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Perpetua's Journey

Is your class focused on the Perpetua's Journey assignment?

Select one of these topics:

  • Life for Roman women in the 1st and 2nd centuries CE.
  • Life for slaves in the 1st and 2nd centuries CE in Rome.
  • Life for Christians in the 1st and 2nd centuries CE.
  • The use of convicts in the Roman gladiator games.
  • Existence of other early Christian sources from the 1st and 2nd centuries CE in Rome.

Stay focused on the 1st and 2nd centuries CE (1-199CE)!

Why?  Because the lives of Roman women, Christians, slaves, gladiators and others changed dramatically over time!  How would the events below impact each group?

  • 509-27BC – Massive expansion of Roman Republic provides steady supply of enslaved people.
  • 27BC – Augustus becomes emperor, changing the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.  Pax Romana begins.
  • 18-17BC – Augustus promotes “traditional family values” and rewards mothers with three or more children.
  • 54-68CE – Nero’s reign.  Christians are first noticed and persecuted, blamed for empire’s problems.
  • 180CE – Marcus Aurelius dies, causing chaos and civil war.  Pax Romana ends.
  • 202CE – Intense local persecution in Carthage.  Perpetua is tried and sentenced to death.
  • 235-238CE, 249-251CE & 257CE – Christians persecuted under Maximinus the Thracian, Decius and Valerian.
  • 260CE – Valerian’s son Gallienus reversed these policies, marking a 40-year period of tolerance.
  • 300CE – Christians make up less than 10% of Roman population.
  • 303-311CE – Diocletian orders the worst persecution of Christians since Nero.
  • 313CE – Edict of Milan proclaims religious tolerance for Christian.
  • 324CE – Constantine becomes rulers of the entire Empire, eventually Christianity is accepted and promoted. 
  • Third Century – Christians gain political influence.  Their objections to gladiatorial combat lead to a gradual decline.  Christians argue for "fair" treatment of slaves, and some argue for abolition.  Crisis of the Third Century.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • Design an effective search strategy to make research easier and more productive.
  • Navigate library resources to find relevant books, articles, and information.
  • Evaluate the quality of the information you find.
  • Know when and how to cite sources.