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School of Divinity
The Spread of Early Christianity

New College


These maps show the spread of early Christianity from the time of Christ to the entry of the Germanic tribes into the Western Roman Empire.

The three successive area maps show the part of the world in which Christianity initially developed, focusing down from Eurasia and Northern Africa, to the Mediterranean as a whole, to the Eastern Mediterranean, where it all began.

The AD 33 map shows a small number of Christians grouped around Jerusalem and Antioch at the Eastern end of the Mediterranean.

The AD 112 map shows the spread of Christianity at the time of the persecution of Christians by Pliny in Bithynia in North-Western Asia Minor. It marks cities where Christian communities are attested by this date, from the New Testament and the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch.

The AD 250 map shows Christianity at the time of the first General Persecution, by the Emperor Decius. Note the increasing density of the Christian population in Syria and Western Asia Minor, as well as the spread of Christianity in the Western half of the empire.

The maps between 250 and 406 show the increasing spread and density of Christianity throughout the territory of the Roman empire and eventually beyond it. They expand outwards to detail the increasingly large area within which Christianity is now present, including Mesopotamia, Armenia and Ethiopia (whose capital cities, Ctesiphon, Etchmiadzin and Axum, are marked on the final map), as well as a thin spread along the western coast of India.

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