- Slides: 14
Christianity and Rome
Background: Christianity is the religion started by the followers of Jesus. He was born in a town in the eastern territory of the Roman Empire. He traveled through Palestine preaching.
• He attracted a large following • People began to fear him as a trouble maker ** he was convicted of treason (plotting against the gov’t) and was crucified • After his death, his followers continued to spread his ideas
Conditions That Helped Spread Christianity: 1. Pax Romana: missionaries (=people who spread religious beliefs) could move safely 2. Roads: missionaries could move quickly along the Roman roads 3. Language: most people spoke either Latin or Greek so it was easy to communicate
Political Conditions That Hurt the Spread of Christianity: 1. Romans were expected to worship the emperor as a god, but Christianity, like Judaism, has only 1 god. 2. Christians didn’t like the Roman ideas of serving in the army and holding public office. They criticized Roman festivals and games, and taught that all people would be equal in their God’s eyes.
As a result… → Romans blamed and punished Christians for disasters (plagues, famine, fire) → Christianity became illegal
** In spite of the hardships, Christianity attracted many followers and it spread through out the Roman Empire. • In 312 AD, Emperor Constantine I gave all people religious freedom and made Christianity legal. • In 392 AD, Emperor Theodosius made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.
Christian Religious Life • Following the fall of the Roman Empire, thousands of Christian men and women went to live in religious communities where they could live simple religious lives worshipping god and doing good deeds. men – monks in monasteries women – nuns in convents
Daily Life in a Monastery: 1. Strict rules: a monk named Benedict developed strict rules for living in a monastery “Laziness is the great enemy of the soul, therefore monks should always be kept busy, either in manual labor or holy reading. ”
2. Attended religious prayer services 7 times a day. 3. Monasteries were the most important places of learning during this time. - Each had a library with Bibles and books. - Monasteries kept important records 4. Scriptorium = a room where scribes hand copied Bibles and the books and ancient manuscripts from Greece and Rome. ** Because of the work of these scribes, the legacy of ancient Greece and Rome was preserved.
The Art of the Church Scribes: • The scribes hand copied the words and then decorated the letters and the entire page with intricate designs that often used gold paint to make the pages seem lit up with light. These were called illuminated manuscripts
A Book of Hours – A prayer book from 1324.