- The phrase “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” is actually a phrase about the diversity of Christian practice. In the 4th century AD, Bishop Ambrose was asked by Christians what to do about the differing fast days and practices between the churches in Milan and Rome. He replied, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
- Mar Saba is one of the oldest inhabited monasteries in the world. It was founded in Judea, about 180 years after the Great Persecution.
- During the Great Persecution, according to Bishop Eusebius, some merchants sprinkled their goods with the blood of pagan offerings, thus exposing Christians who refused to buy them.
- The Chi Rho is an early Christian symbol. Formed by superimposing the first two letters of the word “Christ” in Greek, it was initially used by Emperor Constantine in the early 4th century.
- Sacrifice wasn’t just a way to keep the gods happy. It was also used to predict the future. The entrails of animals were read as good or bad omens.
- Emperor Julian, the last pagan emperor of Rome, tried to prove Jesus wrong by rebuilding the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Had he succeeded and not been killed 18 months after becoming emperor, Judaism might be very different today.
- In 325 AD, Emperor Constantine established the Nicene Creed, at the First Ecumenical Council. The Creed is a profession of faith for Christians that is still recited today.
- The Church of Hagia Irene, “Church of Holy Peace,” was built under Emperor Constantine’s reign. The church remains in Istanbul, Turkey.
March 08, 2013