Getting Started
Hellenism Syncretic Judaism Jesus legend Jesus Scholarship
Apostolic Legend Apostolic Scholarship Over Paganism
The guys with with the swords decided what "Christian" is



All heresies are forbidden by both divine and imperial laws and shall forever cease.
By Order of the Roman Emperor. August 20, 379 AD.
Theodosian Code 16.4.2

Constantine and social Darwinism: Crushing Paganism
In 312 AD the Roman Emperor Constantine responding to a dream (how Pagan!), converted from paganism to Christianity. The world changed forever. All of a sudden it was good to be Christian and bad to be Pagan. Within a century of Constantine's conversion the Empire went from roughly ten percent Christian (most of these believing in now extinct "heretical" Christianities) to mostly Roman Christian

How'd the conversion happen? Partly by giving Christians preference for government contracts and advancement.

Also by coercion.

Constantine made divination in public matters was punishable by burning to death.

Pagan sacrifices were banned [341 AD].

Nocturnal pagan worship was forbidden [353 AD].

By mid-century, pagan temples were ordered closed.

In 356 AD worship of non-Christian images became a capital crime.


In 385 Christians tore the great and famous temple at Edessa to the ground, and the praetorian prefect Cynegius' trip to Egypt was marked by Christians rampaging around the pagan cities of Syria as vandalizing, looting mobs. Taking Pagan gold, but not stealing it, for

"...there is no such thing as 'robbery' for those who truly possess Christ." [Libanius, Or. 30.9f]


Don't believe me, believe the ancients themselves.

In 399 AD Gaudentius and Jovinus, counts of the emperor, "overthrew the temples and broke the images of the false gods" in Carthage. Ever since, says St. Augustine...

"Who does not see how much the worship of the name of Christ has increased." [St. Augustine, Civ dei 18:45]

Don't believe me, believe the ancients themselves.

Well, no kidding.


"some persons have been discovered given over to the error of the unholy and wicked pagans, performing acts that stir a loving God, philanthropos, to just wrath, [who] offer sacrifice to insensate idols and celebrate festivals replete with every impiety, even persons who have already been judged worthy of holy baptism," who henceforth shall be executed.

Justinian Code, 1.11.10—which you can find in: MacMullen, Ramsay, Christianity & Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries (1997), n 27, pg 182

Don't believe me, believe the ancients themselves.


Mauricius (582- 602)… saw to it that pagans were brought before the courts 'in every region of the city,' and in particular, in Carrhae-Harran. Here, the bishop…received the emperor's orders to institute a persecution. "Some he managed to convert to Christianity, while many who resisted he carved up, suspending their limbs in the main street of the town." [quoting PLRE 3 p. 974 sv] pg 28

MacMullen, Ramsay, Christianity & Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries (1997), pg. 27

Don't believe me, believe the ancients themselves.



Don't believe me, believe the ancients themselves.


[T]he bishops assembled in council (at Toledo in 681), like Firmicus quoting vengeful verses from Deuteronomy, called on the civil authorities to seize and behead all those guilty of non-Christian practices of whatsoever sort.

MacMullen, Ramsay, Christianity & Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries (1997), pg. 16

POCM quotes modern scholars



I'm still working on this page 


Constantine and social Darwinism: Crushing non-Roman Christianities
Picking sides It was tough to be a pagan in the fourth century. It was also tough to be a Christian believing in a non-Roman theology. The emperor took sides.

In 317 Constantine's Roman Christian sectarians in Carthage filled the well outside the main Donatist [non-Roman Christian] church with the bodies of their Christian opponents.


[I]n late antiquity, both secular and ecclesiastical authorities repeatedly destroyed unedifying texts, in well advertised ceremonies, ... that is, in great bonfires at the center of the town square. Copyists were discouraged from replacing them by the threat of having their hands cut off.

MacMullen, Ramsay, Christianity & Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries (1997), pg. 4

POCM quotes modern scholars

In 333 AD Constantine issued edicts against "Arius, wicked and impious," forbidding his teaching and even outlawing owning the Arian version of the New Testament.

"Whoever hides them [Arian's version of the New Testament] shall be condemned to death."

Don't believe me, believe the ancients themselves.

Constantine didn't kid around about stuff like that. At least you knew where you stood.

In 382, in Egypt, celebrating Easter on the day set aside by the local non-Roman Christian sect was punishable by death.

In 383, in Spain, Urbanica was stoned to death and her bishop Priscillian was executed for their non-Roman Christian beliefs.

St. Augustine describes the sectarian struggles in North Africa, in which believers had their eyes torn out and one bishop had his hands and tongue cut off. [Augustine, Epistles 44.7]


Diocletian's edict against Manicheans:

"For we decree that the originators and leaders, together with their detestable writings, be subjected to a more stringent penalty, namely that they be consumed by fire, while we command that followers who persist in their adherence receive capital punishment, and we sanction the claiming of their property by our treasury."

Comparison of the Laws of Moses and the Romans, 15.3—which you can find in: Lee, A.D., Pagans & Christians in Late Antiquity (2000), pg. 67

Don't believe me, believe the ancients themselves.


What other people think about POCM


Someone recommended I check out your site, though I'm not sure why now. I find it bizarre to say the least. Your category, "Triumph how one Christianity—one version of many early Christianities—conquered the Roman Empire, and suppressed all other religions, Pagan and Christian" flies in the face of history. Christianity never conquered the Roman Empire! It took 300 years for any emperor to even consider it as a possibility; and when Constantine adopted it, it still took centuries for Christianity to be considered "the" religion of Europe. And through it all the Jews continued with their religious beliefs, barely paying attention to this upstart sect. And the Jewish religion was and is far more ancient than Christianity. They exist to this day as you may (or may not?) know, so the idea of Christianity "suppressing" all other religions is ludicrous. The Nation of Islam with its 1 billion members also seems to be faring quite well, as is Hinduism with its 700 million believers and Buddhism with its 200 million.

Judith Hayes



I'm still working on this page