In the Roman Empire, military and administrative weapons worked well. A common economic space has ensured prosperity. The civil rights granted to all people living on Roman territory laid the foundation for a growing sense of belonging – except for religious practices. The first converts to Christianity in ancient Rome encountered many difficulties. The first converts were usually the poor and slaves, as they had much to gain from successful Christians. If they were caught, they were threatened with death because they did not worship the emperor. It was not uncommon for emperors to pit the people against the Christians when Rome encountered difficulties. In 64 AD, part of Rome was burned. Emperor Nero blamed the Christians and the people turned against them. Arrests and executions followed.

The New Testament (Acts 18:2-3) presents a Jew named Aquila, who had recently arrived from Italy with his wife Priscilla because the Emperor Claudius had “ordered the Jews to leave Rome.” Richardson explains that the eviction took place because disagreements in Roman synagogues led to violence in the streets, and Claude banished those responsible, but it also happened between 47 and 52, when Claudius led a campaign to restore Roman rites and suppress foreign cults. [57] Suetonius reports that Claudius expelled “the Jews” in 49, but Richardson says it was “chiefly Christian missionaries and converts who were expelled,” that is, those Jewish Christians called Chrestus. [57] [Note 1] “The mutilated Chrestus is almost certainly evidence of the presence of Christians in the Jewish community of Rome. [57]:205 Despite the earlier breakdown of their relationship, Maxentius was eager to present himself after his death as a devoted son of his father. [120] He began minting coins bearing his father`s likeness and announced his desire to avenge Maximian`s death. [121] Constantine first described suicide as an unfortunate family tragedy. In 311, however, he spread a different version. According to this, Maximian, after Constantine forgave him, planned to assassinate Constantine in his sleep. Fausta learned of the conspiracy and warned Constantine, who put a eunuch in his place in his bed. Maximian was arrested when he killed the eunuch and was offered suicide, which he accepted. [122] Parallel to the propaganda, Constantine introduced a damnatio memoriae on Maximian, destroying all inscriptions referring to him and eliminating all public works bearing his image. [123] In her work, Candida Moss argued that voluntary martyrdom was not recognized as a distinct category by early Christians.

“When there are no linguistic terms to serve as a guide, scholars feel free to work with very individual hypotheses and taxonomies about what makes martyrdom cause or is voluntary.” [128] It submits that proof of voluntary martyrdom as a distinct practice can only be established from texts distinguishing between types of martyrdom, and when this occurs, these distinctions are never neutral. Moss argues that it was not until the third century that early Christians began to recognize and condemn “voluntary martyrdom.” As he approached west of the important city of Augusta Taurinorum (Turin, Italy), Constantine encountered a large force of heavily armed Maxentian cavalry. [153] In the ensuing Battle of Turin, Constantine`s army surrounded Maxentius` cavalry, flanked them with its own cavalry, and landed with the blows of his soldiers` iron clubs. Constantine`s armies emerged victorious. [154] Turin refused to give refuge to Maxentius` retreating troops and instead opened its doors to Constantine.[154] [155] Other cities on the plain of northern Italy sent Constantinian embassies to congratulate him on his victory. He then moved to Milan, where he was received with open doors and cheers. Constantine rested his army in Milan until mid-summer 312, when he went to Brixia (Brescia). [156] There is no shortage of disagreements and controversies when it comes to Christian martyrdom in the Roman Empire. [109]: 1-10 Even if these governors had had easy access to the city, they would not have found much official legal advice in the Christian case. Before the anti-Christian policy under Decius from 250 onwards, there was no national edict against Christians, and the only solid precedent was that set by Trajan in his reply to Pliny: the name “Christian” alone was reason enough to punish and Christians could not be sought by the government.

There is speculation that Christians have also been convicted of concumacia – disobedience to the judge, similar to modern “contempt of court” – but the evidence in this case is mixed. [27]: 124 Meliton of Sardis later claimed that Antoninus Pius had ordered that Christians should not be executed without due process. [20]:37 Some laws promulgated during his reign were even human in the modern sense and supported tolerance, perhaps inspired by his Christianity:[36] A prisoner was no longer to be kept in complete darkness, but to be taken outside and into the light of day; a convict was allowed to die in the arena, but he could not be marked on his “heavenly beautified” face, since God was supposed to have created man in His image, but only on his feet. [37] Public gladiatorial games were eliminated in 325. Herbert Musurillo, translator and scholar of the introduction to the Acts of the Christian Martyrs, says that Holy Cross “overestimates the voluntary character of Christian martyrdom, for which there is little evidence in the early Acta. [42] Philosophy professor Alan Vincelette agreed, writing that Ste. The categorization of voluntary martyrdom by Cross is too broad, as the study of the first four centuries shows that it existed, but that it represented only about 12% of all martyrs, rather than the 75% of Holy Cross. [126] Edward Gibbon (after deploring the vagueness of Eusebius` formulation) made the first estimate of the number of martyrs in the Great Persecution by counting the total number of people listed in the Martyrs of Palestine, dividing it by the years covered, and dividing it by the proportion of the total population of the Roman world represented by the Province of Palestine. Multiplied.

and multiply that number by the total duration of the persecution; He arrived at a figure of less than two thousand. [134] [135] This approach depends on the total number of martyrs among the martyrs of Palestine, a precise understanding of the population, and their equal distribution throughout the empire. In 1931 Goodenough disputed the inaccuracy of Gibbon`s estimate; Many others followed with great differences in their estimates, beginning with the number of Christians, which fluctuated from less than 6 million to 15 million in a kingdom of 60 million in the year 300; if only 1% of the 6 million Christians died under Diocletian, that would be sixty thousand people. [136] Other subsequent estimates followed Gibbon`s basic methodology. [137] Anglican historian W.H.C. Frend estimates that 3,000 to 3,500 Christians were killed during the Great Persecution, although this figure is disputed. [138] Constantine had returned to Nicomedia from the Eastern Front in the spring of 303, just in time to witness the beginning of Diocletian`s “Great Persecution,” the most severe persecution of Christians in Roman history. [65] In late 302, Diocletian and Galerius sent a messenger to Apollo`s oracle at Didymus with an inquiry into the Christians. [66] Constantine remembered his presence in the palace when the messenger returned, when Diocletian accepted his court`s demands for universal persecution. [67] On February 23, 303, Diocletian ordered the destruction of the new church in Nicomedia, condemned his writings to flames, and had his treasures confiscated.