When it came to religion the Roman Empire did not have a problem with the many religions that were being practiced at the time, as long as these religions not threaten public order and morality. At one point the empire thought about combining the gods from each religion to make it a Roman pantheon. Though the empire was tolerant on the many religions, there was one that fell upon total scrutiny. This religion was Christianity; the Romans could not grasp the concept of monotheism and labeled Christianity as the outlawed religion. The Romans fear of Christianity could be from the fair of change. As seen once before in history during the rule of Akhenaton when he introduced monotheism to Egypt it was not embraced because it had not been done before and it was brought upon quite quickly. This is possibly the same reaction the Roman Empire was going through.
Pliny to the Emperor Trajan
This passage is the correspondence of letters between Pliny and the Emperor Trajan. During the rise of the Christian faith in the Roman State it was generally recognized as a capital crime to be connected with the church. Although Romans did not look highly of Christian they were still unaware on how they were to go about punishing them. In order for Pliny to get a greater grasp of what he needed to be doing, Pliny asks the Emperor Trajan for guidance, In this letter Pliny starts of with giving his respects to the Emperor, but waist no time in getting to the point of his letter "the customary method and extent of punishing and examining them [Christians]" (Human Records pg 204). Shall he punish a Christian just because he admits to being a Christian, or must he have evidence of the horrid crimes that Christians were alleged to commit. Is just one of the questions Pliny asks the Emperor? In the letter Pliny went on to explain to the emperor what he had been doing with Christian punishment. When ever it was brought to his attention that a... [continues]
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