The Rise of Christianity and the Fall of Rome


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The Rise of Christianity and the Fall of Rome

  1. 1. OBJECTIVES:  Explain reasons for the emergence of Christianity in Ancient Rome  Identify the cause of the decline of the Roman Empire  Describe the changes made by Diocletian and Constantine  Explain how the Western Roman Empire fell (Cause and Effect)
  2. 2. WHAT WAS SO GREAT ABOUT ROME?  At the time when Jesus was born between 4 and 6 B.C.E.. The Empire of Rome was at it’s peak.  Romans had made advances in science, architecture, math, government, and philosophy  Rome had a representative Senate that was led by an emperor
  3. 3. CHRISTIANITY AND ROME What impact did Christianity have on Rome?
  4. 4. RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE  The Romans had a law which required Roman citizens to make a sacrifice to the Emperor because the Romans believed that he was divine (or a god).  However, one group was exempt from sacrifice – The Jews – The Roman government allowed the Jews to practice their own religion. However, the Jews did not have political freedom.
  5. 5. THE HEBREWS  The Hebrews or Jews were a group of people who believed that there was only one God and that someday they would rule their own homeland. They also believed that a messiah or divinely appointed king, would be sent by God to lead them to freedom.  Some people believed that Jesus was the Messiah
  6. 6. THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS  Jesus was born between 4 and 6 B.C.E. in Judea, an area of Palestine.  What is known about Jesus was written by his followers after his death in documents called “Gospels”.  When Jesus was 30 years old he began to teach that one should love God, one’s neighbor, and one’s enemies.  Jesus’ teachings were popular among the poor and spread quickly.
  7. 7. JESUS’ BIRTH PLACE Palestine Judea Province
  8. 8. THE GOSPELS  The Gospels state that Jesus healed a blind man, healed the sick, and performed other miracles  Some Jews believed that Jesus was going to lead an uprising against the Romans. However, Jesus did not believe in using force to spread his message  Jewish and Roman officials became concerned about the growing influence of Jesus. The Gospels reported that Jesus was betrayed , arrested, sentenced by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, and crucified.
  9. 9. DO NOW:  Tell a classmate why you think Rome fell.
  10. 10. Why did Rome fall? Too Large to Maintain Weak Economy Dependence on Slavery Poor Agriculture Corrupt Government Invasions Weak Military Decline in Education Rise of Christianity
  11. 11. THE FALL OF ROME  After the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180 C.E. Rome was showing several signs of weakness  Rome Suffered Economically, Militarily, and Politically  Agriculture became weak  Too large to maintain  Invasions  Rise of Christianity
  12. 12. CONFLICTS BETWEEN ROME AND THE CHRISTIANS  Roman government required that everyone treat the emperor as a god.  Christian beliefs were dangerous to the well-being of the Roman Empire.  Christianity grew in strength and the Roman empire became weaker.  The weaker the empire became the more Christianity was appealing to many people.
  13. 13. MILITARY AND POLITICAL PROBLEMS  The military had severe problems with soldiers  Soldiers began to express loyalty to individual military leaders and not the empire as a whole  Political leaders became more interested in advancing themselves than performing their duties in government
  14. 14. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DIFFICULTIES  During the 2nd C. Rome stopped expanding  No new conquest = no new income = higher taxes= hardship for Roman citizens  Less education  Communication became difficult  People became less informed about civil matters
  15. 15. DECLINE IN AGRICULTURE  Over farming and constant warfare  Slave labor added to the problem – Romans were less likely to invest in farming technology  Romans suffered from disease and hunger and the population declined
  16. 16. DIOCLETIAN AND THE SPLIT OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE  In 284 C.E. Diocletian became emperor  His policies:  He believed the empire was too large for one leader to control and split the Roman Empire into Western and Eastern sections  He ruled with unlimited power and with an iron fist and did not accept opposition to his power  For example, he declared that no one could leave their job and children must work at the job of their father
  17. 17. CONSTANTINE  313 C.E. Constantine takes control of the Roman Empire  He initiated two significant reforms:  1- He brought an end to all attacks on Christians – played a key role in the growth and spread of Christianity  2 – Moved the capital from Rome to Byzantium which signified the switch in power from Western to Eastern Rome  After his death the Western part of the empire declined
  18. 18. Invasions! In 375 The Huns attacked and terrorized areas of Rome and Germanic tribes In 378 The Visigoths began attacking the Romans. The Romans counter attacked but were defeated at the Battle of Adrianople – Very Significant!! ROME LOST!! In 410 the Visigoths attacked and looted the city of Rome In 476 A German leader took control of Rome – this signifies the official Fall of Rome In 455 another German tribe raided Rome – The Vandals In 486 – Clovis, the leader of the Franks, invaded the final territory of Rome, Gaul, and established a Frankish Kingdom
  19. 19. Why did Rome fall? Too Large to Maintain Weak Economy Dependence on Slavery Poor Agriculture Corrupt Government Invasions Weak Military Decline in Education Rise of Christianity