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Denia

Spread the gospel

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Imagine: I

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"Go into town"? If you're a young, rich, Roman woman, where do you think you live? The suburbs? The rich paid a very heavy price to live--or at least have a tony address--close to the city forum.

 

And sure, no one will stop you from helping the poor. Except the mob of poor will hound you like the Erinyes once they find out you're giving out free cash. Oh, and your friends and relatives will think you daft for helping the poor (as if drinking the blood of your deity weren't gross enough).

 

There's a great book on this theme, btw. "Quo Vadis?"

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Hmm, seems these weren

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Reading Quo Vadis? is an excellent suggestion from MPC. For a short story that depicts how Rome's early Christians concealed their faith, you could try Caroline Lawrence's "Bread and Circuses," which was published in the anthology: The Mammoth Book of Roman Whodunnits (edited by Mike Ashley with an introduction by Steven Saylor).

 

Caroline Lawrence has also written an entertaining series of ancient Roman mystery novels for children (although adults and young adult readers can find these enjoyable, too), and one of her characters in fact is a Jewish boy whose family are members of the new Christian cult.

 

-- Nephele

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A roman girl had no real money to herself so she can not give away. She is under the authority of her father and he takes care of her money if she has any.

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For a short story that depicts how Rome's early Christians concealed their faith, you could try Caroline Lawrence's "Bread and Circuses," which was published in the anthology: The Mammoth Book of Roman Whodunnits (edited by Mike Ashley with an introduction by Steven Saylor).

Caroline Lawrence has also written an entertaining series of ancient Roman mystery novels for children (although adults and young adult readers can find these enjoyable, too), and one of her characters in fact is a Jewish boy whose family are members of the new Christian cult.

Sounds interesting! I will try this novels too (hope I can find them here in Holland, somewhere)

 

Additionally, if she heard Paul (Saul) of Tarsus speak directly

She didn't. She hears another man who wants to convert the whole world to christianity. He didn't really excist. Anyway, only the apostles did try to reach te world then? The rest of the church just quietly supported them.

 

A roman girl had no real money to herself so she can not give away. She is under the authority of her father and he takes care of her money if she has any.

You're right, Kosmo, I forgot that. So she has no opportunity to help the poor, even if she would want to.

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I doubt that any Romans could hear Paulus, at the time most of the mission was directed toward "god fearer" people who adopted the Jewish monotheism but didn't fully convert into Judaism.

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In Rome your Christian lady would be relatively safe, I believe, up to the reign of Hadrian or even after. The persecution of Nero is now widely believed to have been 'invented' in the 4th century - in Nero's reign hardly anyone knew about christians, and even Trajan seems ignorant about them until receiving a letter concerning their alleged 'Criminal Activities'. I say this not to correct you, but to enable you to give your character a better choice of time scale - for example, setting the story during the Flavian dynasty, as has been suggested.

 

If your lady wanted to help the poor and yet not compromise the conventions of her class, maybe she could send a slave to identify stricken families in the poorer areas, and perhaps pay for the services of doctors / midwives anonymously? This could open up some interesting plot lines, as the slave relays information between the poor families and the rich lady, who might even try a little evangelism by proxy! I believe at this time, even christians did not have a problem with slavery, and food would not be an issue with the poor, as the corn dole kept most families from starving.

Edited by Northern Neil

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If your lady wanted to help the poor and yet not compromise the conventions of her class, maybe she could send a slave to identify stricken families in the poorer areas, and perhaps pay for the services of doctors / midwives anonymously? This could open up some interesting plot lines, as the slave relays information between the poor families and the rich lady, who might even try a little evangelism by proxy! I believe at this time, even christians did not have a problem with slavery, and food would not be an issue with the poor, as the corn dole kept most families from starving.

Thanks, the idea of sending a slave is very good!

I might set the story during the Flavian dynasty as you and Ursus suggested. The only reason to set it earlier was the prosecution by Nero.

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I doubt that any Romans could hear Paulus, at the time most of the mission was directed toward "god fearer" people who adopted the Jewish monotheism but didn't fully convert into Judaism.

The Book of Acts says that Paul was under house arrest, but he evidently could receive visitors, as he requests things from different people (his cloak in one instance--winter must have been on the way). Imagine being the Roman soldier who was charged with guarding him, having to listen to his discussions, and so forth. In some cases depending on how serious a threat the prisoner was, a soldier would be chained to him to prevent his escaping.

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