Episodes

Episode 3 – The Age of Persecution

Why did the polytheist Ancient Romans persecute the followers of the new Jewish sect of “Christians” in the first three centuries AD”? How high was the price that Christians had to pay for casting away their ancient religious traditions for the belief in salvation through Jesus Christ? Did Roman Emperor Constantine end religious intolerance with the Edict of Milan? And why did the Christians persecute the pagans – and each other – once Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire? Why were temples and libraries destroyed and the female mathematician Hypatia killed by violent mobs? And did Emperor Justinian really end antiquity when he closed the Academy in Athens? Find out when we discover how religious persecution and violence impacted lives, learning, and liberty of conscience in the period from the trial of Jesus to the age of Justinian. The Age of Persecution. That’s episode 3 of Clear and Present Danger: A History of Free Speech.

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Literature: Episode 3

Early Christianity and persecution of Christians from Nero to Diocletian

  • Barnes, T.D. (1968): ”Legislation against the Christians”. In: The Journal of Roman Studies 58(1-2). Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. Pp. 32–50.
  • Beard, M. (2015): SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome. London, UK: Profile Books.
  • Bury, J.B. (2015): A History of The Dark Ages: From the Triumph of Constantine to the Empire of Charlemagne. Didactic Press.
  • Chadwick, H. (2003): The Church in Ancient Society: From Galilee to Gregory the Great. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • Davies, N. (1997): ”III: Roma”. In: Europe – A history. London, UK: Pimlico.
  • De Ste. Croix, G.E.M. (2006). In: Streeter, J. & Whitby, M. (eds.): Christian Persecution, Matyrdom, and Orthodoxy. Oxford, UK: Oxford Scholarship Online.
  • Digeser, E. (2012): A Threat To Public Piety – Christians, Platonists, and the Great Persecution. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
  • Frend, W.H.C. (2008): Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church – A Study of Conflict from the Maccabees to Donatus. Cambridge, UK: James Clarke & Co.
  • Gibbon, E. (2013): The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. 15–16. Modern Library. (First published 1776).
  • Grégoire, H. (1952): ”Les persécutions dans l’Empire romain”. In: Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire, 30(3–4). Pp. 943–945.
  • Levy, L.W. (1992): Blasphemy – Verbal Offense against the Sacred, from Moses to Salman Rushdie. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press.
  • MacCulloch, D. (2010): A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years. London, UK: Penguin.
  • Mason, A.J. (2017): The Historic Martyrs of the Primitive Church. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
  • O’Donnell, J.J. (2016): Pagans: The End of Traditional Religion and the Rise of Christianity. New York, NY: Ecco.
  • Phipps, C.B. (1932): ”Persecution under Marcus Aurelius. An Historical Hypothesis”. In: Hermathena 22(47). Trinity College Dublin. Pp. 167–201.
  • Praet, D. (2014): ”Violence against Christians and Violence by Christians in the First Three Centuries: Direct Violence, Cultural Violence and the Debate about Christian Exclusivness”. In: Gelion, A. & Roukema, R. (eds.): Violence in Ancient Christianity. Brill.
  • Rivers, J.B. (1999): ”The Decree of Decius and the Religion of Empire” in: The Journal of Roman Studies 89. Pp. 135–154.
  • Rohmann, Dirk (2016): ”Christianity, Book-Burning and Censorship in Late Antiquity. In: Studies in Text Transmission Berlin: De Gruyter. Pp. xi–360.
  • Sherwin-White, A.N. (1964): ”Why Were the Early Christians Persecuted? — An Amendment” in: Past & Present 27. Pp. 23-27. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

 

Contemporary sources

 

Persecution of pagans and heretics from Constantine to Justitian

  • Brown, P. (1964): “St. Augustine’s Attitude to Religious Coercion” in: The Journal of Roman Studies 54(1-2). Pp. 107-116.
  • De Ste. Croix, G.E.M. (2006): ”Heresy, Schism and Persecution in the Later Roman Empire” in: Streeter, J. & Whitby, M. (eds.): Christian Persecution, Matyrdom, and Orthodoxy. Oxford Scholarship Online.
  • El-Abbadi, M. & Fathallah, O. (Eds.) (2008): What Happened to the Ancient Library of Alexandria?
  • Gaddis, M. (2015): There Is No Crime for Those Who Have Christ: Religious Violence in the Christian Roman Empire. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  • Gibbon, E. (2013): The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Modern Library. (First published 1776).
  • Hannam, J. (2010): ”The Mysterious Fate of the Great Library of Alexandria”. In: God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science. Accessible at: http://jameshannam.com/library.htm.
  • Konstantinos, S.S. (2007): The History of the Library in Western Civilization vol. V: From Petrarch to Michelangelo: The Revival of the Study of the Classics and the First Humanistic Libraries Printing in the Service of the World of Books and Monumental Libraries. Brill.
  • Levy, L.W. (1992): Blasphemy – Verbal Offense against the Sacred, from Moses to Salman Rushdie. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press.
  • MacCulloch, D. (2010): A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years. London, UK: Penguin.
  • MacMullen, R. (1986): Christianizing the Roman Empire (A.D. 100-400). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
  • Nixey, C. (2017): The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan.
  • Rohmann, Dirk (2016): ”Christianity, Book-Burning and Censorship in Late Antiquity. In: Studies in Text Transmission Berlin: De Gruyter. Pp. xi-360.
  • Sizgorich, T. (2009): Violence and Belief in Late Antiquity: Militant Devotion in Christianity and Islam. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Stark, R. (2016): Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History.
  • van Geest, P. (1964): ”Quid dicam de vindicando vel non vindicando? Augustine’s Legitimation of Coercion in his Roles of Mediator, Judge, Teacher and Mystagogue” in:
  • Geljon, A.C. & Roukema, R. (eds.): Violence in Ancient Christianity; Victims and Perpetrators. Brill.

 

Contemporary sources on the death of Hypatia

 

Justinian and the Byzantine Empire

  • Blume Novels & Justinian Code Translation: Novel 77. Accessible at: http://www.uwyo.edu/lawlib/blume-justinian/_files/docs/novel61-80/novel61-80.htm.
  • Brewer, C. (2005): “The Status of the Jews in Roman Legislation: The Reign of Justinian 527-565 CE”. In: European Judaism 51. Pp. 127–139.
  • Constantelos, D.J. (1964): ”Paganism and the State in the Age of Justinian”. In: The Catholic Histrical Review 50(3). Pp. 372–380.
  • Corcoran, S. (2009): ”Anastasius, Justinian, and the Pagans: A Tale of Two Law Codes and a Papyrus”. In: Journal of Late Antiquity 2(2).
  • Rohmann, Dirk (2016): ”Christianity, Book-Burning and Censorship in Late Antiquity. In: Studies in Text Transmission Berlin: De Gruyter. Pp. xi–360.
  • Watts, E. (2004): ”Justinian, Malalas, and the End of Athenian Philosophical Teaching in A.D. 529”. In: The Journal of Roman Studies 94. Pp. 168–182.

 

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