Annals of Tacitus v. Letters of Pliny

Annals of Tacitus v. Letters of Pliny - being they still...

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Mitch Garrett 274805 Annals of Tacitus vs. Letters of Pliny From the time of Jesus’ death until nearly 400 A.D., Roman rulers changed their view of Christians and became more tolerant. We see this first hand by comparing the Annals of Tacitus to the Letter of Pliny. In the Annals of Tacitus , Nero is unforgiving of everyone who practices the Christian faith. He shifts the blame of the fire, which destroyed Rome, onto the Christians. These followers of Christ then are not just humiliated or jailed, but rather put to death in the cruelest ways. 1 In the Letters of Pliny , on the other hand, the emperor Trajan is more humane about the persecution of Christians. He allows Pliny to give the accused two chances to renounce their Christian faith after their initial confession. If this is done, they can be set free by worshipping the emperor’s statue. 2 Neither of these emperors were quite as tolerant as Constantine and his successors, but their progression ultimately leads to the acceptance of the Christian faith. However, for the time
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Unformatted text preview: being they still see Jesus as a criminal and anybody who worships him as a criminal by association. When a believer refused to renounce the church, neither emperor hesitated in the execution of such a man. These texts are important as we do see the progression of the church within the Roman Empire. It also creates martyrs for the surviving Christians to cherish and imitate. Without these 1 Annals of Tacitus, in Brian Tierney and Joan W. Scott, eds., Western Societies: A Documentary History, Volume 1 (Adapted) , 2nd ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2009), 96. 2 Letters of Pliny the Consul , in Tierney and Scott, Western Societies , 97-99. horrendous persecutions, the Christian faith may not be as strong as it is today, or may have never made it to 400 A.D. It is these events that so many of the Christian teachings have root in....
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This note was uploaded on 05/02/2011 for the course HIST 112 taught by Professor Popiel during the Spring '08 term at Saint Louis.

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Annals of Tacitus v. Letters of Pliny - being they still...

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