PART 1: Answer the following in 300 words after reading the source below.
What do these sources tell us about the experiences of Christians in the centuries after its founding?
Eusebius: The Conversion of Constantine (Links to an external site.)
The Codex Theodosianus: (Links to an external site.)
On Religion, 4th Century CE (Links to an external site.)
Certificate of Having Sacrificed to the Gods, 250 CE (Links to an external site.)
The Ritual Cannabilism Charge Against Christians (Links to an external site.)
On the characteristics suitable for a bishop (Links to an external site.)
PART 2: Write a response to these two posts below from my classmates.
Response 1 (from Christopher): From Eusebius it appears as though, due to his father as well as a vision he found himself, was intrigued by Christianity in his comparison of so many before him that fell to bad luck and misfortune though they sacrificed to honor their many Gods. He also had a vision that fortified this belief in the idea of a single creator (Halsall Paul, 1996). In the 4th century C.E. it appears that life for Christians began to hold a peaceful and more dominating role as it was made the accepted religion largely due to Constantine and his conversion to Christianity as having the Roman Emperor embracing his newly found religion would encourage many others to follow suit this was a defining time for Christianity and its acceptance by the population and was a large part of its expansion over time (Thatcher Oliver, 1907). Though later on around 250 A.D., under Emperor Decius’ Christians were actively persecuted and forced to offer a sacrifice to the old gods as a protection from any further escalation of law (Stearns Davis, 1912-1913).
I perceived that Christianity did in fact deal with persecution and struggled for a solid footing but over time as it spread it became a widely accepted religion. As this happened it appears as though pagans, and other religious groups were persecuted or taxed by the Roman Empire in regard to them not being of Christian faith.
Response 2 (from Victoria): The experiences of Christians in the centuries after its founding were strict and stifling. In the article Medieval Sourcebook: The Codex Theodosianus: On Religion, 4th Century CE, Christians followed strict rules on how to please God, even pushing punishment on those who they believe have sinned, even if that person isn’t Christain. For example, it is stated in the article that if a meeting of Manichaeans, a religious movement that taught a dualistic view of good and evil, was found, the leaders would be fined and dishonored. The action of punishing other religions shows how important and consuming Christianity is to its followers, making them believe that they are the most righteous and best religion there is. Lastly, looking at the picture shown, the main goal of Christians is to spread their religion across the different continents, spreading the religion they believe is superior. They focused and dedicated their lives to Christianity, wanting others to join them in their dedication.
On the other hand, Christians were treated poorly by others, being persecuted or gossiped about for their beliefs. For example, In the article Certificate of Having Sacrificed to the Gods, Emperor Decius was persecuted for being suspected of Christianity, having to sacrifice to the old gods legally. Additionally, hurtful rumors about Christians being cannibals and perverts got spread around, tarnishing the reputation of Christians. It was said that “that [Christains] adore the head of an ass, that basest of creatures, consecrated by I know not what silly persuasion, a worthy and appropriate religion for such manners. Some say that [Christains] worship the genitals of their pontiff and priest, and adore the nature, as it were, of their common parent” (Octavius 14-7). Even though these were beyond unrealistic and outlandish, people believed these rumors due to the fact Christaiton hate was commonplace, leading to worsening defamation of their name.