In the history of Christianity, there are many different figures that have shaped the religion. In this article, you will learn more about the emperor that ‘fiddled while Rome burned’ and the emperor that converted to Christianity and set off a significant chain of events.
~64 , The persecution of Christians by Roman Emperor Nero takes place.
Emperor Nero is infamous for ‘fiddling while Rome burned,’ but the horrific fire that broke out in the summer of ’64 would bring dire consequences to the Christians. The fire raged on for six days and seven nights. As a result, nearly three quarters of the city succumbed to the flames. The people accused Nero of setting the fire on his own , just for entertainment. Nero grew worried of the accusations so he decided to pass on the heat to others. He started blaming the Christians for the fire , ordering the arrest of a few members of the sect. They were subjected to torture, where they started to accuse others under duress. A domino effect occurred where the rest of the Christian population were thought associated with the fire. The Christians were gathered up and horrifically put to death.
~ 95 , The Book of Revelation is written.
The Book of Revelation serves as the final book of the New Testament. The book is marked by vivid symbolism that touches upon the prediction of future events. The Book of Revelation is the only document in the New Testament that discusses the Apocalypse.
312 , Emperor Constantine coverts to Christianity, and with that came many changes.
When Emperor Constantine coverts to Christianity, the religion is embraced by the majority of the Roman Empire. This was a significant turning point even though historians are not sure if his motives were based on sincerity or for political reasons. The end of the persecution of Christians was one of the positive things to come out of the conversion. The start of Christendom was also observed. In 313, Constantine issued the “Edict of Milan,” which meant that Christianity and other religions were to be tolerated. This was an official command.
Constantine also turned his attention to a specific day of the week. Pagan feasts and the feast that commemorate Christian martyrs would be recognized on Sunday. He also outlawed the gladiator shows that some saw as barbaric. The stoning to death of Jews that chose to become Christians was also outlawed. While Constantine’s conversion was important for Christianity, he is not responsible for making the religion the official faith of the Empire. It was actually Emperor Theodosius who saw to that in 380. Constantine only implemented a program that focused on toleration. He opened the doors for Christianity and paganism to receive support from someone in a position of influential power.
By 314, the cross started to appear on the Emperor’s coins. Constantine also raised his children as Christians and had Christian clergy as his person advisors.