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As we think of the Roman Empire before Constantine (the first Christian [maybe] emperor who we get to after the midterm), images of Christians being brutally persecuted quickly spring to mind. So I figured we’d read a piece that attempts to temper some of these stereotypes and analyze whether they’ve been exaggerated. Please read the articles below and answer the discussion questions in a robust paragraph (6-8 sentences each)
- What are some of the reasons offered in the articles for Christian persecution in the first three centuries of the Roman Empire?
- What is the thesis of the “myth-busters” piece? What is the thesis of the Catholic Company piece?
- What does this reading telling you about the early Church (or even the Catholic Church today) and its understanding and utilization of the role of the Christian martyrs in the early Roman Empire?