The Great Persecution – If It Happened Yesterday, It’s History

The first truly organised persecution of Christians came after the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD under the Emperor Nero. Looking for a scapegoat in the devastating aftermath of the fire, he found it in the Christians. He would blame them for the fire because of their apocalyptic belief that Rome and the world would end by fire. This led to an active and organised campaign against them. The second and third centuries sporadically saw more of the same prosecutions, especially under the reign of Emperors Decius and Valerian. The last and truly terrible persecution of Christians occurred at the beginning of the fourth century. A general edict of persecution, under the authority of Emperor Diocletian, was published on February 24th, 303 AD. Interestingly, on the day before the edict was published, Diocletian ordered…

Source: The Great Persecution – If It Happened Yesterday, It’s History

Council of Nicaea | Theory Of Irony

The stage was set, in 312 AD, for one of the most surreal, maybe miraculous events in history. The Western Caesar Constantine started marching his army of perhaps forty thousand over the Alps and into Italy, the home turf of his nemesis, a Roman Usurper named Maxentius.  It may have seemed suicidal to Constantine’s men who were outnumbered perhaps four-to-one, since conventional wisdom holds that an attacking force itself needs a three-to-one advantage.  But, they did absolutely everything right and what happened next depends upon whom you believe.  Constantine, some say, saw a heavenly vision – a cross of light superimposed over the sun.  Or, he saw some rare, natural phenomena like a sun devil which he earnestly perceived as a heavenly cross of light superimposed over the sun.  Or, the impending battle caused Constantine to hallucinate a heavenly cross of light superimposed over the sun.  Or, Constantine sensed the now undeniable momentum of the Christians and so, came to convince himself that a heavenly cross of light had been superimposed over the sun.  Or, he lied and made the whole thing up.

Maxentius, by contrast, did absolutely everything wrong.  He lost a series of preliminary battles.  Then, fearing the same paranoid subterfuge inside Rome which brought him to power, he abandoned the City’s walls, which he had only recently strengthened, to confront his adversary outside.  In doing so, Maxentius quizzically abandoned a strategy that had twice saved him.  Only now, he followed his generals instead of leading them and lost the opening skirmish at nearby Via Flamina.  The Usurper, and his remaining troops, fled with all the decorum of ostriches running into the wind to a place called Milvian Bridge.  There, everyone from the doe-eyed believer to the squint-eyed cynic agree the stars altered in their courses.  In the following minutes the once undefeatable Maxentius stampeded with…

Read more: Council of Nicaea | Theory Of Irony.