Christianity and the Roman Empire Analytical Essay by Nicky

Christianity and the Roman Empire
An analysis of how early Christianity affected and influenced the Roman Empire.
# 146790 | 3,141 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2011 | US

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The paper explores the ideas of the historians Gibbon and Doran on Christianity and the Roman empire and discusses the thesis that Christianity had much to do with the decline of the Roman Empire. The paper addresses the idea that Christianity and the Roman Empire were in constant strife, with Roman values seen as evil and Christian ideals as the source of good and light. The paper reaches the conclusion that early Christianity influenced the Roman Empire only in its later development when it had already achieved success in number, strength and authority.

Christianity as Good and Rome as Evil
Turning Tides

From the Paper:

"It is often argued that Christian resistance to such civic duties as paying sacrifices and taxes to civic Gods was the beginning of the strife between the Roman Empire and the early church. The fact that the defendants claimed not to have engaged in this sort of civic rejection implies that it was a common accusation and that at least in this case the accusation was likely inflammatory but not necessarily true. The breakdown of tribute and tax paying would have been a serious social and bureaucratic problem, and would likely mark a civic breakdown that would constitute a significant way that Christians might have, in mass, affected the Roman civic structure."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Angus, S. The Environment of Early Christianity. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1919.
  • Angus, S. The Religious Quests of the Graeco-Roman World: A Study in the Historical Background of Early Christianity. New York: Biblo and Tannen, 1967.
  • Cosgrove, Peter. Impartial Stranger: History and Intertextuality in Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 1999.
  • Doran, Robert. Birth of a Worldview: Early Christianity in Its Jewish and Pagan Context. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1995.
  • Gibbon, Edward, Bury, J. B., ed. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Vol. 7. London: Methuen, 1900.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Christianity and the Roman Empire (2011, January 17) Retrieved September 22, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Christianity and the Roman Empire" 17 January 2011. Web. 22 September. 2023. <>