The Christians V03 - By This Sign View larger

The Christians V03 - By This Sign

V03

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By This Sign / AD 250 to AD 350 / From the Decian Persecution to Constantine Era / Volume Three of The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years History Series

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By This Sign

Volume 3: A.D. 250 to 350
From the Decian Persecution to the Constantine era

Rome’s bloody anti-Christian persecutions now reached their worst stage ever, first under Decius and then Diocletian. Then a new and very different emperor emerged. Before the key battle that brought him to power, Constantine had seen the sign of a cross in the sky, and received the message “By this sign, conquer.” He imposed peace and religious tolerance across the empire. No longer subversives, Christians suddenly became the new establishment. This opened very different and dangerous challenges for the church. The first was an influx of opportunistic converts seeking not salvation but worldly power. Even worse was a growing controversy over whether Jesus is God, and if so, in what sense? It came to a head, but not to resolution, at the great Council of Nicea.

Chapter One

Emperor Decius unleashes the first empire-wide persecution

  • Christianity takes root in Roman Spain
  • Bishop Dionysius readmits repentant apostates

Chapter Two

Cyprian of Carthage leads the way out of persecution and dissension

  • An ancient martyr becomes England's patron
  • Early baptismal fonts
  • Undying veneration is the martyr's reward
  • Life and death in the catacombs

Chapter Three

The struggle to define the universal church

  • Early Christian funerary art
  • Music is the speech of the soul
  • Coded artwork of the catacombs
  • Relics prove the enduring power of the holy
  • The New Testament takes shape

Chapter Four

Diocletian undertakes the last and greatest persecution

  • Soldier witnesses to the Prince of Peace
  • Condemned to the Roman mines

Chapter Five

Constantine wins the empire in Christ's name

  • The mysterious origens of British Christianity
  • A third-century Christian mosaic

Chapter Six

Constantine builds a Christian empire

  • Christian schism embroils the emperor
  • Remnants of Constantine's capital
  • Christian morals become the basis of law
  • Constantine builds the churches in the Holy Land
  • The birth of Rabbinical Judaism

Chapter Seven

Armenia becomes the first Christian nation

  • The distinctive Armenian churches
  • Armenians in the news
  • A slave girl brings Christianity to Georgia

Chapter Eight

The fight over Christ's divinity

  • A pagan queen and her playboy bishop
  • Does Jesus' divinity matter?

Chapter Nine

The first great council affirms that Jesus is God

  • The origin of Santa Claus
  • How do we calculate the date of Easter?
  • Constantine's mother endears herself to the world

Chapter Ten

Christian Rome confronts th pagan barbarians

  • The pagan legacy in the names of the days of the week