The emperor Valerian was taken prisoner by the Sassanid king Shapur after the Romans continued their attacks.
Although warfare disrupted parts of Asia, it did not stop trade that flourished from Hellenistic times.
The Parthians acted as a middleman between the Chinese and Romans.
Merchants from China sold their wares to the Parthians.
From where they were shipped throughout the Roman Empire, the Parthians took the goods overland to Mesopotamia or Egypt.
Silk was a major commodity from east to west.
The Romans traded glassware, gems, and slaves.
Exotic fruits, rare birds, and other products were added by the Parthians.
Roman ships sailed from Egyptian ports to the mouth of the Indus River to trade with the Parthians.
Roman mariners reached Malaya, Sumatra, and Java in Southeast Asia.
The trade between Chinese and Roman ports began in the second century.
The era of Han greatness in China coincides with this contact.
During the reign of the emperor Tiberius, what was Christianity?
Christianity came to have an enormous impact first in the Roman Empire and later throughout the world, but at the time this was a minor event.
The civil wars that destroyed the Roman republic left a mark on Judaea, where Jewish leaders had taken sides in the conflict.
There were two movements in opposition to the Romans that spread among the Jews.
The first people to fight to rid the Romans were the Zealots.
The second move was the growth of militant apocalypticism -- the belief that the end of the world was near and that it would happen with the coming of a Savior, or Messiah, who would destroy the Roman legions and create a period of happiness and plenty for Jews.
The story of early Christianity was told by the pagan world.
Those who believed in the Greco-Roman gods are referred to as "of the country".
Roman paganism can be broadly non-Christian followers of Greco and can be divided into three spheres.
Only the mystery religions offered spiritual satisfaction and the promise of eternal life to their followers.
Many people's spiritual needs were not met by these religious traditions, paving the way for the rise of Christianity.
Jesus of Nazareth came into this climate of hope and Roman religious longing.
His parents were deeply religious and he was raised in Galilee.
He began his ministry when he was thirty years old.
Jesus did not leave any writings.
The accounts of his sayings and teach ings were written down.
The four Gospels of the Bible, books that are part of the New Testament, are the main evidence for his life.
The records of Jesus's teachings were written in the late first century.
The Romans began to dig tunnels around Rome in the second century to bury the dead rather than cremation.
The bodies were placed in niches along the walls of the passageways and sealed up.
Memorial services for martyrs were sometimes held, but they were not regular places of worship.
Some of the earliest examples of Christian art can be found in many catacombs, while others contain examples of Jewish art.
The differences show that early settlers had different beliefs about Jesus.
Most of the early sources agree that Jesus preached of a heavenly kingdom of eternal happiness in a life after death, and of the im portance of devotion to God and love of others.
Jesus deviated from orthodoxy by teaching in his own name, not in the name of God.
A small group of followers thought so, and Jesus claimed that he was.
Jesus had a different conception of the Messiah.
He would establish a spiritual kingdom.
The Pontius Pilate didn't know much about Jesus's teachings.
He was worried about maintaining order.
Crowds followed Jesus, and the prospect of them sparking violence alarmed Pilate.
Jews believed that Jesus was the Messiah.
Others hated him because they thought he was dangerous.
Jesus was condemned to death and his soldiers carried it out.
Some of Jesus's followers claimed that he had risen from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.
For generations to come, the resur rection of Jesus became a central element of faith.
The memory of Jesus and his teachings were alive and well.
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