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Persecution and Triumph — Study Aids

Saints and Heroes #2
Persecution and Triumph
covers three centuries of Persecution under Rome, the Triumph of the Church over paganism, and the lives of early Martyrs, Popes, Apologists, and Christian Emperors.
[100 to 350 A.D.]

Information Pages

These pages summarize much of the material needed to study for the Persecution and Triumph review questions. Most are derived from Leading Events in Church History, saint dictionaries, and other public domain sources.

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Roman Persecutions — Overview
Roman Martyrs and Confessors
Virgins and Holy Women
Early Heresies and Attacks on the Faith
Early Church Fathers (to 300 A.D.)
The Church Under Christian Emperors

Printable Homework Questions

Recommended Reading

The following histories from Seton and TAN books are popular with Catholic students but other Church histories cover most essentials topics. Reading assignments that correspond to Persecution and Triumph are given below.


Church History by Fr. John Laux (TAN books)
This church history is written for a college prep high school audience and assumes a basic knowledge of European history. Starting at the dawn of the Roman Empire and proceeding in to the 20th century, Fr. Laux presents the story of the Church is a masterful and readable manner appealing to older students as well as adults. The period of interest for the Persecution and Triumph unit, corresponds to 'Section I, First Period' from the Persecution of the Christians to the Age of Constantine.

Reading Assignment: Section I, First Period, pp 48-91
(8) The Age of Martyrs, pp 48-82, (9) Early Christian Life and Worship, pp 83-91, (Section II-1) Constantine and his Sons, pp 92-96.

Witness to the Faith by Seton Press
This introductory church history is written at an eighth grade level so it is accessible and covers most of the main topics of Christian history. Chapters relating to the period 100-350 A.D., including the ten Persecutions of Christians, Early Heresies, Church Fathers and Apologists, and the Age of Constantine are as follows:

Reading Assignment: Chapters 2-3, pp 19-49
(2) Church Persecuted by the Romans, (3) Victory of the Church over Pagan Rome

The saint biographies and Catholic histories listed below are in the public domain.

CLICK ON COVER IMAGE to download an EPUB to your tablet or smart phone.
CLICK ON TITLE to read online (internet required).

Church History—Vol I : Christian Antiquity  by Sisters of Notre Dame
First of a five volume history of the Church, this book covers the period from the founding of the Church at Pentecost to the fall of the Roman Empire. During that time the church underwent horrific persecutions, but nevertheless spread over the whole Roman Empire and produced thousands of worthy saints. The account of the earliest years of the church, including the lives of the church fathers, early heresies, and early martyrs is truly fascinating.

Online Videos of Interest

This list of videos includes several episodes from Ryan Reeve's Historical Theology for Everyone Youtube page. This page includes dozens of short (5 to 30 minute) videos covering many aspects of Christian history, targeted for high school or general audiences.