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Pax Romana era (27 BCE to 180 AD)

Roman Peace in Latin “Pax Romana” was the long period of relative peace and minimal expansion by military force experienced by the Roman Empire in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Since it was established by Emperor Augustus (Founder of Roman Empire), it is sometimes called Pax Augusta. The duration was approximately 206 years. The Pax Romana is said to be a "miracle" because prior to it there had never been peace for that many centuries in a given area of human history. This period of peace has heavily contributed to the fast pace of growth of Christianity.

Jesus Christ was born in the reign of Augustus, who, so to speak, fused together into one monarchy the many populations of the earth. Theological connections have been drawn by some Church fathers between the Pax Romana, and the Divine Providence of God which is thought to have affected it, in order to facilitate the spread of the Gospel of Christ, and through it, the true peace (pax) of God on earth, or Pax Christi.

In addition, the Pax Romana was also a phenomenon that occurred especially in preparation for the first coming of the Lord on earth, alluded to in the Holy Scriptures where He is called the "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6-7).

History of early Christianity

The history of early Christianity covers Christianity from its origins to the First Council of Nicaea in 325.

The first part of the period, during the lifetimes of the Twelve Apostles, is traditionally believed to have been initiated by the Great Commission of Jesus, and is called the Apostolic Age. The earliest followers of Jesus composed an apocalyptic, Second Temple Jewish sect, which historians refer to as Jewish Christianity. Though Paul's influence on Christian thinking is said to be more significant than any other New Testament author, the relationship of Paul of Tarsus and Judaism is still disputed today. Early Christianity gradually grew apart from Judaism during the first two centuries and established itself as a predominantly gentile religion in the Roman Empire.

In the Ante-Nicene (literally before the First Council of Nicaea in 325), following the Apostolic Age, both incredible diversity and unifying characteristics lacking in the apostolic period emerged simultaneously. Part of the unifying trend was an increasingly harsh rejection of Judaism and Jewish practices. By the beginning of the Nicene period, the Christian faith had spread throughout Western Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, and to North Africa and the East.

The First Council of Nicaea in 325 and the promotion of Christianity by Emperor Constantine I in the Roman Empire are commonly used to mark the end of early Christianity, beginning the era of the first seven Ecumenical Councils.

Early centers of Christianity

Early Christianity (generally considered the time period from its start to AD325), spread from the Eastern Mediterranean throughout the Roman Empire and beyond, reaching as Far East as India. Originally, this progression was closely connected to already established Jewish centers, in the Holy Land and the Jewish diaspora. The first followers of Christianity were Jews or Biblical proselytes, commonly referred to as Jewish Christians and God fearers.

The Apostolic Sees claim to have been founded by one or more of the Apostles of our Lord Jesus, who are said to have dispersed from Jerusalem sometime after the Crucifixion of our Lord, perhaps following the Great Commission. Early Christians gathered in small private homes, known as house Churches, but a city's whole Christian community would also be called a church. Later centuries, especially during the time of persecution Christians worshipped in undergrounds cells called Catacombs.

Many of these Early Christians were merchants and others who had practical reasons for traveling to northern Africa, Asia Minor, Arabia, Greece, and other places. Over 40 such communities were established by the year 100, many in Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor, such as the Seven Churches of Asia. By the end of the first century, Christianity had already spread to Rome, India, and major cities in Armenia, Greece and Syria, serving as foundations for the expansive spread of Christianity, eventually throughout the world.
OLC Team.