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Pax Romana: Perfect Time for Jesus's Birth

ConservativePolitico
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3/21/2015 1:16:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I was thinking about it and began to think that the Pax Romana was one of the most ideal times for Jesus to be born. The Roman Empire was large, had good infrastructure, wealthy and largely at peace during this time. Not only that but the Romans themselves were relatively lenient in their treatment of early Christians compared to what they could have been. While they were openly against the new sect, the early Church still thrived and grew despite this.

They allowed Paul to preach in Rome.
They allowed Christians to speak to Roman authorities openly.
Roman authorities were reluctant to put Jesus to death and subsequently were initially reluctant to martyr his followers.

After the Pax Romana Rome entered a period of decline and the modern world at the time became fractured, poorer and much more dangerous. I think the Pax Romana gave Christianity a good starting venue to spread.

Thoughts?
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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3/21/2015 5:24:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 1:16:57 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
I was thinking about it and began to think that the Pax Romana was one of the most ideal times for Jesus to be born. The Roman Empire was large, had good infrastructure, wealthy and largely at peace during this time. Not only that but the Romans themselves were relatively lenient in their treatment of early Christians compared to what they could have been. While they were openly against the new sect, the early Church still thrived and grew despite this.

They allowed Paul to preach in Rome.
They allowed Christians to speak to Roman authorities openly.
Roman authorities were reluctant to put Jesus to death and subsequently were initially reluctant to martyr his followers.

After the Pax Romana Rome entered a period of decline and the modern world at the time became fractured, poorer and much more dangerous. I think the Pax Romana gave Christianity a good starting venue to spread.

Thoughts?

The conversion of the Empire wrapped Christianity in with the Imperial governing apparatus which the fragments of Rome continued to use, thus encouraging at least a tentative link to the new governments. Later, this would serve as a unifying factor against the Magyars, Vikings, and Muslims which fledgling Europe needed to contend with. The Empire also provided the perfect environment for the exchange of ideas between various nascent sects (Assyrian, Coptic, and Orthodox). This was instrumental to the development of monasticism, which was in turn instrumental to the long-term survival of Christianity, and of the continuity and enrichment of its culture and learning throughout the ages. Caesaropapism in Byzanitium also made it a potent bulwark of Christian authority until the Fall of Constantinople.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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3/21/2015 5:58:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 5:24:26 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 1:16:57 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
I was thinking about it and began to think that the Pax Romana was one of the most ideal times for Jesus to be born. The Roman Empire was large, had good infrastructure, wealthy and largely at peace during this time. Not only that but the Romans themselves were relatively lenient in their treatment of early Christians compared to what they could have been. While they were openly against the new sect, the early Church still thrived and grew despite this.

They allowed Paul to preach in Rome.
They allowed Christians to speak to Roman authorities openly.
Roman authorities were reluctant to put Jesus to death and subsequently were initially reluctant to martyr his followers.

After the Pax Romana Rome entered a period of decline and the modern world at the time became fractured, poorer and much more dangerous. I think the Pax Romana gave Christianity a good starting venue to spread.

Thoughts?

The conversion of the Empire wrapped Christianity in with the Imperial governing apparatus which the fragments of Rome continued to use, thus encouraging at least a tentative link to the new governments. Later, this would serve as a unifying factor against the Magyars, Vikings, and Muslims which fledgling Europe needed to contend with. The Empire also provided the perfect environment for the exchange of ideas between various nascent sects (Assyrian, Coptic, and Orthodox). This was instrumental to the development of monasticism, which was in turn instrumental to the long-term survival of Christianity, and of the continuity and enrichment of its culture and learning throughout the ages. Caesaropapism in Byzanitium also made it a potent bulwark of Christian authority until the Fall of Constantinople.

Are you agreeing with me? lol
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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3/21/2015 6:00:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 5:58:07 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:24:26 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 1:16:57 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
I was thinking about it and began to think that the Pax Romana was one of the most ideal times for Jesus to be born. The Roman Empire was large, had good infrastructure, wealthy and largely at peace during this time. Not only that but the Romans themselves were relatively lenient in their treatment of early Christians compared to what they could have been. While they were openly against the new sect, the early Church still thrived and grew despite this.

They allowed Paul to preach in Rome.
They allowed Christians to speak to Roman authorities openly.
Roman authorities were reluctant to put Jesus to death and subsequently were initially reluctant to martyr his followers.

After the Pax Romana Rome entered a period of decline and the modern world at the time became fractured, poorer and much more dangerous. I think the Pax Romana gave Christianity a good starting venue to spread.

Thoughts?

The conversion of the Empire wrapped Christianity in with the Imperial governing apparatus which the fragments of Rome continued to use, thus encouraging at least a tentative link to the new governments. Later, this would serve as a unifying factor against the Magyars, Vikings, and Muslims which fledgling Europe needed to contend with. The Empire also provided the perfect environment for the exchange of ideas between various nascent sects (Assyrian, Coptic, and Orthodox). This was instrumental to the development of monasticism, which was in turn instrumental to the long-term survival of Christianity, and of the continuity and enrichment of its culture and learning throughout the ages. Caesaropapism in Byzanitium also made it a potent bulwark of Christian authority until the Fall of Constantinople.

Are you agreeing with me? lol

Yep, lol. Christianity, from my viewpoint, has been successful precisely because of this serendipitous timing.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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3/21/2015 6:34:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 6:00:57 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:58:07 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:24:26 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 1:16:57 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
I was thinking about it and began to think that the Pax Romana was one of the most ideal times for Jesus to be born. The Roman Empire was large, had good infrastructure, wealthy and largely at peace during this time. Not only that but the Romans themselves were relatively lenient in their treatment of early Christians compared to what they could have been. While they were openly against the new sect, the early Church still thrived and grew despite this.

They allowed Paul to preach in Rome.
They allowed Christians to speak to Roman authorities openly.
Roman authorities were reluctant to put Jesus to death and subsequently were initially reluctant to martyr his followers.

After the Pax Romana Rome entered a period of decline and the modern world at the time became fractured, poorer and much more dangerous. I think the Pax Romana gave Christianity a good starting venue to spread.

Thoughts?

The conversion of the Empire wrapped Christianity in with the Imperial governing apparatus which the fragments of Rome continued to use, thus encouraging at least a tentative link to the new governments. Later, this would serve as a unifying factor against the Magyars, Vikings, and Muslims which fledgling Europe needed to contend with. The Empire also provided the perfect environment for the exchange of ideas between various nascent sects (Assyrian, Coptic, and Orthodox). This was instrumental to the development of monasticism, which was in turn instrumental to the long-term survival of Christianity, and of the continuity and enrichment of its culture and learning throughout the ages. Caesaropapism in Byzanitium also made it a potent bulwark of Christian authority until the Fall of Constantinople.

Are you agreeing with me? lol

Yep, lol. Christianity, from my viewpoint, has been successful precisely because of this serendipitous timing.

Yeah I agree. To me, a Christian, I think its a good example of God's foreknowledge to place Jesus in such opportune conditions.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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3/21/2015 7:33:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 6:34:18 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 6:00:57 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:58:07 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:24:26 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 1:16:57 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
I was thinking about it and began to think that the Pax Romana was one of the most ideal times for Jesus to be born. The Roman Empire was large, had good infrastructure, wealthy and largely at peace during this time. Not only that but the Romans themselves were relatively lenient in their treatment of early Christians compared to what they could have been. While they were openly against the new sect, the early Church still thrived and grew despite this.

They allowed Paul to preach in Rome.
They allowed Christians to speak to Roman authorities openly.
Roman authorities were reluctant to put Jesus to death and subsequently were initially reluctant to martyr his followers.

