Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Church and Empire
(6,617 words)

The legal basis for anti-Christian persecutions in the first three centuries of the Roman Empire is debated. T. Barnes (1968) thought that the foundation of Roman law was the mos maiorum, “ancient customs, moral tradition” – and this Christianity was perceived to threaten. T. Barnes does not think there was any specific pronouncement of the …

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Ramelli, Ilaria L.E., “Church and Empire”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 30 September 2020 <>
First published online: 2018

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