Collin College Experiences of

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.

Collin College Experiences of

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 Roddgrick): The experience of the early Christian was a hard life, but later over time became easier. During that time there were many different beliefs it just depends on what area you were in if a different religion was accepted. The problem that arrived with Christianity is that they believed in one God and not many different gods. This caused a problem for Christians in Rome because of the refusal to worship the emperor, so this led to the persecution of many Christians during the early parts of Christianity. Christians were accused of cannibalism which came from confusion of the communion that they participate in. One can understand the confusion when it says partake of the bread that’s represents Christs body, and the partaking of the cup that represents His blood. In The Ritual Cannibalism Against Christians, Octavius tells of the love they had for one another, and that they call each other brother and sister. So here being a Christian was really disliked and hated on. Constantine had an interesting agenda when it can to Christianity and the belief of one deity. He put into consideration the emperors that had come before him and how their rule came to an end believing in many different gods. He stated that those who trusted in many gods had fallen by manifold of death, without leaving behind them either family or offspring, stock, name, or memorial among men “Eusebius: The Conversion of Constantine”. During his power he was in question of which god he might rely on to protect and assist him in his future endeavors. This is when Christianity started to become more accepted by others. Overall early Christians suffered persecution for their belief of one true God instead of many different gods. Over time their religion became accepted and were even shared among other cultures.

Response 2 (from Anna): As many of us know, Christianity developed based on the teachings of Jesus, and later on the writings and missionary work of Paul. It developed in Judea out of Jewish traditions and belief in one and only God, father of Jesus. In the written articles we learn about the spread of Christianity through the Roman empire and how it became it’s official religion, as well as the experiences of those who followed it centuries later. In deed it grew out of Jewish traditions and was shaped by Roman cultural as well as political structures, spreading even after the fall of the empire.

The emperor Constantine granted Christianity it’s legal status. He observed how other leaders, “they who had trusted in many gods had also fallen by manifold forms of death, without leaving behind them either family or offspring, stock, name, or memorial among men: while the God of his father had given to him,[…] manifestations of his power and very many tokens, […] and therefore felt it incumbent on him to honor his father’s God alone.” He followed the one and only God, that his father followed. After, during 4th century CE, certain laws and privileges for those who follow the religion were imposed. The gladiators should be punished by working in the mines, not shedding blood for their crimes, all businesses cease work on Sunday, as a holly day. Christian importance days were established, such as Easter and Christmas. Those, however, who were not following the religion were heavily fined, all their temples were closed, destroyed and possessions seized. The priests were considered an advisory board to the emperors.

We also learn that in 250 CE, during emperor Decius power, people suspected of Christianity “were evidently obligated to clear themselves by sacrificing to the old gods, then taking out a certificate to protect themselves against further legal proceedings”. Christians were also accused of cannibalism rituals, such as serving a newborn on an alter as an initiation to the young novices as the symbol of body and blood of Christ, which is performed to this day in a ritual of breaking the holy wafer and drinking wine by the priest. “Christ says this to the Church, which he desires to be a virgin, without spot, without a wrinkle […] having to keep inviolate the seal of purity, in which source the image of God is reflected, since the purity of simplicity agrees also with chastity of the body.” A woman was bound to a man for life, as long as he was alive and stay pure until she is given off to marry. So many customs of Christianity survived the centuries till this day. Christianity is now considered of of the most powerful religion in the world.

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