After the Pax Romana Rome entered a period of decline and the modern world at the time became fractured, poorer and much more dangerous. I think the Pax Romana gave Christianity a good starting venue to spread.

Thoughts?

The conversion of the Empire wrapped Christianity in with the Imperial governing apparatus which the fragments of Rome continued to use, thus encouraging at least a tentative link to the new governments. Later, this would serve as a unifying factor against the Magyars, Vikings, and Muslims which fledgling Europe needed to contend with. The Empire also provided the perfect environment for the exchange of ideas between various nascent sects (Assyrian, Coptic, and Orthodox). This was instrumental to the development of monasticism, which was in turn instrumental to the long-term survival of Christianity, and of the continuity and enrichment of its culture and learning throughout the ages. Caesaropapism in Byzanitium also made it a potent bulwark of Christian authority until the Fall of Constantinople.

Are you agreeing with me? lol

Yep, lol. Christianity, from my viewpoint, has been successful precisely because of this serendipitous timing.

Yeah I agree. To me, a Christian, I think its a good example of God's foreknowledge to place Jesus in such opportune conditions.

Sounds more like the Anthropic principle at work actually.
dee-em
Posts: 6,490
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3/22/2015 9:08:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 1:16:57 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
I was thinking about it and began to think that the Pax Romana was one of the most ideal times for Jesus to be born. The Roman Empire was large, had good infrastructure, wealthy and largely at peace during this time. Not only that but the Romans themselves were relatively lenient in their treatment of early Christians compared to what they could have been. While they were openly against the new sect, the early Church still thrived and grew despite this.

They allowed Paul to preach in Rome.
They allowed Christians to speak to Roman authorities openly.
Roman authorities were reluctant to put Jesus to death and subsequently were initially reluctant to martyr his followers.

After the Pax Romana Rome entered a period of decline and the modern world at the time became fractured, poorer and much more dangerous. I think the Pax Romana gave Christianity a good starting venue to spread.

Thoughts?

Ignoring your assumption that everything written in the NT is true, do you think it might have worked better if Jesus had been born in Rome, the centre of the Empire, as a Roman rather than as a Jew, a member of a subject people in a backwater such as Judea? Then it might not have taken 300 years for Christianity to spread slowly and fractiously and then finally be adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire on the whim of an Emperor. Just a thought.

Why not in China which had long periods of stable government and relative peace?

For that matter, why not today in New York City?
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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3/22/2015 11:40:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/22/2015 9:08:32 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/21/2015 1:16:57 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
I was thinking about it and began to think that the Pax Romana was one of the most ideal times for Jesus to be born. The Roman Empire was large, had good infrastructure, wealthy and largely at peace during this time. Not only that but the Romans themselves were relatively lenient in their treatment of early Christians compared to what they could have been. While they were openly against the new sect, the early Church still thrived and grew despite this.

They allowed Paul to preach in Rome.
They allowed Christians to speak to Roman authorities openly.
Roman authorities were reluctant to put Jesus to death and subsequently were initially reluctant to martyr his followers.

After the Pax Romana Rome entered a period of decline and the modern world at the time became fractured, poorer and much more dangerous. I think the Pax Romana gave Christianity a good starting venue to spread.

Thoughts?

Ignoring your assumption that everything written in the NT is true, do you think it might have worked better if Jesus had been born in Rome, the centre of the Empire, as a Roman rather than as a Jew, a member of a subject people in a backwater such as Judea? Then it might not have taken 300 years for Christianity to spread slowly and fractiously and then finally be adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire on the whim of an Emperor. Just a thought.

Why not in China which had long periods of stable government and relative peace?

For that matter, why not today in New York City?

Prophecy. He was to be born in Bethlehem as a Jew from the House of David. Come on. That's simple.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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3/22/2015 11:59:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/22/2015 9:08:32 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/21/2015 1:16:57 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
I was thinking about it and began to think that the Pax Romana was one of the most ideal times for Jesus to be born. The Roman Empire was large, had good infrastructure, wealthy and largely at peace during this time. Not only that but the Romans themselves were relatively lenient in their treatment of early Christians compared to what they could have been. While they were openly against the new sect, the early Church still thrived and grew despite this.

They allowed Paul to preach in Rome.
They allowed Christians to speak to Roman authorities openly.
Roman authorities were reluctant to put Jesus to death and subsequently were initially reluctant to martyr his followers.

After the Pax Romana Rome entered a period of decline and the modern world at the time became fractured, poorer and much more dangerous. I think the Pax Romana gave Christianity a good starting venue to spread.

Thoughts?

Ignoring your assumption that everything written in the NT is true, do you think it might have worked better if Jesus had been born in Rome, the centre of the Empire, as a Roman rather than as a Jew, a member of a subject people in a backwater such as Judea? Then it might not have taken 300 years for Christianity to spread slowly and fractiously and then finally be adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire on the whim of an Emperor. Just a thought.

LOL, it wasn't a whim, it was an astute political decision at a time of civil unrest. Constantine didn't just wake up one day and say, 'eh, I think that Jesus fellow was on to something.' He used religious toleration to sooth the troubles of a fractious empire which he had united militarily. Rome became Christians because Christians spent 300 years making a terrible fuss in the face of oppression.

Why not in China which had long periods of stable government and relative peace?

For that matter, why not today in New York City?
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
dee-em
Posts: 6,490
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3/22/2015 6:07:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/22/2015 11:40:40 AM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/22/2015 9:08:32 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/21/2015 1:16:57 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
I was thinking about it and began to think that the Pax Romana was one of the most ideal times for Jesus to be born. The Roman Empire was large, had good infrastructure, wealthy and largely at peace during this time. Not only that but the Romans themselves were relatively lenient in their treatment of early Christians compared to what they could have been. While they were openly against the new sect, the early Church still thrived and grew despite this.

They allowed Paul to preach in Rome.
They allowed Christians to speak to Roman authorities openly.
Roman authorities were reluctant to put Jesus to death and subsequently were initially reluctant to martyr his followers.

After the Pax Romana Rome entered a period of decline and the modern world at the time became fractured, poorer and much more dangerous. I think the Pax Romana gave Christianity a good starting venue to spread.

Thoughts?

Ignoring your assumption that everything written in the NT is true, do you think it might have worked better if Jesus had been born in Rome, the centre of the Empire, as a Roman rather than as a Jew, a member of a subject people in a backwater such as Judea? Then it might not have taken 300 years for Christianity to spread slowly and fractiously and then finally be adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire on the whim of an Emperor. Just a thought.

Why not in China which had long periods of stable government and relative peace?

For that matter, why not today in New York City?

Prophecy. He was to be born in Bethlehem as a Jew from the House of David. Come on. That's simple.

That's Jewish prophecy for a Messiah to deliver them out of bondage. Nothing to do with a God-man. Christians appropriated Jewish scripture and perverted it to another purpose. They could just as easily have done it with Confucianism in China or with Scientology today.

Your position is basically: It had to be this way because that is the way it had to be. What circular reasoning nonsense.

As Envisage intimated, hole meet puddle.
dee-em
Posts: 6,490
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3/22/2015 6:13:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/22/2015 11:59:42 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/22/2015 9:08:32 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/21/2015 1:16:57 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
I was thinking about it and began to think that the Pax Romana was one of the most ideal times for Jesus to be born. The Roman Empire was large, had good infrastructure, wealthy and largely at peace during this time. Not only that but the Romans themselves were relatively lenient in their treatment of early Christians compared to what they could have been. While they were openly against the new sect, the early Church still thrived and grew despite this.

