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Persecuted Christian. Source: PhotoGranary / Adobe Stock.

When Faith and Power Clash: How Christianity Divided the Roman Empire (Video)


In 107 AD, the Roman Empire was at its peak under Emperor Trajan's leadership, spanning 2 million square miles and 50 million subjects. However, the rise of Christianity, which promised to undermine Roman conceptions of power and authority, was seen as a threat by the Romans. Ignatius of Antioch, a prominent Christian leader, was brought to Rome to be executed, most likely in the Colosseum.

Ignatius was willing to be martyred, like Jesus, and wrote seven letters describing his experience and beliefs, which have survived to this day. Despite the Romans' plan to make an example of Ignatius, his martyrdom actually helped spread Christianity. Many historians believe Christianity divided the Roman Empire, contributing to its eventual downfall.

Top image: Persecuted Christian. Source: PhotoGranary / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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