Publication details

Macro-historical Aspects of the Christianization of the Roman Empire : From a Subversive Sect to the Foundation of the Christian Empire



Year of publication 2020
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description During the 1st century CE, Christianity originated in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. For the first two centuries of its existence, it remained on margins of the cultural and religious world of the Roman Empire. By rejecting many central assumptions about the world and the role of god(s) and humans, it was seen as a suspicious and possibly subversive religious cult occasionally persecuted by the Roman authorities. All this slowly changed during the 3rd century CE when deep crises struck the Roman Empire. In this paper, I want to argue that the ultimate rise of Christianity and the gradual disappearance of traditional forms of paganism were facilitated by macro-historical factors frequently disregarded by standard historiography, i.e., climatic change and epidemics, which radically changed the Roman world in the 2nd and 3rd century and created new challenges for which Christianity was much better prepared than traditional Graeco-Roman paganism.
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