A Christian anniversary: Pliny


A famous letter was written in AD 112 by Pliny, the governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor, to the Roman emperor Trajan, asking for advice concerning the attitude to take in relation to groups of Christians in his province. This is a fascinating and vital piece of evidence concerning the activities of early Christians and the attitude of the Roman authorities to them.

(Extracts): ‘It was their habit on a fixed day to assemble before daylight and recite by turns a form of words to Christ as a god; and … they bound themselves with an oath, not for any crime, but not to commit theft or robbery or adultery, and not to break their word …The contagion of that superstition has penetrated not only the cities, but also the villages and the country.’ Pliny

by Joy Horn