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. First Monotheistic Religion: Only one supreme god. 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. Some 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 Messiah. The Pros and Cons of Christianity Why did Christianity appeal to people? Embraced all people Promised life after death for ‘Saved’ 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 was seen as a threat to the Romans and the Jewish priesthood in Israel. Jesus was called the “Son of God” and a “King” Jews feared Jesus’s preaching would anger the Romans Jewish leaders turned Jesus over to the Roman governor of Jerusalem, Pontius Pilate to be Crucified. “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.” Golgotha- “Place of the Skull” After the Crucifixion *Followers of Jesus became known as Christians. Much of what is known about Jesus comes from the writings of his Disciples and Apostles. *Disciple refers to the direct companions of Jesus- Matthew, Mark, Luke, John *Apostle means “One who travels”. Apostles traveled, spread Christian teachings, and wrote the Gospels of the Bible. Paul was the most influential Apostle- many books of the bible are his letters to early churches The 12 Apostles Roman Persecution of Jews and Christians Why did the Romans hate Christianity/Judaism? 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 Jerusalem’s Western Wall The Martyrdom of Peter Peter the Disciple traveled to Rome and was crucified upside down by Nero. Believed to be the first “Bishop” or Pope of the Christian Catholic 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. Council of Nicaea- 325 Council met to determine the codified official Roman version of Christianity Up until this point, Christianity was a fractured loosely organized group of churches throughout the Near East, East and North Africa and the Mediterranean world which had a high level of variation of belief Council established: The divinity of Christ The virginity of Mary- Immaculate Conception The Trinity Apocrypha v. Canonical Text During this time, the Catholic church sifted through the many writings of the Christian churches and determined which would be considered ‘divinely revealed or inspired’ (Canonical Text) and which writings would be considered relevant, but not ‘revealed’ texts (Apocrypha) Finally Official In 380 AD, Emperor Theodosius declared Christianity the Offical Religion of the Roman Empire.