They allowed Paul to preach in Rome.
They allowed Christians to speak to Roman authorities openly.
Roman authorities were reluctant to put Jesus to death and subsequently were initially reluctant to martyr his followers.

After the Pax Romana Rome entered a period of decline and the modern world at the time became fractured, poorer and much more dangerous. I think the Pax Romana gave Christianity a good starting venue to spread.

Thoughts?

Ignoring your assumption that everything written in the NT is true, do you think it might have worked better if Jesus had been born in Rome, the centre of the Empire, as a Roman rather than as a Jew, a member of a subject people in a backwater such as Judea? Then it might not have taken 300 years for Christianity to spread slowly and fractiously and then finally be adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire on the whim of an Emperor. Just a thought.

LOL, it wasn't a whim, it was an astute political decision at a time of civil unrest. Constantine didn't just wake up one day and say, 'eh, I think that Jesus fellow was on to something.' He used religious toleration to sooth the troubles of a fractious empire which he had united militarily. Rome became Christians because Christians spent 300 years making a terrible fuss in the face of oppression.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Historians remain uncertain about Constantine's reasons for favoring Christianity, and theologians and historians have argued about which form of Early Christianity he subscribed to. Although Constantine had been exposed to Christianity by his mother Helena, there is no consensus among scholars as to whether he adopted his mother's Christianity in his youth, or at all "Constantine saw himself as an 'emperor of the Christian people'. If this made him a Christian is the subject of ... debate.",[1][2] and he did not receive baptism until shortly before his death.[3]

Perhaps 'whim' is not the right word, but certainly there does not appear to have been a clear-cut reason for Constantine to go down this path.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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3/23/2015 1:33:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/22/2015 6:13:51 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/22/2015 11:59:42 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/22/2015 9:08:32 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/21/2015 1:16:57 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
I was thinking about it and began to think that the Pax Romana was one of the most ideal times for Jesus to be born. The Roman Empire was large, had good infrastructure, wealthy and largely at peace during this time. Not only that but the Romans themselves were relatively lenient in their treatment of early Christians compared to what they could have been. While they were openly against the new sect, the early Church still thrived and grew despite this.

They allowed Paul to preach in Rome.
They allowed Christians to speak to Roman authorities openly.
Roman authorities were reluctant to put Jesus to death and subsequently were initially reluctant to martyr his followers.

After the Pax Romana Rome entered a period of decline and the modern world at the time became fractured, poorer and much more dangerous. I think the Pax Romana gave Christianity a good starting venue to spread.

Thoughts?

Ignoring your assumption that everything written in the NT is true, do you think it might have worked better if Jesus had been born in Rome, the centre of the Empire, as a Roman rather than as a Jew, a member of a subject people in a backwater such as Judea? Then it might not have taken 300 years for Christianity to spread slowly and fractiously and then finally be adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire on the whim of an Emperor. Just a thought.

LOL, it wasn't a whim, it was an astute political decision at a time of civil unrest. Constantine didn't just wake up one day and say, 'eh, I think that Jesus fellow was on to something.' He used religious toleration to sooth the troubles of a fractious empire which he had united militarily. Rome became Christians because Christians spent 300 years making a terrible fuss in the face of oppression.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Historians remain uncertain about Constantine's reasons for favoring Christianity, and theologians and historians have argued about which form of Early Christianity he subscribed to. Although Constantine had been exposed to Christianity by his mother Helena, there is no consensus among scholars as to whether he adopted his mother's Christianity in his youth, or at all "Constantine saw himself as an 'emperor of the Christian people'. If this made him a Christian is the subject of ... debate.",[1][2] and he did not receive baptism until shortly before his death.[3]

Perhaps 'whim' is not the right word, but certainly there does not appear to have been a clear-cut reason for Constantine to go down this path.

This is about his personal reasons for converting, and when and why it happened. There is, however, pretty much no doubt that the acceptance of religious tolerance in Rome was inevitable, as the Empire would have torn itself apart in the face of invasion had it not overcome its sectarian, schismatic tendencies. This also meant the end of Roman paganism as the sole established religion. Constantine killed both birds in one stone, as the emperor was traditionally considered Pontifex Maximus at the time of Constantine's reign. This effectively made him the head of both Christianity and traditional Roman paganism upon his conversion, and he ended up with the power to intervene in both religious communities, and was venerated by both as well. The fact that a politically astute man like Constantine recognized the need for change and had the agency to affect it doesn't change the fact that his reforms were a necessity without which the Roman Empire would have likely fallen.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
RuvDraba
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3/23/2015 4:07:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 1:16:57 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
the Pax Romana was one of the most ideal times for Jesus to be born. The Roman Empire was large, had good infrastructure, wealthy and largely at peace during this time. Not only that but the Romans themselves were relatively lenient in their treatment of early Christians compared to what they could have been.

CP, I'd say that the Pax Romana had nothing to do with the success of Jesus' ministry. Essentially, it treated Judea as a client state, and allowed the conservative priests to have him executed. By any measure, Jesus' ministry failed among the one peoples for whom he clearly meant it to succeed: the Helenised Jews of Judea.

However, already multicultural, highly connected, and with Jews already trading throughout, Rome was fertile ground for his disciples and their followers. So instead of transforming Jewry, Christianity became the state faith of an ageing, straining empire -- a purpose for which it was never designed, but for which nevertheless, the monotheism, pacifism and tolerance proved inadvertantly suitable.
dee-em
Posts: 6,490
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3/23/2015 6:38:14 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/23/2015 1:33:48 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/22/2015 6:13:51 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/22/2015 11:59:42 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:

LOL, it wasn't a whim, it was an astute political decision at a time of civil unrest. Constantine didn't just wake up one day and say, 'eh, I think that Jesus fellow was on to something.' He used religious toleration to sooth the troubles of a fractious empire which he had united militarily. Rome became Christians because Christians spent 300 years making a terrible fuss in the face of oppression.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Historians remain uncertain about Constantine's reasons for favoring Christianity, and theologians and historians have argued about which form of Early Christianity he subscribed to. Although Constantine had been exposed to Christianity by his mother Helena, there is no consensus among scholars as to whether he adopted his mother's Christianity in his youth, or at all "Constantine saw himself as an 'emperor of the Christian people'. If this made him a Christian is the subject of ... debate.",[1][2] and he did not receive baptism until shortly before his death.[3]

Perhaps 'whim' is not the right word, but certainly there does not appear to have been a clear-cut reason for Constantine to go down this path.

This is about his personal reasons for converting, and when and why it happened. There is, however, pretty much no doubt that the acceptance of religious tolerance in Rome was inevitable, as the Empire would have torn itself apart in the face of invasion had it not overcome its sectarian, schismatic tendencies.

You have a rather warped view of history. Rome did have religious tolerance for at least two centuries prior to Constantine. How else do you think Christianity not only survived but grew to the point that it could be considered as a replacement to the Roman pagan (so-called) beliefs? Judaism too was tolerated in cities under Roman rule. There were a few brief periods of persecution of Christians, but nothing of a serious nature for most of that time, contrary to later Christian propaganda.

When Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Empire, that marked the beginning of the end of religious tolerance. Once the Christians had established themselves they went to town. Pagan temples were systematically destroyed and priceless so-called pagan works were burnt and destroyed. The Christians then turned on the Jews in the ensuing centuries. Laws were passed by successive Emperors which gradually outlawed pagan rituals and texts, futher entrenching Christianity as the only tolerated religion. After the Roman Empire split the Western half quickly faded away in Europe, the void being filled by the Roman Catholic Church.

This also meant the end of Roman paganism as the sole established religion.

Far more than that. It meant the destruction of Roman paganism. The change was brutal, as these things often are.

