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SOURCE 1

House gods

SOURCE 2

Temple

a) Research Task!

Find a legend in which a god made something extraordinary happen. Write a brief report on the event. Draw a picture and colour it in.

As time passed, the educated Romans especially, came to realize that they were not dependent on gods. They turned to other faiths in search of happiness and hope. One of these was Christianity . Christians conveyed a simple message of love and hope to all people, according to the example of Jesus who helped the poor and the sick during his stay on Earth. Tales were written to show that people who lived as He had lived, would be saved and live forever. In the beginning poor people, especially, accepted Christianity, because this message could change and renew their lives.

Christians, however, were not allowed to worship in Rome, because the emperors did not want God to receive more honour than they. Approximately 30 years after the death of Jesus, emperors, such as Nero in 64 A.D, started to persecute Christians, maltreating and killing them. Only in 313 A.D. did emperor Constantine issue a law to ensure freedom of religion. Within 300 years Christianity spread across the whole Roman Empire, as well as large parts of Asia and Africa. 1 500 years later, it had spread world-wide. We still find beautiful basilicas from the Roman era in many places.

b) Emperors such as Nero organized the persecution of Christians as sport.

Interview Nero (briefly) about his views on service to the gods and religion.

c) BRAINSTORMING (IN GROUPS)

How, do you think, would a Roman Emperor like Nero have reacted after reading the letter below from one of his governors?

Assessment

LO 2

HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING The learner will be able to demonstrate historical knowledge and understanding.

We know this when the learner:

2.1 understands chronology and time:

compiles an historical time line with BC, AD, ancient, modern;

2.2 supplies reasons why an historical event took place (causes, effects):

is able to supply proof orally or in written form of causes / effects of events, and to identify patterns;

2.3 differentiates between different periods (similarities, differences):

shows differences / similarities between situations experienced at present and those of a specific period by making use of written evidence.

Memorandum

Activity 2

(a) The ancient Romans had different gods for different aspects of their lives. There were also a god of the seas, fire, music, love, etc.

  1. In Rome Nero used the Christians as scapegoats after a devastating fire destroyed a large part of the city. Christians were arrested and as punishment they were fed to wild animals.

The Romans were expected to be loyal to the state. Worshipping the emperor was encouraged as a way to bring about unity amongst the people of the Empire. One way of doing, was to burn incense before a statue of the emperor. To the Christians their most important duty was to be loyal to God, who was a higher deity. It was considered a threat and rebelliousness, especially because Christians also refused to pay taxes or pray to the emperor.

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Source:  OpenStax, Social sciences: history grade 5. OpenStax CNX. Sep 23, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10988/1.2
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