You are along the route: COURAGE FROM FAITH. THE SITES OF MARTYRDOM
All the places recommended on this itinerary are open from Tuesday to Sunday. Should you go on a Monday, the Museum at the Baths of Diocletian is closed.
In 33 AD, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified in Jerusalem, to the disbelief of the numerous believers who had been following his preaching for years. The apparent tragic ending to that controversial adventure was the start of the new world. The Christian faith, fed by the miracle of the Resurrection, expanded rapidly throughout the Empire, conquering its heart.
Traditional Roman religion, which through its clergy and rites was closely linked to the State and its institutions, was usually tolerant towards other cults. However, the case of the Christians was different: their displeasure towards traditional rites and consequent disobedience of the wishes of the Emperor in the name of a superior authority, and also their capacity to create a close knit and well organised community, were such that the rulers of the Empire saw them as a potential State within the State. This gave Christianity the fanatical aura of a dangerous sect.
Therefore, the Christians were repeatedly and deliberately persecuted, in Rome and throughout the Empire, until in 313, Constantine sanctioned the freedom of worship, opening the road to the new role of Christianity as an official religion of the Empire.
From 64, the year of the initial persecution by Nero, for almost 300 years, many Christians were put to death in horrible and violent ways, suffering atrocious agony, for refusing to abjure their faith.
The challenges of the martyrs are stories of common men and women, people with no fear, whose memory has lasted throughout the centuries in the places in the city where they lived their lives, always culminating in a cruel, and unfortunately expected, macabre finale.