Constantine killed both birds in one stone, as the emperor was traditionally considered Pontifex Maximus at the time of Constantine's reign. This effectively made him the head of both Christianity and traditional Roman paganism upon his conversion, and he ended up with the power to intervene in both religious communities, and was venerated by both as well.

They're nice rose-coloured glasses you are wearing. Lol. I think he had little idea of what he had set in motion in the short time before his death.

The fact that a politically astute man like Constantine recognized the need for change and had the agency to affect it doesn't change the fact that his reforms were a necessity without which the Roman Empire would have likely fallen.

I'm not sure where you get that conclusion. The Empire had already split and he restored it briefly by military means, nothing to do with reforms. Whether he prolonged the decline or hastened it by what he did with adopting Christianity, is an open question I think. Certainly in the West, I would suspect the latter.
Skepsikyma
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3/23/2015 7:10:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/23/2015 6:38:14 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/23/2015 1:33:48 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/22/2015 6:13:51 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/22/2015 11:59:42 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:

LOL, it wasn't a whim, it was an astute political decision at a time of civil unrest. Constantine didn't just wake up one day and say, 'eh, I think that Jesus fellow was on to something.' He used religious toleration to sooth the troubles of a fractious empire which he had united militarily. Rome became Christians because Christians spent 300 years making a terrible fuss in the face of oppression.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Historians remain uncertain about Constantine's reasons for favoring Christianity, and theologians and historians have argued about which form of Early Christianity he subscribed to. Although Constantine had been exposed to Christianity by his mother Helena, there is no consensus among scholars as to whether he adopted his mother's Christianity in his youth, or at all "Constantine saw himself as an 'emperor of the Christian people'. If this made him a Christian is the subject of ... debate.",[1][2] and he did not receive baptism until shortly before his death.[3]

Perhaps 'whim' is not the right word, but certainly there does not appear to have been a clear-cut reason for Constantine to go down this path.

This is about his personal reasons for converting, and when and why it happened. There is, however, pretty much no doubt that the acceptance of religious tolerance in Rome was inevitable, as the Empire would have torn itself apart in the face of invasion had it not overcome its sectarian, schismatic tendencies.

You have a rather warped view of history. Rome did have religious tolerance for at least two centuries prior to Constantine. How else do you think Christianity not only survived but grew to the point that it could be considered as a replacement to the Roman pagan (so-called) beliefs? Judaism too was tolerated in cities under Roman rule. There were a few brief periods of persecution of Christians, but nothing of a serious nature for most of that time, contrary to later Christian propaganda.

When Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Empire, that marked the beginning of the end of religious tolerance. Once the Christians had established themselves they went to town. Pagan temples were systematically destroyed and priceless so-called pagan works were burnt and destroyed. The Christians then turned on the Jews in the ensuing centuries. Laws were passed by successive Emperors which gradually outlawed pagan rituals and texts, futher entrenching Christianity as the only tolerated religion. After the Roman Empire split the Western half quickly faded away in Europe, the void being filled by the Roman Catholic Church.

This also meant the end of Roman paganism as the sole established religion.

Far more than that. It meant the destruction of Roman paganism. The change was brutal, as these things often are.

Constantine killed both birds in one stone, as the emperor was traditionally considered Pontifex Maximus at the time of Constantine's reign. This effectively made him the head of both Christianity and traditional Roman paganism upon his conversion, and he ended up with the power to intervene in both religious communities, and was venerated by both as well.

They're nice rose-coloured glasses you are wearing. Lol. I think he had little idea of what he had set in motion in the short time before his death.

The fact that a politically astute man like Constantine recognized the need for change and had the agency to affect it doesn't change the fact that his reforms were a necessity without which the Roman Empire would have likely fallen.

I'm not sure where you get that conclusion. The Empire had already split and he restored it briefly by military means, nothing to do with reforms. Whether he prolonged the decline or hastened it by what he did with adopting Christianity, is an open question I think. Certainly in the West, I would suspect the latter.

"The Edict is popularly thought to concern only Christianity, and even to make Christianity the official religion of the Empire (which recognition did not actually occur until 380 under Theodosius I). Indeed the Edict expressly grants religious liberty not only to Christians, who had been the object of special persecution, but goes even further and grants liberty to all religions:

When you see that this has been granted to [Christians] by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made that we may not seem to detract from any dignity of any religion.
""Edict of Milan", Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors (De Mortibus Persecutorum), ch. 48. opera, ed. 0. F. Fritzsche, II, p 288 sq. (Bibl Patr. Ecc. Lat. XI)."
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Julian the Apostate had yet to reign at this point, and after his reign the sentiment of toleration would persist until the widespread destruction of Pagan temples under Theodosius. It took almost a century from the full toleration of Christianity by Constantine to its declaration as state religion and the turning of a blind eye to the persecution of pagans.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
dee-em
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3/24/2015 5:31:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/23/2015 7:10:00 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/23/2015 6:38:14 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/23/2015 1:33:48 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/22/2015 6:13:51 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/22/2015 11:59:42 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:

LOL, it wasn't a whim, it was an astute political decision at a time of civil unrest. Constantine didn't just wake up one day and say, 'eh, I think that Jesus fellow was on to something.' He used religious toleration to sooth the troubles of a fractious empire which he had united militarily. Rome became Christians because Christians spent 300 years making a terrible fuss in the face of oppression.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Historians remain uncertain about Constantine's reasons for favoring Christianity, and theologians and historians have argued about which form of Early Christianity he subscribed to. Although Constantine had been exposed to Christianity by his mother Helena, there is no consensus among scholars as to whether he adopted his mother's Christianity in his youth, or at all "Constantine saw himself as an 'emperor of the Christian people'. If this made him a Christian is the subject of ... debate.",[1][2] and he did not receive baptism until shortly before his death.[3]

Perhaps 'whim' is not the right word, but certainly there does not appear to have been a clear-cut reason for Constantine to go down this path.

This is about his personal reasons for converting, and when and why it happened. There is, however, pretty much no doubt that the acceptance of religious tolerance in Rome was inevitable, as the Empire would have torn itself apart in the face of invasion had it not overcome its sectarian, schismatic tendencies.

You have a rather warped view of history. Rome did have religious tolerance for at least two centuries prior to Constantine. How else do you think Christianity not only survived but grew to the point that it could be considered as a replacement to the Roman pagan (so-called) beliefs? Judaism too was tolerated in cities under Roman rule. There were a few brief periods of persecution of Christians, but nothing of a serious nature for most of that time, contrary to later Christian propaganda.

When Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Empire, that marked the beginning of the end of religious tolerance. Once the Christians had established themselves they went to town. Pagan temples were systematically destroyed and priceless so-called pagan works were burnt and destroyed. The Christians then turned on the Jews in the ensuing centuries. Laws were passed by successive Emperors which gradually outlawed pagan rituals and texts, futher entrenching Christianity as the only tolerated religion. After the Roman Empire split the Western half quickly faded away in Europe, the void being filled by the Roman Catholic Church.

This also meant the end of Roman paganism as the sole established religion.

Far more than that. It meant the destruction of Roman paganism. The change was brutal, as these things often are.

Constantine killed both birds in one stone, as the emperor was traditionally considered Pontifex Maximus at the time of Constantine's reign. This effectively made him the head of both Christianity and traditional Roman paganism upon his conversion, and he ended up with the power to intervene in both religious communities, and was venerated by both as well.

They're nice rose-coloured glasses you are wearing. Lol. I think he had little idea of what he had set in motion in the short time before his death.

The fact that a politically astute man like Constantine recognized the need for change and had the agency to affect it doesn't change the fact that his reforms were a necessity without which the Roman Empire would have likely fallen.

