When did Christianity become a presence in Ancient Rome? Britain?

Feb 2011
309
NY, NY
When did the Christians really become known to the Roman world, in the Roman alleyways and discourse in the Roman baths? And, especially, when do you think the Christians first became known in Britain? Was it before the invasion of 43 AD? How did word travel there and in what form when it actually did?
 

Kookaburra Jack

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,966
Rural Australia
And, especially, when do you think the Christians first became known in Britain?
The earliest evidence [4th century] for Britain appears to be this:



Hinton St Mary Mosaic with face of Christ (some thing with face of Constantine)
in the centre, from Dorset, southern England, 4th century AD
 
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caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,357
The problem here is that evidence points to open declarations of worship. Christians existed in secretive cults before then, centered largely on Rome but given the ability and occaisional necessity of travel around the empire, it's a fair bet that a small number of adherents found their way into provinces even if they were off the radar, though in fairness I cannot think off hand of any occaision when such beliefs were uncovered in Britain.
 

starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
4,163
Connecticut
When did the Christians really become known to the Roman world, in the Roman alleyways and discourse in the Roman baths?
Probably around the time of the Neronian persecution.

And, especially, when do you think the Christians first became known in Britain? Was it before the invasion of 43 AD?
I very much doubt it.
 

Space Shark

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
3,474
Redneck Country, AKA Texas
When did the Christians really become known to the Roman world, in the Roman alleyways and discourse in the Roman baths? And, especially, when do you think the Christians first became known in Britain? Was it before the invasion of 43 AD? How did word travel there and in what form when it actually did?
Christianity simply couldn't reach Britain at that date. It was probably more likely during the 2nd century, in secret groups.
 
Feb 2011
309
NY, NY
Thank you all for your replies.

Seems to me I came across some strange cultish man, a preacher on TV once, that had an hour long diatribe describing the likelyhood that Paul, I think it was, or John of the Gospels, or was it Jesus the child, had journeyed to Scotland with his father Joseph. And there were remains of some small chapel there that carried some sort of signs that [the preacher] felt satisfied scrutiny and he could now state emphatically that this were so.

I believe, nonetheless, that Caldrail is right in that pockets of hearsay or even believers would have come over in small clutches. Aulus Plautius brought with him the 9th from Spain (I believe) the II Augusta, the XIV Gemina and the XX Valeria in the invasion. Said to have numbered 40,000 souls in all. Did any of these Legions, or the army's accompanying souls in this task force, have any connection with the Middle East of the prior decade? How much would news of this small event in Jerusalem in 33 or 34 have traveled through the ranks? Is it at all possible that any of the men in Jerusalem at the time were then in the invasion force?
 

starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
4,163
Connecticut
How much would news of this small event in Jerusalem in 33 or 34 have traveled through the ranks? Is it at all possible that any of the men in Jerusalem at the time were then in the invasion force?

I think the crucifixion was the work of a detachment of X Fretensis (or local auxiliaries) which remained in the East. And it was probably a bit earlier than 33 CE. The execution of a little nobody was no memorable event. Faith resulted from the resurrection which few if any people in the Latin speaking part of the Empire had heard about until Paul's journeys of the 50s I think.
 
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abram

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
2,181
oklahoma
For Rome, let's start with the obvious. If Tacitus and Seutonius are reliable, there were Christians in Rome for Nero's persecutions in 64 A.D. Paul was writing to Christians in Rome before that, and including several of them in his salutations, probably 55-57 A.D. I think it's unlikely they just got off the boat. Catholic historian Marta Sordi (1986) tells us: "We know from reliable sources that there were Christians among the aristocracy [in Rome]in the second half of the second century (Acilius Glabrio and the Christian Flavians) and it seems probable that the same can be said for the first half of the same century before Paul''s arrival in Rome." Seutonius mentions of Claudius "Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome." That was in 49 B.C. There is some dispute over whether or not Chrestus was Christus and this was a reference to the issue of Jesus causing trouble among Jews.
 
Feb 2011
309
NY, NY
Thank you both so much for your replies.

So, there is another "left of the Universe" theory emanating from the internet I first read of last night to suggest that Claudius and the slaughter of Druids on the Isle of Anglesey, (Mona) was a result of Claudius secretly attempting to blot out the Christians from the face of the earth, not the Druids per se, but the new druids, the supposed followers of Christ - hunh? - and because of which, Boadicea would have her day (suggesting what a real threat Claudius considered Christianity to be to Rome [and were this true, he would have been, ultimately, right]), who he imagined were, in secret, actually now the keepers of the "real or next religion" - that being Christianity.

I'm confused...

If so, they would have been the dudes taking that quick left turn themselves, no? But History is full of such "what if's."

One thing I can say in my, granted, civilian dip into history, is that I know of no other religions but Druidism and Christianity that the Romans actually banned completely. Certainly not Judaism, they hit it here and there but never banned it's worship in it's entirety.

Anyway, so now, by the time of Mona, we get into a new General - Suetonius Paulinus. So he was definitely after Aulus Plautius but before Scapula,no? Anyway, that's what I glean, but can anyone help in this line please? Who came when in this short time span?
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,357
Seutonius mentions of Claudius "Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome." That was in 49 B.C.
No, more like 49AD. Claudius wasn't born until 10BC.