In the lecture document entitled “The Empire and the Rise of Christianity” we talked about Rome’s first emperor, Augustus, and the development of Christianity during this period. Choose one of the following questions to discuss in a minimum of two pages.
1. Research Constantine’s Council of Nicaea in 325 CE. Explain what the council was, and list and explain three ways that Constantine’s council at Nicea defined the Christian religion. (The three things must come from this council, and you must explain what they are and how they helped with building the foundation of the Christian religion.)
or
2. Research and explain Christian Syncretism, the adoption of pagan ideas and practices into the new religion. How can we see syncretism develop in the early Christian religion? (Make sure to define this as it applies to Christianity, and give at least one specific example of its occurrence.)
or
3. How can the Ara Pacis Augustae and Augustus of Primaporta be seen as works of propaganda? Is a similar type of propaganda still used today? Compare the effectiveness.
or
4. A theory about the Aeneid is that Virgil wrote it as an instruction manual for Augustus Caesar. If this idea is true, what do you think Virgil hoped the new emperor would learn from this work? Include specific examples to support your thoughts. If you could instruct a leader on what characteristics they should embody to lead a nation, what would you include. Why?
or
5. Read the “Diary of Perpetua and Felicitas” found here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/maps/primary/perpetua.html
(Links to an external site.).
Perpetua is considered a role-model for the early Christian community. Do you agree? Why or why not? How is her tale presented as a hero’s tale, and how is it important for the early Christian religion? What were her visions, and how do they relate to her struggle? What is martyrdom and why is martyrdom represented as a celebration or a time of joy?