I'm not sure where you get that conclusion. The Empire had already split and he restored it briefly by military means, nothing to do with reforms. Whether he prolonged the decline or hastened it by what he did with adopting Christianity, is an open question I think. Certainly in the West, I would suspect the latter.

"The Edict is popularly thought to concern only Christianity, and even to make Christianity the official religion of the Empire (which recognition did not actually occur until 380 under Theodosius I). Indeed the Edict expressly grants religious liberty not only to Christians, who had been the object of special persecution, but goes even further and grants liberty to all religions:

When you see that this has been granted to [Christians] by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made that we may not seem to detract from any dignity of any religion.
""Edict of Milan", Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors (De Mortibus Persecutorum), ch. 48. opera, ed. 0. F. Fritzsche, II, p 288 sq. (Bibl Patr. Ecc. Lat. XI)."
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Julian the Apostate had yet to reign at this point, and after his reign the sentiment of toleration would persist until the widespread destruction of Pagan temples under Theodosius. It took almost a century from the full toleration of Christianity by Constantine to its declaration as state religion and the turning of a blind eye to the persecution of pagans.

Nonsense. The persecution of pagans began almost immediately under Constantine and continued, with only a brief reprieve under Julian, through to Theodosius when it really got going in earnest.

The persecution of paganism in the Roman Empire started late in the reign of Constantine the Great, with his orders for the pillaging and tearing down of pagan temples such as the Hellenic temples at Didyma, Mt. Athos, Aigeai, Baalbek etc.

It got worse under Constantius II:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Christian persecution of paganism under Constantius II, lasted from 337 till 361, and marked the beginning of the era of formal persecution against Paganism by the Christian Roman Empire, with the emanation of laws and edicts which punished Pagan practices.[1][2]

From the 350s, new laws prescribed the death penalty for those who performed or attended Pagan sacrifices, and for the worshipping of idols;[1][3][4] temples were shut down,[2][5] and the traditional Altar of Victory was removed from the Senate.[6] There were also frequent episodes of ordinary Christians destroying, pillaging, desecrating, vandalizing many of the ancient Pagan temples, tombs and monuments.[7][8][9][10]


Eusebius himself records the burning of books (non-Pythagorean) and the destruction of pagan temples under Constantine. See Eusebius VC 56-59 and Against Hierocles.
Skepsikyma
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3/24/2015 8:14:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 5:31:51 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/23/2015 7:10:00 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/23/2015 6:38:14 AM, dee-em wrote:
"The Edict is popularly thought to concern only Christianity, and even to make Christianity the official religion of the Empire (which recognition did not actually occur until 380 under Theodosius I). Indeed the Edict expressly grants religious liberty not only to Christians, who had been the object of special persecution, but goes even further and grants liberty to all religions:

When you see that this has been granted to [Christians] by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made that we may not seem to detract from any dignity of any religion.
""Edict of Milan", Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors (De Mortibus Persecutorum), ch. 48. opera, ed. 0. F. Fritzsche, II, p 288 sq. (Bibl Patr. Ecc. Lat. XI)."
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Julian the Apostate had yet to reign at this point, and after his reign the sentiment of toleration would persist until the widespread destruction of Pagan temples under Theodosius. It took almost a century from the full toleration of Christianity by Constantine to its declaration as state religion and the turning of a blind eye to the persecution of pagans.

Nonsense. The persecution of pagans began almost immediately under Constantine and continued, with only a brief reprieve under Julian, through to Theodosius when it really got going in earnest.

The persecution of paganism in the Roman Empire started late in the reign of Constantine the Great, with his orders for the pillaging and tearing down of pagan temples such as the Hellenic temples at Didyma,

Lol, destroyed by the Persians centuries ago.

Mt. Athos

Lol, Proof? Most were destroyed during Theodosius's reign, churches were destroyed during Julian's, Christians and Pagans both lived their during Constantine's reign.

Aigeai, Baalbek etc.

A basilica was built at Baalbek, but the temples remained intact. You basically took an unsourced link from a Wikipedia article and repeated it without verifying it. Info from Wikipedia without an original source to back it up is worthless, as this exchange demonstrates.

I looked up this claim in other places, and it is mostly posted on propagandistic New Atheist haunts, with many of the claims back up by the writings of Eusebius, of all people. He is a notoriously unreliable source, prone to exaggeration and omissions, a fact which even his defenders admit.
It got worse under Constantius II:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Christian persecution of paganism under Constantius II, lasted from 337 till 361, and marked the beginning of the era of formal persecution against Paganism by the Christian Roman Empire, with the emanation of laws and edicts which punished Pagan practices.[1][2]

LOL, so persecution began under Constantine I, according to you, but your own source claims otherwise?

From the 350s, new laws prescribed the death penalty for those who performed or attended Pagan sacrifices, and for the worshipping of idols;[1][3][4] temples were shut down,[2][5]

The sources for this statement reference the Theodosian Code, so I don't see how they could possibly apply to the rule of Constantius II.

and the traditional Altar of Victory was removed from the Senate.[6]
That's hardly persecution.

There were also frequent episodes of ordinary Christians destroying, pillaging, desecrating, vandalizing many of the ancient Pagan temples, tombs and monuments.[7][8][9][10]
We're talking about the actions of rulers here.

Eusebius himself records the burning of books (non-Pythagorean) and the destruction of pagan temples under Constantine. See Eusebius VC 56-59 and Against Hierocles.

Lol, speak of the devil...

Look, you've read some badly edited Wikipedia articles (stuff like this can pass without scrutiny on articles like these; this is why specific articles for anti-paganism policies are made, as these changes would be reverted on the more closely watched main page for the ruler). Maybe you've read some borderline propagandist books. I would hope that the fact that your arguments rest on the word of a notorious historian and on completely botched sourcing will cause you to reexamine and reject it in favor of the view accepted by historians of the era: That Christianity went from a persecuted minority to a somewhat turbulent phase of coexistent, to the establishment of Christianity as the state religion and the suppression of Paganism over the course of a few centuries. So, Constantine isn't who you thought he was, he was actually a very skilled and effective ruler. That's something to be happy about, in my book.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
dee-em
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3/25/2015 8:39:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 8:14:42 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/24/2015 5:31:51 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/23/2015 7:10:00 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/23/2015 6:38:14 AM, dee-em wrote:
"The Edict is popularly thought to concern only Christianity, and even to make Christianity the official religion of the Empire (which recognition did not actually occur until 380 under Theodosius I). Indeed the Edict expressly grants religious liberty not only to Christians, who had been the object of special persecution, but goes even further and grants liberty to all religions:

When you see that this has been granted to [Christians] by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made that we may not seem to detract from any dignity of any religion.
""Edict of Milan", Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors (De Mortibus Persecutorum), ch. 48. opera, ed. 0. F. Fritzsche, II, p 288 sq. (Bibl Patr. Ecc. Lat. XI)."
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Julian the Apostate had yet to reign at this point, and after his reign the sentiment of toleration would persist until the widespread destruction of Pagan temples under Theodosius. It took almost a century from the full toleration of Christianity by Constantine to its declaration as state religion and the turning of a blind eye to the persecution of pagans.

Nonsense. The persecution of pagans began almost immediately under Constantine and continued, with only a brief reprieve under Julian, through to Theodosius when it really got going in earnest.

The persecution of paganism in the Roman Empire started late in the reign of Constantine the Great, with his orders for the pillaging and tearing down of pagan temples such as the Hellenic temples at Didyma,

Lol, destroyed by the Persians centuries ago.

Mt. Athos

Lol, Proof? Most were destroyed during Theodosius's reign, churches were destroyed during Julian's, Christians and Pagans both lived their during Constantine's reign.

