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Christian Martyrs and the Early Christian Movement

            Who were the Christian Martyrs and what impact did they have on Christian movement up to c.
             Persecution was becoming a regular aspect of the lives of the Christians due to Roman authorities. The Romans at this time rejected any form of Christian belief and punished anyone who disobeyed them. Persecution lead to the rapid spread of Christianity as the Martyrs worked to defend their faith and the people. Justin Martyr and Constantine had the most important and significant responses to Persecution. "It has been calculated that between the first persecution under Nero in 64 to the Edict of Milan in 313, Christians experienced 129 years of persecution and 120 years of toleration and peace." These figures show the extent of the suffering and difficulties that the Christians face as a result of Roman authorities. The Roman Empire accepted other religions but did not trust the Christian Faith. In 64 AD, a great fire ravaged Rome and Nero took the opportunity to rebuild the city and begin building a large palace for himself. Some people believed that he set the fire on purpose as he was thought to be insane. Nero began torturing the Christians soon after the fire and it is believed that Christians were "put to death, they were made to serve as objects of amusement; they were clad in the hides of beast and torn to death by dogs; others were crucified, others set on fire to serve to illuminate the night when daylight failed." This behaviour leads to the persecution of Nero which is thought to have been the first main persecution. After Nero, it became a capital crime to be a Christian and problems began arising. 1.
             The second century is seen as the century of the Martyrs. Society was changing due to the impact of the Martyrs. Between 96-180 C.E, The Roman Empire had achieved its maximum strength. The Romans were beginning to control most of the world. Although they were a strong empire, they faced difficulties due to their limitations such as military difficulties.

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