being punished even after apostasy. Moreover, the church father Irenaeusthe Christian Bishop of Lyonwhere this incident allegedly took place, wrote his five volume Adversus Haereses injust three years after the alleged persecution but makes no mention whatsoever of any persecution which happened in his city.
Martyrdom of Saint Blandinaone of the martyrs of Lyons, stained glass window by Alexandre Mauvernay A number of persecutions of Christians occurred in the Roman empire during the reign of Septimius Severus The traditional view has been that Severus was responsible.
This is based on a reference to a decree he is said to have issued forbidding conversions to Judaism and Christianity but this decree is known only from one source, the Augustan Historyan unreliable mix of fact and fiction.“Steven Saylor’s engrossing series of popular novels centered around Gordianus the Finder — a kind of Roman Sherlock Holmes.” (Wall Street Journal) “Saylor puts such great detail and tumultuous life into his scenes that the sensation of rubbing elbows with the ancients .
Decadence, Rome and Romania, the Emperors Who Weren't, and Other Reflections on Roman History What do you think of the state of Romania? Does it stand as from the beginning, or has it been diminished?
Doctrina Jacobi nuper baptizati.
BECK index Roman Decadence Caligula Claudius Nero Seneca's Tragedies Seneca's Stoic Ethics Judean and Roman Wars Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian Read and learn for free about the following article: Required works of art for AP* Art History. This selection of lapidary nuggets drawn from 33 of antiquity’s major authors includes poetry, dialogue, philosophical writing, history, descriptive reporting, satire, and fiction—giving a glimpse at the wide range of arts and sciences, thought and styles, of Greco-Roman culture.
Credit: The Library of Congress, Wikimedia Commons. Welcome to the show. The Roman Games were the Super Bowl Sundays of their time.
They gave their ever-changing sponsors and organizers (known as.