Aigeai, Baalbek etc.

A basilica was built at Baalbek, but the temples remained intact. You basically took an unsourced link from a Wikipedia article and repeated it without verifying it. Info from Wikipedia without an original source to back it up is worthless, as this exchange demonstrates.

Do you mean like your unsourced assertions above? Lol.

Here are the sources since you seem to have missed them somehow:

Notes and references[edit]
1: a b c d R. MacMullen, "Christianizing The Roman Empire A.D.100-400, Yale University Press, 1984, ISBN 0-300-03642-6
2: a b c d e "A History of the Church," Philip Hughes, Sheed & Ward, rev ed 1949, vol I chapter 6.[1]
3: a b Eusebius Pamphilius and Schaff, Philip (Editor) and McGiffert, Rev. Arthur Cushman, Ph.D. (Translator) NPNF2-01. Eusebius Pamphilius: Church History, Life of Constantine, Oration in Praise of Constantine quote: "he razed to their foundations those of them which had been the chief objects of superstitious reverence"


I looked up this claim in other places, and it is mostly posted on propagandistic New Atheist haunts, with many of the claims back up by the writings of Eusebius, of all people. He is a notoriously unreliable source, prone to exaggeration and omissions, a fact which even his defenders admit.

Yes, I agree that Eusebius is a notorious forger and interpolater, and readily admitted to being selective about what he recorded as history. Isn't it funny though how he is the mainstay of most Christian arguments about the early Christian historical record.

However, the key issue here is motivation. Eusebius fudged the truth when it suited him, but there is no complling reason for him to invent the persecution of pagans. Even he wouldn't have had the audacity to lie about contemporary events. He would look like a fool. It's one thing to fake history from centuries earlier, it's another to fabricate recent events which could easily be verified.

It got worse under Constantius II:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Christian persecution of paganism under Constantius II, lasted from 337 till 361, and marked the beginning of the era of formal persecution against Paganism by the Christian Roman Empire, with the emanation of laws and edicts which punished Pagan practices.[1][2]

LOL, so persecution began under Constantine I, according to you, but your own source claims otherwise?

Only if you don't understand the difference between 'formal' and 'informal'.

From the 350s, new laws prescribed the death penalty for those who performed or attended Pagan sacrifices, and for the worshipping of idols;[1][3][4] temples were shut down,[2][5]

The sources for this statement reference the Theodosian Code, so I don't see how they could possibly apply to the rule of Constantius II.

You show your ignorance:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The Codex Theodosianus (Eng. Theodosian Code) was a compilation of the laws of the Roman Empire under the Christian emperors since 312. A commission was established by Theodosius II and his co-emperor Valentinian III on 26 March 429[1][2] and the compilation was published by a constitution of 15 February 438. It went into force in the eastern and western parts of the empire on 1 January 439.[1]

and the traditional Altar of Victory was removed from the Senate.[6]
That's hardly persecution.

There were also frequent episodes of ordinary Christians destroying, pillaging, desecrating, vandalizing many of the ancient Pagan temples, tombs and monuments.[7][8][9][10]
We're talking about the actions of rulers here.

Are we? Who decided that?

Eusebius himself records the burning of books (non-Pythagorean) and the destruction of pagan temples under Constantine. See Eusebius VC 56-59 and Against Hierocles.

Lol, speak of the devil...

Look, you've read some badly edited Wikipedia articles (stuff like this can pass without scrutiny on articles like these; this is why specific articles for anti-paganism policies are made, as these changes would be reverted on the more closely watched main page for the ruler). Maybe you've read some borderline propagandist books. I would hope that the fact that your arguments rest on the word of a notorious historian and on completely botched sourcing will cause you to reexamine and reject it in favor of the view accepted by historians of the era: That Christianity went from a persecuted minority to a somewhat turbulent phase of coexistent, to the establishment of Christianity as the state religion and the suppression of Paganism over the course of a few centuries. So, Constantine isn't who you thought he was, he was actually a very skilled and effective ruler. That's something to be happy about, in my book.

Spoken like a good little apologist for Christianity. You complain about Wikipedia, yet you cite nothing. Stop whining and fix the articles if you think they are wrong and can make a case for it. Btw, I love the use of your sanitized word 'suppression'. Paganism was a disease to be suppressed. It wasn't persecution folks! Lol.
dee-em
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3/25/2015 9:02:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 8:14:42 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/24/2015 5:31:51 AM, dee-em wrote:

The persecution of paganism in the Roman Empire started late in the reign of Constantine the Great, with his orders for the pillaging and tearing down of pagan temples such as the Hellenic temples at Didyma,

Lol, destroyed by the Persians centuries ago.

And of course a temple destroyed many centuries ago cannot be restored. Lol.

The source for the sacking of the Temple of Apollo at Didyma and the torture and execution of its priests is "Pagans and Christians" by Robin Lane Fox, page 671.
dee-em
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3/25/2015 9:39:14 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 8:14:42 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/24/2015 5:31:51 AM, dee-em wrote:

The persecution of paganism in the Roman Empire started late in the reign of Constantine the Great, with his orders for the pillaging and tearing down of pagan temples such as the Hellenic temples at Didyma,

Lol, destroyed by the Persians centuries ago.

Lol. Reconsecrated by Alexander the Great in 334BC.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Pausanias visited Didyma in the later 2nd century AD.[20] Pliny reported[21] the worship of Apollo Didymiae, Apollo of Didymus, in Central Asia, transported to Sogdiana by a general of Seleucus and Antiochus whose inscribed altars there were still to be seen by Pliny's correspondents. Corroborating inscriptions on amphoras were found by I. R. Pichikyan at Dilbergin.[22]

You have such a wealth of misinformation. Don't you get tired of being wrong?
Skepsikyma
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3/25/2015 10:31:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/25/2015 8:39:26 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/24/2015 8:14:42 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
Lol, destroyed by the Persians centuries ago.

Mt. Athos

Lol, Proof? Most were destroyed during Theodosius's reign, churches were destroyed during Julian's, Christians and Pagans both lived their during Constantine's reign.

Aigeai, Baalbek etc.

A basilica was built at Baalbek, but the temples remained intact. You basically took an unsourced link from a Wikipedia article and repeated it without verifying it. Info from Wikipedia without an original source to back it up is worthless, as this exchange demonstrates.

Do you mean like your unsourced assertions above? Lol.

You're the one making the assertion, I'm just saying 'hey, that's not what I heard. Do you have anything to back that up?'

Here's a source Didyma, the most striking example.
http://www.livius.org...
This site was destroyed by the Persians long before the establishment of Christianity. A new temple was built by Alexander, though I can find no record of Constantine destroying it. Theodosius built a church on the holy site, but that's about it.

Here are the sources since you seem to have missed them somehow:

Notes and references[edit]
1: a b c d R. MacMullen, "Christianizing The Roman Empire A.D.100-400, Yale University Press, 1984, ISBN 0-300-03642-6
2: a b c d e "A History of the Church," Philip Hughes, Sheed & Ward, rev ed 1949, vol I chapter 6.[1]
3: a b Eusebius Pamphilius and Schaff, Philip (Editor) and McGiffert, Rev. Arthur Cushman, Ph.D. (Translator) NPNF2-01. Eusebius Pamphilius: Church History, Life of Constantine, Oration in Praise of Constantine quote: "he razed to their foundations those of them which had been the chief objects of superstitious reverence"


... And Eusebius is the ONLY primary source. Find me primary sources. I'm not going to buy a book for an online argument.

I looked up this claim in other places, and it is mostly posted on propagandistic New Atheist haunts, with many of the claims back up by the writings of Eusebius, of all people. He is a notoriously unreliable source, prone to exaggeration and omissions, a fact which even his defenders admit.

