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Unformatted text preview: .33. I I CHRISTiANS aGAiNST THE rOMAN oRDER N THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER I attempted to show how Christianity I sprang up as a movement tHat cHalLenged converts to break aL that Bund them to tHeir famLies, to their cities, to the nation- aLL, in short, tHat conscientious PopLe, whether Jews, Greeks, Asians, Africans, or Romans, HeLd most Scredwhere these com mitments conFicted witH tHe CHristian commitment to their &quot;broth ers and sisters in CHrst, feLLow members of the sect that caLLed itseLf God's famiLy. y tHe end of tHe second century, the Christian movement had spread througH aL parts of tHe empire, so that the North African convert TertuLLian, writing in CartHage aound 200 C.E, said that the outcry is that the state is fIlled with ChRistianSthat they aRe in the fIelds; in the cities in the islaNds [pagans] lameNt, As FoR sOMe kind OF catastrophe that Pople oF bth sexes eveRy age aNd status even thOse oF high Rank are passing oveR to the pRoFessioN oF the Christan Fath.! In an opEn Letter addressed o &quot;ruLers of the Roman mpire, TetUL Lian acknowLedges that pagan critics detest the movement: &quot;You tHink tHat a Christian is a man of evey crime, an enemy of the gOs, of tHe emperor, of tHe w, of good moraLs, of aLL natue &quot;2 In a sense sucH crtics were rigHt; for CHrstians Did threaten the sociaL and etHicaL system of the ancient worLd in ways that eventuaLLy wouLd aLter the stUcture of the empire itseLf Going into the maketpLaces, the sHops of cobbLers and carPnters, and the kitchens of great Houses, Christians oered to working PopLe and to sLaves, as weLL 32 Chstns AgiNT TH Romn O, a to anyone eLse who wouLD Listen,3 a message that, some pr eached it, seemed to theaten the hiechica stctUe of Roman s iety Yet other Chstins, as we hve seen, did eveything they co uLd t accommOate to that hieachcaL stuctu and to avoid oending thei pagan neighBrs4 ut what maDe Christians esP ciaLLy Dangeous to the Roman orde was their efusaL to pay what Roms egaDed as ordina resPct to their Roman ULe and this brought some of them into dit and tota opsition to the tem r as weLL as the divine authoitiesto the emPos and to thei divine patons, the gOs A wideLy popuLa tUe stoy of the time teLLs of a mistess and her Psona sLave who wee convicted as Christians fter they fuseD to evee the emPrors image Togethe they were thown wiLd animaLs and sLaughtereD in the pubLic amphitheate in c- the in a sPctacLe ceLebating the emPos bithDay The aristo cratic potaonist, Vibia ePtua, uent in Bth Greek anD atin, wote aut her exPiences from the time of her ast untiL the evening of her execution erPtua, twentywo yeas oLD, ecentLy maied, and nusing her infant son, was aesteD aLong with her friends atuUs and atuninus and he Pona sLave eLicitas anD...
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course ASIA 70B at San Jose State University .