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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - The Roman Emperors in Marble - 5. Nero

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hoods were in circulation. Even a generation later when
the Romans had had time to make themselves better ac-
quainted with the Christian doctrines, as upright a man
as Tacitus, who well knew the duty of a historian, to
ground his opinions upon knowledge, not hearsay, could
call the new faith an abominable superstition, and reckon
it among " the foul and shameful things that from all
quarters flock together in the capital, and find adher-
ents." There was at this time a strong tension of feeling
between the Christians and their Jewish brethren in
Rome, and it has been surmised that it was Poppaea Sa-
bina, who seems to have had a certain fancy for Mosaism,
who made the accusation. But let us rather believe she
held a protecting hand over the Jews, so that these,
with whom otherwise the Christians were classed, were
not drawn into the persecution ! The suspicion and ac-
cusation of the Christians are easily explained by the
hope they cherished, and probably unguardedly expressed,
of the overthrow of the rotting Roman empire, and the
imminent coming of Christ. Many a Christian believer
awaited, at that time, in the dawn of every morrow, the
beginning of the first day of the millennium. Christians
were found, says Tacitus, who confessed the crime. He
does not speak, however, of the means by which such an
avowal was drawn from them. And these denounced
their fellow-believers in multitudes, who were convicted
and sentenced " not exactly for incendiarism, but for
hatred of the human race."
Tigellinus, rival and antagonist of Caius Petronius, as
art judge and master of revels, had long since risen in the
emperor’s favor, and had carried the imperial pleasures
into another stage. The refined orgies had yielded to a
hellish adoration of sensuality, that no longer confined

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