Yes, I agree that Eusebius is a notorious forger and interpolater, and readily admitted to being selective about what he recorded as history. Isn't it funny though how he is the mainstay of most Christian arguments about the early Christian historical record.

However, the key issue here is motivation. Eusebius fudged the truth when it suited him, but there is no complling reason for him to invent the persecution of pagans. Even he wouldn't have had the audacity to lie about contemporary events. He would look like a fool. It's one thing to fake history from centuries earlier, it's another to fabricate recent events which could easily be verified.

Yes there was! He was a devout Christian, and a bootlicker of Constantine, and the passages describing the destruction of Pagan sites, which aren't copied anywhere else, are absolutely foaming with adulation. Find me a seconder for any of his claims, and we can talk.

It got worse under Constantius II:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Christian persecution of paganism under Constantius II, lasted from 337 till 361, and marked the beginning of the era of formal persecution against Paganism by the Christian Roman Empire, with the emanation of laws and edicts which punished Pagan practices.[1][2]

LOL, so persecution began under Constantine I, according to you, but your own source claims otherwise?

Only if you don't understand the difference between 'formal' and 'informal'.

Formal persecution is what I'm interested, seeing as you've claimed that Constantine was going around ordering the destruction of Pagan holy sites. That's about as formal as you get.

From the 350s, new laws prescribed the death penalty for those who performed or attended Pagan sacrifices, and for the worshipping of idols;[1][3][4] temples were shut down,[2][5]

The sources for this statement reference the Theodosian Code, so I don't see how they could possibly apply to the rule of Constantius II.

You show your ignorance:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The Codex Theodosianus (Eng. Theodosian Code) was a compilation of the laws of the Roman Empire under the Christian emperors since 312. A commission was established by Theodosius II and his co-emperor Valentinian III on 26 March 429[1][2] and the compilation was published by a constitution of 15 February 438. It went into force in the eastern and western parts of the empire on 1 January 439.[1]

Yes, and Theodosius added a lot of things to the codex, and emphasized some things over others. Hence why it's considered a big step in the direction of theocracy. This reference hits up one section of the codex which references a law enacted by Constantine banning sacrifices, which was not an act of religious persecution targeting pagans, as Theodosius no doubt applied it in his codex, but rather a politically motivated suppression of auguries for fear of their undermining his authority, as Zosimus relates:

"For since many fortunate occurrences had been thereby predicted to him, and really had happened according to such prediction, he was afraid that others might be told something which should fall out to his misfortune ; and for that reason applied himself to the abolishing of the practice. And on a particular festival, when the army was to go up to the Capitol, he very indecently reproached the solemnity, and treading the holy ceremonies, as it were, under his feet, incurred the hatred of the senate and people."
http://www.tertullian.org...

The Codex tells you a lot about Theodosius's beliefs on ruling, it necessarily cherry picks the laws of previous emperors to fit his conception of how things ought to be run. Using it as a source for how things were done by earlier Emperors is silly in light of the fact that we have actual contemporary accounts of those times.

and the traditional Altar of Victory was removed from the Senate.[6]
That's hardly persecution.

There were also frequent episodes of ordinary Christians destroying, pillaging, desecrating, vandalizing many of the ancient Pagan temples, tombs and monuments.[7][8][9][10]
We're talking about the actions of rulers here.

Are we? Who decided that?

You, when you claimed that Constantine established Christianity (patently false) and persecuted pagans. You've already been proven wrong on the first claim, and now you're moving the goalposts on the second.

Eusebius himself records the burning of books (non-Pythagorean) and the destruction of pagan temples under Constantine. See Eusebius VC 56-59 and Against Hierocles.

Lol, speak of the devil...

Spoken like a good little apologist for Christianity. You complain about Wikipedia, yet you cite nothing. Stop whining and fix the articles if you think they are wrong and can make a case for it. Btw, I love the use of your sanitized word 'suppression'. Paganism was a disease to be suppressed. It wasn't persecution folks! Lol.

I'm an atheist, so no, I'm not an apologist for Christianity, just for accurate history.

The articles are fixed (the ones that count, the main articles on the rulers in question.) Obviously, there are a chunk of people on Wikipedia who disagree, and have made spinoff articles in which they can air their opinions until those pages get re-merged.

Oh no, synonyms! That definitely proves that Constantine established Christianity as a state religion in Rome.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
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3/25/2015 10:34:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/25/2015 9:39:14 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/24/2015 8:14:42 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/24/2015 5:31:51 AM, dee-em wrote:

The persecution of paganism in the Roman Empire started late in the reign of Constantine the Great, with his orders for the pillaging and tearing down of pagan temples such as the Hellenic temples at Didyma,

Lol, destroyed by the Persians centuries ago.

Lol. Reconsecrated by Alexander the Great in 334BC.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Pausanias visited Didyma in the later 2nd century AD.[20] Pliny reported[21] the worship of Apollo Didymiae, Apollo of Didymus, in Central Asia, transported to Sogdiana by a general of Seleucus and Antiochus whose inscribed altars there were still to be seen by Pliny's correspondents. Corroborating inscriptions on amphoras were found by I. R. Pichikyan at Dilbergin.[22]

You have such a wealth of misinformation. Don't you get tired of being wrong?

Lol, when did Constantine destroy it? Still waiting for an original source to second Eusebius's account. *crickets*
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
dee-em
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3/25/2015 7:33:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/25/2015 10:31:26 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/25/2015 8:39:26 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/24/2015 8:14:42 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
Lol, destroyed by the Persians centuries ago.

Mt. Athos

Lol, Proof? Most were destroyed during Theodosius's reign, churches were destroyed during Julian's, Christians and Pagans both lived their during Constantine's reign.

Aigeai, Baalbek etc.

A basilica was built at Baalbek, but the temples remained intact. You basically took an unsourced link from a Wikipedia article and repeated it without verifying it. Info from Wikipedia without an original source to back it up is worthless, as this exchange demonstrates.

Do you mean like your unsourced assertions above? Lol.

You're the one making the assertion, I'm just saying 'hey, that's not what I heard. Do you have anything to back that up?'

Oh, I see. You can say anything you like as refutation but only I have the burden of citing sources. That sounds fair. Lol.

Here's a source Didyma, the most striking example.
http://www.livius.org...
This site was destroyed by the Persians long before the establishment of Christianity. A new temple was built by Alexander, though I can find no record of Constantine destroying it. Theodosius built a church on the holy site, but that's about it.

I see you have moved the goalposts. First the temple had been destroyed centuries earlier, end of story. Now that you have been caught out, you are frantically creating an argument from ignorance to cover up. A temple can be destroyed multiple times and rebuilt. Priests can be executed and then replaced. Religious beliefs and traditions die hard. Are these difficult concepts for you?

Here are the sources since you seem to have missed them somehow:

Notes and references[edit]
1: a b c d R. MacMullen, "Christianizing The Roman Empire A.D.100-400, Yale University Press, 1984, ISBN 0-300-03642-6
2: a b c d e "A History of the Church," Philip Hughes, Sheed & Ward, rev ed 1949, vol I chapter 6.[1]
3: a b Eusebius Pamphilius and Schaff, Philip (Editor) and McGiffert, Rev. Arthur Cushman, Ph.D. (Translator) NPNF2-01. Eusebius Pamphilius: Church History, Life of Constantine, Oration in Praise of Constantine quote: "he razed to their foundations those of them which had been the chief objects of superstitious reverence"


... And Eusebius is the ONLY primary source. Find me primary sources. I'm not going to buy a book for an online argument.

