By David M. Gwynn
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An past, self-described "very conservative evangelical" reviewer criticized the essays during this assortment for his or her "questionable" liberal conclusions. it is curious how assorted humans can learn an identical textual content and arrive at diversified conclusions. my very own analyzing of this anthology is that the essays attempt (perhaps overly a lot, actually) to stick in the course of the line.
Others. as well as the loads of recent signed articles on a wide selection of issues, this re-creation additionally gains biographies of latest non secular figures; hundreds of thousands of images, maps and illustrations; and up-to-date bibliographical citations. The fifteenth quantity is a cumulative index to the whole encyclopedia.
ACO I, 1, eight Acta conciliorum oecumenicorum
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Only the ﬁrst persecuting edict of 303 was ever enforced in the west by Maximian or his Caesar Constantius Chlorus. Indeed, Lactantius and Eusebius deny that Constantius took any violent actions against the Christians of Britain and northern Gaul. Both authors wrote after the conversion to Christianity of Constantius’ son Constantine, which must have inﬂuenced their judgements. But it seems probable that Constantius did do little to enforce the Persecution, not least because there were not many Christians in his regions to persecute.
Despite Eusebius’ rhetoric, Christians were still a distinct minority of the population and perhaps made up 10–15 per cent of the empire’s estimated 60 million inhabitants. The vast majority continued to worship the traditional gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome. Most Christians came from the urban social classes, and Christianity was slower to penetrate the peasants in the countryside, the governing aristocracy, or the army. There was similarly a greater concentration of Christians in the Greek-speaking eastern regions of the empire, where Eusebius resided, than in the more distant Latin-speaking provinces such as Gaul and Britain.
On 24 February (the following day) the ﬁrst persecuting edict was published. All churches were to be destroyed and their sacred books and vessels seized, congregations were banned and Christians lost their oﬃcial positions and social and legal privileges. A man named Euetius who tore the edict down was roasted to death as a martyr, and further edicts soon followed. The second persecuting edict a few months later ordered the arrest of all Christian clergy, while a third edict oﬀered an amnesty to clergy who sacriﬁced to the gods but torture for those who refused.