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People's Dictionary of the Bible
Rome (rôme). In the New Testament times Rome was the capital of the empire in its greatest prosperity. Among its inhabitants were many Jews. Acts 28:17. They had received the liberty of worship and other privileges from Cæsar, and lived in the district across the Tiber. We know that as early as a.d. 64, eight or ten years after a church was established there and addressed by Paul, Romans 1:8; Romans 16:19, the emperor Nero commenced a furious persecution against its members, which the emperor Domitian renewed a.d. 81, and the emperor Trajan carried out with implacable malice, a.d. 97-117. Seasons of suffering and repose succeeded each other alternately until the reign of Constantine, a.d. 325, when Christianity was established as the religion of the empire. Within the gardens of Nero in the Neronian persecution, a.d. 64, after the great conflagration, Christians, wrapped in skins of beasts, were torn by dogs, or, clothed in inflammable stuffs, were burnt as torches during the midnight games; others were crucified. In the colosseum, a vast theatre, games of various sorts and gladiatorial shows were held, and within its arena many Christians, during the ages of persecution, fought with wild beasts, and many were slain tor their faith. The catacombs are vast subterranean galleries (whether originally sand-pits or excavations is uncertain). Their usual height is from eight to ten feet, and their width from four to six feet, and they extend for miles, especially in the region of the Appian and Nomentane Ways. The catacombs were early used by the Christians as places of refuge, worship, and burial. More than four thousand inscriptions have been found in these subterranean passages, which are considered as belonging to the period between the reign of Tiberius and that of the emperor Constantine. Among the oldest of the inscriptions in the catacombs is one dated a.d. 71. Rome, as a persecuting power, is referred to by the "seven heads" and "seven mountains" in Revelation 17:9, and is probably described under the name of "Babylon" elsewhere in the same hook. Revelation 14:8; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 18:2; Revelation 18:21.
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Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Rome'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/rpd/r/rome.html. 1893.