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The Rise and Spread of Christianity Rome in religious turmoil • Many Romans believed in paganism. • The Jewish people were waiting for a messiah sent from God to liberate them from Roman control. • The Jewish people were constantly being persecuted and forced to scatter throughout the empire. Christianity takes shape. • Jesus was born around 4 B.C. (historians believe that his birth was recorded inaccurately according to documents, not in 0) • He preached for three years before being put to death near the age of 32. The Message • Strict obedience to the laws of Moses and prophets. • Salvation and eternal life to all who believed in him. • Preached forgiveness instead of “an eye for an eye”. Why was he killed? • He threatened Jewish authority? • He was a threat and may lead the Jewish people to revolt against the Romans? Paul Spreads the Word • Paul of Tarsus wrote the bulk of the New Testament in the Bible. • Paul became a follower of Jesus after He appeared to him in a vision. Christians were persecuted by the Romans. • Diocletian • His reign was known as the Great Persecution of Christians Constantine becomes the Christian Emperor. st 1 Edict of Milan • Legalized Christianity in 313 A.D. Theodosius I • Made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. The Empire in Crisis • 26 Emperors reigned in a 50 year period. • Only 1 died of natural causes • High taxes • The Huns slice up pieces of the empire. • The Visigoths attack the Western Roman Empire. Attila the Hun • Led “the Scourge of God” Odoacer • Ousted the last Roman Emperor in 476 A.D. Why did Rome Fall? • Mercenaries hired who had little loyalty to Rome. • High taxes and poverty. • Rich dedicated their lives to luxury and self-interest.