Christian civilization

   1. Preaching and Christian Doctrine

   In the reign of Octavian Augustus Caesar, a very important historical event took place: Jesus' birth in Bethlehem of Judea. This was the beginning of the Christian civilization that had spread throughout the universe.

   Jesus was baptized at thirty by John the Baptist. He preached the Christian doctrine and performed many miracles to prove that God was real. He accomplished the redemption and died on the cross for our sins during the reign of Tiberius. Then he resurrected after three days.

   Christianity had a new conception of life: the brotherhood of man, the love of neighbor, the forgiveness of injuries, the humility, and the detachment from temporal goods, among others.

   The pagan society, who had many vices, felt threatened by the saving doctrines of Christ and put up strong resistance to the spread of Christian thought.

   Preaching of Christianity: in Jerusalem, The apostles grouped around Peter and began to preach. The new religion settled down especially in the poor and humble people. Saint Paul converts Christianity into universal religion; he went over Asia Minor, Greece and, according to some traditions, he arrived in Spain. "Yesterday we were just no one and today we are legion-said a Christian author of the time”

   2. Indicate if these sentences refer to the Christian doctrine or to the preaching:

Jesus was born in the reign of Augustus

Saint Paul preached in Asia Minor

Jesus was born in Bethlehem

He performed many miracles

The apostles were with Pedro

The poor and humble people believed

The Love of neighbor

The forgiveness of sins

Saint Paul preached in Greece

    3. Persecution and Triumph of Christianity

   Christians refused to worship the Roman gods such as Jupiter, Juno and Minerva and adored Jesus, true God and man. They also refused to worship the emperor that was considered a god. Christians were declared enemies of the human race and many calumnies and lies were threw over them

   There were ten emperors who ruthlessly persecuted Christians: Nero, Domitian, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus, Maximinus, Decius, Valerian, Aurelian, and Diocletian. Many Christian martyrs died in the circus, where they were destroyed by the lions. (See the Colosseum. This amphitheater was destined to the struggles of wild beasts and gladiators). Others died on the cross, on the bonfire or were stoned.

   Many believers hid in the catacombs, underground burial places, where they celebrated mass and prayers.

   Then the triumph of Christianity arrived. The persecution could not stop the progress of the Christian doctrine among people of all social classes. Three centuries after the birth of Jesus, Christians had communities throughout the Empire.

   The Emperor Constantine proclaimed the religious freedom in the Edict of Milan (313 A. C.) and Theodosius, the great Spanish emperor, declared the Christianity as the official religion.

   4. Indicate if these sentences refer to the persecution or to the triumph of Christianity:

They were declared enemies of human race

The Christianity expanded

They threw many calumnies

Ten emperors persecuted them

Christians arrived throughout the empire

Edict of Milan

They hid in the catacombs

Constantine proclaimed religious freedom

There were martyrs killed by lions

Theodosius declared the Christianity as the official religion

    5. Literature and Christian Art

   Christians adopted many elements of the roman culture, such as language, scientific knowledge and the building system. They also prevented their extinction after the Roman Empire by transmitting us their knowledge and the Hellenistic culture.

   Among the believers, there were illiterate and wise whom were called the Fathers of the Church, as Saint Jerome, Saint Ambrose and Saint Augustine. They wrote in Latin and Saint Basil and Saint John Chrysostom wrote in Greek.

   Christian art was born in the catacombs and when the number of believers increased, pagan basilicas were used, putting them at the service of the new religion.

  From ancient Christian architecture, the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls is preserved in Rome. There are also many coffins or graves. The picture represents the sarcophagus relief, consisting of the first letters of Christ's name in Greek. Other pictures represent the Good Shepherd.

   6. Indicate if these sentences refer to the literature or to the Christian art:

There was illiterate Christian

Saint Augustine was the Father of the Church

He was born in the catacombs

Saint John Chrysostom wrote in Greek

Basilica of Saint Paul outside the Walls

Saint Jerome wrote in Latin

Sarcophagi abound

The sarcophagi are tombs

They transmitted Latin

They represented the Good Shepherd

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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
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