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16 October, 16:02

how would the roman and the irish approach the introduction of the new structure of Christianity and the roles of various social groups within their society

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  1. 16 October, 16:58
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    Answer: The Christians were not respectful toward ancestral pagan customs, and their preaching of a new king sounded like revolution. The opposition of the Jews to them led to breaches of the peace. Thus, the Christians could very well be unpopular, and they often were. Paul's success at Ephesus provoked a riot to defend the cult of the goddess Artemis. In 64 CE a fire destroyed much of Rome, and, in order to escape blame, the emperor Nero killed a "vast multitude" of Christians as scapegoats. For the first time, Rome was conscious that Christians were distinct from Jews. But there probably was no formal senatorial enactment proscribing Christianity at this time. Nero's persecution, which was local and short, was condemned by Tacitus as an expression of the emperor's cruelty rather than as a service to the public good. Soon thereafter, however, the profession of Christianity was defined as a capital crime-though of a special kind, because one gained pardon by apostasy (rejection of a faith once confessed) demonstrated by offering sacrifice to the pagan gods or to the emperor. Popular gossip soon accused the Christians of secret vices, such as eating murdered infants (because of the secrecy surrounding the Lord's Supper and the use of the words body and blood) and sexual promiscuity (because of the practice of Christians calling each other "brother" or "sister" while living as husband and wife).
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