Q What does this series offer readers?
A A window into the world of the Roman Province of Asia Minor in the late 1st Century AD
To begin with...
To be a Christian in 1st century Ephesus is dangerous for many reasons…
Once a year all that was required was of all citizens of the Roman Empire was that they perform the ‘act of worship’ to the emperor Domitian. Under a previous Caesar, Jews were granted an exemption, but this did not extend to the Christians.
People of the Jewish faith believed them heretics… and had ensured that the Roman overlords knew that Christianity was a sect, not part of their faith.
Christians could not make the ‘act of worship’; it would break the First Commandment. In Roman eyes, this made them dangerous rebels, suspected of treason.
Pagans, who had many gods, felt threatened – not only by the threat to their trade but to their protection. f that gods protected the cities, the crops, their trade and their lives – in exchange for sacrifice and worship. They believed that Christians threatened this peace ‘agreement’ between them and their gods.
- Local gods protected the cities, the crops, their trade and their lives – in exchange for sacrifice and worship.
- Christians threatened this peace ‘agreement’ between them and their gods.
Then there was disease - another threat, as was death from injury, neither of which cared about the person’s beliefs.
Crucifixion or the arena awaited Christians who drew the ire of Roman authorities.