Christianity was seen as a threat to this power because for one of the first times in ancient civilizations, a religious community did not believe that the ruler of their country was done but that he was human, not to be worshipped. The bible, which was the Holy Book for Charlatanry, clearly states that It is against their beliefs to worship false deities, only the one true god was divine. Tactics, an aristocrat and historian during the period of the Roman Empire, is known for the criticisms he wrote about of the Roman government.
The status of Christianity during the time that Tactics wrote about was that it was a nuisance to the Roman Empire. The Roman authorities viewed Christianity as being “Irreligious because they declined to participate In state approved religious ceremonies” (Bentley and Ziegler 240). Christians were seen as menacing to the empire partly because Jesus’ teachings about the “kingdom of God”. They took this as a political statement and felt it threatened the stability of Roman rule in Palestine, “especially since enthusiastic crowds routinely accompanied Jesus” (Bentley and Ziegler 227).
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Therefore the Romans succeeded in executing Jesus in the early ass’s which only resulted in making he Christian movement bigger and more popular with the masses, which made the Roman authorities even more uncomfortable and hostile towards them. According to Tactics, Christians were so disagreeable to the Romans because of their popularity that they were closely associated with the Jews, whom the Romans detested as well. Roman authorities accused the Jews “of being rebellious (with some reason, since the Jews of Judea more than once created insurrections against the Roman provincial government)” (Brains).
Specifically Tactics claims that the Romans, specifically Nero, ho was emperor of Rome from 54-68, accused Christians of setting a devastating fire In Rome. “Nero falsely accused and executed with the most exquisite punishments those people called Christians” (Brains). Tactics goes on to say that under Enron’s rule “a vast multitude were convicted, not so much for the crime of burning the city, but for hatred of the human race” (Brains). He further explains the gruesomeness of the punishments Nero imposed claiming that he made a game of executing them by using their bodies as torches for his personal gardens.
Tactics seed the Roman’s fear of Charlatanry to display examples of the corruption which existed in the Empire. He depicts Nero to be a ruthless but insecure individual implying that it didn’t matter who the Christians were or what they represented, only that they were seen as a threat to the Empire because of their enormous popularity with the masses. 48 years later Plain, a Roman governor of Bathing, was faced with the dilemma of how to handle the ever growing Christian followers and he wrote a letter to Trojan, a well-respected Roman Emperor who ruled from 98-117, asking for
Roman Empire, and those authorities, still feeling threatened by the Christians, sought to destroy and dismantle them for any excuse. Plinks dilemma was that “a number of Christians were brought into his court. It is unclear what the initial charges are, but he ultimately decided, despite the fact that the Christians seemed generally harmless to him, that he should execute them” (Whist’s). Plain, desiring to remain in favor of is populace, was worried of the repercussions of his actions to execute them and wanted to know how to handle future dilemmas involving them.
The governor himself is not advocating attempting to destroy Christianity because he does not take credit in summoning Christians to him for punishment; he only states that they were brought to him. These letters from Tactics and Plain show us how rapidly Christianity was growing and how nervous this made the authorities of the Roman Empire. They intended to halt this growth by executing the Jesus, the Christian savior, but this only strengthened Christianity, therefore making the authorities feel even more threatened.
After the execution of Jesus there were many ore executions and it appears as though the more the Romans did to attempt to destroy Christianity the more popular it became. The common people of the Roman Empire felt sympathy for the persecuted people and this drew the wedge between the people and the government even deeper. The Romans finally gave up the fight against the Christians and in 313 the Edict of Milan, endorsed by the Roman Emperor Constantine, allowing Christians to practice their faith openly. This Edit was precursor to eventual adoption of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire.