Roman Christianity

By: Elizabeth Moskal, Elise Zolis


Religion was very important to the Romans. Within the Roman Emperor, Christianity was banned and Christians were punished for many years. Feeding Christians to the lions was seen as entertainment in Ancient Rome.

Roman Christianity Facts:

  • The early Christians were called " the disciples" meaning "the lanterns."
  • Theodosius. Even before becoming Emperor, Theodosius was a very strong Catholic, as was his mother. One of his major acts other than making Christianity the official state religion of the Roman Empire was driving all polytheistic religions and pagan religions out of the empire.
  • Paul. After Jesus' death, Christianity reamined a small sect within Judaism. However, Paul, a Jew from Asia Minor, had a vision that converted him to Christianity and told him to start spreading this religion through the world.

1. Find out who the key players were with regard to your topic. What was their motive? How much power did they have?

Constantine played quite a big part as he ended all persecution against the Roman Christians. There was also Emperor Theodius, who was compelled to do what Bishop Ambrose required, as the Church leaders had started to gain great power. And lastly, there was Clovis, the King of the Germanic Franks, who secured the power of the Roman Christian Church when he gained control over Gaul and cnverted to Roman Christianity

2. Consider all of the 7 factors listed in the text book that contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. On a scale of 1-7 (7 being the most influential) where do you rate your topic? How much of a role did it play? In your opinion, what was the biggest contributing facctor?

Christianity did play quite a big part and the fall of the Roman Empire, although we dont thinkthat it was a cause a prominent as the others. it did, however, damage the Romans core beliefs and values, not to mentiion the conflict between the Christians and those who still held faith in Pagan beliefs, which led to the persectution of the Christians up until the first Christian Emperor of Rome put a stop to it. This all caused Rome to lose a great part of their culture, in the process the fanatical Pagan believers persecuting their fellow citizens, which caused a falling of their population and an unwelcome environment. This and much more weakened the Roman Empire greatly, and I think Christianity contributed to this probably second least, as in reading the other six causes, I realised they would have affected Rome

3. Make a timeline of developments that led to the fall of the Roman Empire based on the information in the textbook. Start your timeline at about 180 CE.

180CE: the Roman Empire began to weaken, as rival Roman army generals fought each other for power

284: Rome was divided into eastern and Western Empires.

310: Civil wars began as six empires competed for power. The victor built a new capital - New Rome

378: Visigoths defeated Roman Armies.

394: Theodosius reunited the empire after the Western Empire broke away.

410- Roman armies left Britain to defend Rome which was sacked by Visigoths

451: An alliance of Romans, Visigoths and Burgundians defeated the Huns

455: Rome was destroyed by the Vandals

476: The last Western Emperor was killed.

4.If you were alive during the time of the collapse of Rome, who would you want to be? Slaves? Emperors? A Christian Monk? An artist? Why?

I would like to be an Emperor because they are cared for by multiple people but, they may be under heaps of pressure.

5. Consider the ‘contributing factor’ to the decline of Rome that you have been allocated as a research topic. How can you compare this to something that is happening/has happened in the world in 20th or 21st century?

Something that is happening right now in the world is how religion is enflaming the Syrian Civil War.