Another shifting of the goalposts. First there were no sources. Now you complain when the sources which were provided are pointed out to you. There's a pattern here.

I looked up this claim in other places, and it is mostly posted on propagandistic New Atheist haunts, with many of the claims back up by the writings of Eusebius, of all people. He is a notoriously unreliable source, prone to exaggeration and omissions, a fact which even his defenders admit.

Yes, I agree that Eusebius is a notorious forger and interpolater, and readily admitted to being selective about what he recorded as history. Isn't it funny though how he is the mainstay of most Christian arguments about the early Christian historical record.

However, the key issue here is motivation. Eusebius fudged the truth when it suited him, but there is no complling reason for him to invent the persecution of pagans. Even he wouldn't have had the audacity to lie about contemporary events. He would look like a fool. It's one thing to fake history from centuries earlier, it's another to fabricate recent events which could easily be verified.

Yes there was! He was a devout Christian, and a bootlicker of Constantine, and the passages describing the destruction of Pagan sites, which aren't copied anywhere else, are absolutely foaming with adulation. Find me a seconder for any of his claims, and we can talk.

So what? I don't see any motivation to invent persecution when there was none. Eusebius might relate these accounts with relish but that is neither here nor there. You fail to address the central issue though. Certainly Eusebius was guilty as a historian of omitting events which might have been embarassing to his pro-Christian narrative. However, you can't fabricate the occurrence of contemporary events. How could he possibly get away with that? Since you can't offer an explanation, we have to take the view that the destruction of pagan temples he relates actually occurred, even if the accounts have been embellished somewhat.

It got worse under Constantius II:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Christian persecution of paganism under Constantius II, lasted from 337 till 361, and marked the beginning of the era of formal persecution against Paganism by the Christian Roman Empire, with the emanation of laws and edicts which punished Pagan practices.[1][2]

LOL, so persecution began under Constantine I, according to you, but your own source claims otherwise?

Only if you don't understand the difference between 'formal' and 'informal'.

Formal persecution is what I'm interested, seeing as you've claimed that Constantine was going around ordering the destruction of Pagan holy sites. That's about as formal as you get.

Please do not put words into my mouth. My comments have been along the lines that the persecution started under Constantine. I've never said that it was systematic. In fact, there are instances where he sponsored pagan worship during his reign. The persecution I'm referring to was ad-hoc in nature, but it was certainly the beginning of what was to come after Christianity was made the official religion of the Empire.
dee-em
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3/25/2015 7:57:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/25/2015 10:31:26 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/25/2015 8:39:26 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/24/2015 8:14:42 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:

From the 350s, new laws prescribed the death penalty for those who performed or attended Pagan sacrifices, and for the worshipping of idols;[1][3][4] temples were shut down,[2][5]

The sources for this statement reference the Theodosian Code, so I don't see how they could possibly apply to the rule of Constantius II.

You show your ignorance:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The Codex Theodosianus (Eng. Theodosian Code) was a compilation of the laws of the Roman Empire under the Christian emperors since 312. A commission was established by Theodosius II and his co-emperor Valentinian III on 26 March 429[1][2] and the compilation was published by a constitution of 15 February 438. It went into force in the eastern and western parts of the empire on 1 January 439.[1]

Yes, and Theodosius added a lot of things to the codex, and emphasized some things over others. Hence why it's considered a big step in the direction of theocracy. This reference hits up one section of the codex which references a law enacted by Constantine banning sacrifices, which was not an act of religious persecution targeting pagans, as Theodosius no doubt applied it in his codex, but rather a politically motivated suppression of auguries for fear of their undermining his authority, as Zosimus relates:

"For since many fortunate occurrences had been thereby predicted to him, and really had happened according to such prediction, he was afraid that others might be told something which should fall out to his misfortune ; and for that reason applied himself to the abolishing of the practice. And on a particular festival, when the army was to go up to the Capitol, he very indecently reproached the solemnity, and treading the holy ceremonies, as it were, under his feet, incurred the hatred of the senate and people."
http://www.tertullian.org...

The Codex tells you a lot about Theodosius's beliefs on ruling, it necessarily cherry picks the laws of previous emperors to fit his conception of how things ought to be run. Using it as a source for how things were done by earlier Emperors is silly in light of the fact that we have actual contemporary accounts of those times.

So, yet another shifting of the goalposts. First you couldn't see how the references to Codex Theodosius could possibly apply to Constantius Ii. Now you can see it but you reject them anyway because blah blah blah. Apologetics 101.

and the traditional Altar of Victory was removed from the Senate.[6]
That's hardly persecution.

There were also frequent episodes of ordinary Christians destroying, pillaging, desecrating, vandalizing many of the ancient Pagan temples, tombs and monuments.[7][8][9][10]
We're talking about the actions of rulers here.

Are we? Who decided that?

You, when you claimed that Constantine established Christianity (patently false) and persecuted pagans. You've already been proven wrong on the first claim, and now you're moving the goalposts on the second.

I haven't been proven wrong on either count, despite your assertions. Here's my original statement:

When Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Empire, that marked the beginning of the end of religious tolerance.

I stand by it, and it doesn't limit itself to state-sponsored persecution.

Eusebius himself records the burning of books (non-Pythagorean) and the destruction of pagan temples under Constantine. See Eusebius VC 56-59 and Against Hierocles.

Lol, speak of the devil...

Spoken like a good little apologist for Christianity. You complain about Wikipedia, yet you cite nothing. Stop whining and fix the articles if you think they are wrong and can make a case for it. Btw, I love the use of your sanitized word 'suppression'. Paganism was a disease to be suppressed. It wasn't persecution folks! Lol.

I'm an atheist, so no, I'm not an apologist for Christianity, just for accurate history.

Well, you could have fooled me.

The articles are fixed (the ones that count, the main articles on the rulers in question.) Obviously, there are a chunk of people on Wikipedia who disagree, and have made spinoff articles in which they can air their opinions until those pages get re-merged.

A conspiracy! I love it.

Oh no, synonyms! That definitely proves that Constantine established Christianity as a state religion in Rome.

Suppression is a synonym for persecution? Really?

From www.thesaurus.com:

persecution, noun
Synonyms: annoyance, banishment, bashing, exile, expulsion, galling, ill-treatment, imprisonment, infliction, killing, maltreatment, massacre, mistreatment, murder, oppression, pestering, provoking, teasing, torment, torture, torture
dee-em
Posts: 6,490
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3/25/2015 8:04:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/25/2015 10:34:46 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/25/2015 9:39:14 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 3/24/2015 8:14:42 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/24/2015 5:31:51 AM, dee-em wrote:

The persecution of paganism in the Roman Empire started late in the reign of Constantine the Great, with his orders for the pillaging and tearing down of pagan temples such as the Hellenic temples at Didyma,

Lol, destroyed by the Persians centuries ago.

Lol. Reconsecrated by Alexander the Great in 334BC.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Pausanias visited Didyma in the later 2nd century AD.[20] Pliny reported[21] the worship of Apollo Didymiae, Apollo of Didymus, in Central Asia, transported to Sogdiana by a general of Seleucus and Antiochus whose inscribed altars there were still to be seen by Pliny's correspondents. Corroborating inscriptions on amphoras were found by I. R. Pichikyan at Dilbergin.[22]

You have such a wealth of misinformation. Don't you get tired of being wrong?

Lol, when did Constantine destroy it? Still waiting for an original source to second Eusebius's account. *crickets*

I assume you are implying that the primary source used by R. L. Fox was Eusebius? I don't know if that's true. However, even if that were the case, I've already explained why the Eusebius accounts had to have been of a historical nature, even if sensationalized to a degree. Your total rejection of Eusebius seems to be a matter of dogma for you.