Celebrating St. Nicholas: the Story of the Three Condemned Innocents. | If It Happened Yesterday, It’s History

The reign of Constantine The Great was not always stable. Borders had to be protected, laws enforced and if unrest broke out or even a sniff of conspiracy surfaced, Constantine also dealt with these matters seriously and harshly. Often though he left law enforcement in regional centres to be carried out by governors and local authorities. In this setting Church leaders or bishops would also come to play an important role in Constantine’s new world by acting often as imperial officials to administer law and justice. The people of the empire then not only looked to their prefects, but to their local Bishops to help maintain law and order. In some Christian legends, Bishops like St. Nicholas would play an important role in…

Source: Celebrating St. Nicholas: the Story of the Three Condemned Innocents. | If It Happened Yesterday, It’s History

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

Five important history books of 2015. | If It Happened Yesterday, It’s History

I am usually not one to review books on this website, but I cannot let the year slip by without mentioning some of the books that have engaged me and stirred my imagination over the year. With hundreds of history titles published every year, I’m afraid I have to be picky about the history books I purchase and read. There simply just isn’t enough time to read new books and try to juggling the research and reading required for two blogs (that I run), plus the added distraction of work and family life. This list features those books published in 2015 that I have read. I hope you find, amongst the books listed below, something that interests you. Enjoy!

Great empires and war have a strong presence in this list for 2015. First of all, Mary Beard’s SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (Profile Books Ltd) examines how Rome grew from a small village to a power that controlled vast territory from Britain to Syria. Though this is not just a history that covers 1,000 years of political intrigue and warfare. The mechanisms of Roman life, how Romans thought about themselves and I suppose almost everything you ever wanted to ask about ancient Rome is dotted throughout this book. I have read many books on Ancient Rome and this is definitely a gem. As one of the most renowned classicists, Mary Beard sifts through fact from fiction, as if…

Source: Five important history books of 2015. | If It Happened Yesterday, It’s History