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Ancient Rome: The Rise of Christianity World History Entering a Time of Peace Under Julius Caesar, Rome became an empire. Octavian Augustus was the first emperor of Rome. Rome became too powerful to be challenged and entered a time of peace in the empire, known as the Pax Romana or “Roman Peace.” Allowed ideas to spread across the world. How Powerful Was Rome? 3 million square miles 80 million people 1 million residents in city of Rome. The Rise of a New Religion In 63 BC, Rome took over Judea, the home of the Jewish religion. Judea was controlled by King Herod, a Jewish governor for Rome. After Herod’s death, fighting broke out among his sons. Rome sent troops to create peace in Judea. The Birth of Christianity Judaism was tolerated by the Romans at first. One of few monotheistic religions during period. Jesus of Nazareth was born under the rule of Octavian (Caesar Augustus) Grew up preaching the idea of one true god Spread a message of peace, love, forgiveness. Many Jews believed that Jesus was the Messiah or Savior, from the Romans. Jesus was called Christ which means “savior” in Greek. How do We Know About Jesus? Followers of Jesus wrote about the teachings and experiences that occurred during his life. These writings were called Gospels, meaning ‘good news’ Can be found in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The Old Testament is used by the Jewish faith which does not believe Jesus was the true Messiah. The Pros and Cons of Christianity Why did Christianity appeal to people? Embraced All people Promised life after death for ALL people. Appealed to poorer people who were not wealthy like Romans. Because of the Pax Romana, these ideas of Christianity were able to spread quickly through the empire. The Crucifixion of Jesus The popularity of Jesus with the poor angered the Romans and the Jews. Jesus was called the “Son of God” and a “King” Dissenters feared Jesus’s preaching would anger the Romans or potentially challenge their authority. (whether these dissenters are Jewish or Roman is still debated) Jewish leaders turned Jesus over to the Roman governor of Jerusalem, Pontius Pilate to be Crucified. Golgotha- “Place of the Skull” After the Apostles *Followers of Jesus became known as Christians. Much of what is known about Jesus comes from the writings of his Apostles. *Apostle means “One who travels”. Apostles traveled, spread Christian teachings, and wrote the Gospels of the Bible. Peter and Paul were two very influential Apostles. The 12 Apostles Roman Persecution of Jews and Christians Why did the Romans and Christianity/Judaism hate each other? Monotheism vs. Polytheism Christians/Jews didn’t recognize the emperors as Gods. Blamed for any problems in Roman society. Emperors such as Nero crucified and tortured Christians and Jews as traitors. Many Jews fled their homeland to escape- Known as the Jewish Diaspora- or “spreading out” Christians and Jews became Martyrs: Dying for their beliefs. The Jews Strike Back 66 AD- Jews rebel against the Romans. 70 AD- Romans stormed Jerusalem and destroy their temple, leaving only the Western Wall a.k.a the “wailing wall”. 73 AD- Jews and Romans fight at the Battle of Masada. Over 500,000 Jews died in this battle, mostly of suicide. Today- The Western Wall is Jerusalem’s holiest shrine. The Victory Arch of Emperor Titus over the Jews in Jerusalem Hilltop Fortress at Masada The Martyrdom of Peter Peter the Apostle traveled to Rome and was crucified upside down by Nero. Believed to be the first “Bishop” or Pope of the Christian Church. Today, all Popes are believed to be descendants of St. Peter. We now call this the “Catholic” church which means “Universal”. St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City The Vatican The Tomb of Saint Peter Christianity Under Constantine In 312 AD, Constantine became Emperor of Rome. During Battle, he saw an image of a cross and won. 313 AD- Constantine issues the Edict of Milan making Christianity a legal religion in Rome. To strengthen the religion he called the Council of Nicaea to establish the core beliefs of Christianity, leading to the Nicene Creed. Finally Official In 380 AD, Emperor Theodosius declared Christianity the Offical Religion of the Roman Empire.