Ancient History: Rome : Religion and the Rise of Christianity

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Ancient History: Rome

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Religion And The Rise Of Christianity

The First Council of Nicea (325 AD) produced the Nicene Creed, which was a(n) ________________.

Possible Answers:

declaration of the Byzantine Empire's superiority over Western Rome

legal code for citizens of the Byzantine Empire

proclamation of the emperor's divinity 

uniform doctrine for all Christians to follow

document in support of Arian Christianity

Correct answer:

uniform doctrine for all Christians to follow

Explanation:

The First Council of Nicea (325 AD) created the Nicene creed as a way to unify the fragmenting and diversifying beliefs in Christianity developing throughout the Byzantine empire. It establishes and explains the relationships between God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. The other answers are incorrect because it was not crafted as legislation for political purposes, and was written to counter Arian Christianity, which questioned elements of the orthodox faith.

Example Question #2 : Religion And The Rise Of Christianity

What was the main topic debated at the First Council of Nicaea?

Possible Answers:

Veneration and prayer to saints

Veneration of religious icons

Transubstantiation during the Communion

New Testament Canonical books

Divinity of Jesus Christ

Correct answer:

Divinity of Jesus Christ

Explanation:

The First Council of Nicaea was convened by Emperor Constantine I in 325 CE. The main purpose of this council was to debate the nature of Jesus Christ in relation to his divinity according to Scripture. 

The council concluded that Jesus Christ was divine, co-eternal with God the Father as according to Christian doctrine.

Example Question #3 : Religion And The Rise Of Christianity

Which Roman Emperor is most famous for legalizing Christianity and officially ending the persecution of Christians throughout the Roman Empire?

Possible Answers:

Constantine I

Diocletian

Marcus Aurelius

Julian I (the Apostate)

Theodosius I

Correct answer:

Constantine I

Explanation:

Emperor Constantine I (also called Constantine the Great) supposedly had a vision during the Battle of Milvan Bridge in 312 CE in which he saw a cross of light hovering above the battlefield along with the words "in this sign, conquer".

The following year, the Edict of Milan granted tolerance to all religions, including Christianity. Christianity would later go on to become the state religion of the Roman Empire in 380 CE.

Example Question #4 : Religion And The Rise Of Christianity

The Edict of Milan, drafted in 313 CE, established official Roman tolerance for which religion?

Possible Answers:

Christianity

Hinduism

Buddhism

Islam

Judaism

Correct answer:

Christianity

Explanation:

The Roman Empire had a long and sometimes contentious relationship with Judaism, however the Edict of Milan did not mention them, so Judaism would not be a good choice. Islam only became a popular and widely practiced religion after the fall of Rome, so that too would not be a good choice. Buddhism and Hinduism are ancient world religions, however the Roman Empire did not have any notable exposure to them, so they would not be good choices. Finally, the Edict of Milan specifically called for tolerance of Christianity, so that would be the best choice.

Example Question #5 : Religion And The Rise Of Christianity

After whose reign was Christianity made the official religion of the Roman Empire?

Possible Answers:

Theotokos

Valen

Theodisius I

Theodisius II

Correct answer:

Theodisius I

Explanation:

Theodosius was the first instill Christianity as the official religion after Constantine I had introduced it to the people of the Roman Empire. This question is all about time frame. If we remember that Constantine brought religion to Rome, then we also know that Theodosius I was the first ruler after to make it official. It would be tricky to confuse which Theodosius claimed the official religion. The other two options were no where near Constantine's rule of Rome. 

Example Question #6 : Religion And The Rise Of Christianity

What is an ecumenical council?

Possible Answers:

An assembly of Christian figures who convene to debate theological doctrine.

A meeting of Roman generals to draw up battle strategy.

An organization of politicians who are dedicated to representing the interests of the common people.

A meeting of Roman generals to plan long term military campaigns.

None of these answers are accurate.

Correct answer:

An assembly of Christian figures who convene to debate theological doctrine.

Explanation:

An ecumenical council is an assembly of Christian theologians who convene to debate and establish official church doctrine. The first ecumenical council was the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE. There were many other ecumenical councils throughout the remaining history of the Roman Empire, such as the Council of Chalcedon.

Example Question #7 : Religion And The Rise Of Christianity

The Council of Nicaea was convened to debate __________.

Possible Answers:

how to rebuild the city of Rome in the wake of a devastating fire

how best to deal with the threat of the Sassanid Empire

issues surrounding the divinity of the Emperor

how best to deal with the threat of the Gallic Empire

issues surrounding Christianity

Correct answer:

issues surrounding Christianity

Explanation:

The Council of Nicaea was convened in 325 CE to debate issues surrounding Christianity. By this time, the nascent religion of Christianity had spread throughout the Roman world. Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and, in doing so, made it inevitable that the religion would soon become the official religion of the Roman Empire. The Council of Nicaea was convened to debate theological issues, such as the nature of Christ’s divinity.

Example Question #8 : Religion And The Rise Of Christianity

The Council of Nicaea was convened on the orders of __________.

Possible Answers:

Diocletian

Constantine

Nerva

Hadrian

Trajan

Correct answer:

Constantine

Explanation:

The Council of Nicaea was convened on the orders of Constantine I in 325 CE. The purpose of the Council of Nicaea was to debate various theological issues, such as the true nature of Christ’s divinity.

Example Question #9 : Religion And The Rise Of Christianity

The Nicene Creed was __________.

Possible Answers:

a profession of faith established by the early Christian church

an oath of loyalty sworn by Roman soldiers to their commanding officers

a list of social customs and traditions that were significant to the Roman people

an oath of loyalty sworn by Roman soldiers to the sanctity of the Republic

abolished during the reign of Constantine

Correct answer:

a profession of faith established by the early Christian church

Explanation:

The Nicene Creed was established by the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE. The Council of Nicaea was the first ecunemnical council in the history of Christianity (there have since been countless). It was convened to debate issues of Christ’s divinity and to ensure universal agreement among the divergent theological schools of thought. The Nicene Creed is a profession of faith that states that Christ is the Son of God, that he descended from heaven to save us, and that he died to absolve our sins.

Example Question #10 : Religion And The Rise Of Christianity

The Battle of the Milvian Bridge was instrumental in __________.

Possible Answers:

suppressing rebellion in Judaea during the first century

the rise to power of Nero and Caligula

halting the advance of Attila the Hun

suppressing rebellion in Gaul during the third century

convincing Constantine to convert to Christianity

Correct answer:

convincing Constantine to convert to Christianity

Explanation:

The Battle of Milvian Bridge was fought in 312 CE, between rival forces in the Roman Empire. According to primary sources, Constantine had a dream in which God visited him and instructed him to fly the Christian cross as his standard. Constantine, who won the battle, felt like this was divine intervention and enthusiastically embraced Christianity throughout the remainder of his life.

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