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HIS 101 - History of Western Civilization I (WO)

Perpetua's Journey

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 first and second 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.