In Which Jesus Scolds Some Rowdy Teen Zealots

So the Romans conquered the Jewish people like forever ago but that’s how the empire converted to Christianity so I guess we’ve gotta talk about it.

Also this is apparently on the midterm.

Okay so luckily for the Jewish people, and everyone else who got manhandled into the empire, Rome was actually very tolerant of the religions of those they conquered!
– Judaism is uniquely monotheistic at the time so they are like oh, sweet. thanks for not killing us or anything, rome.

Besides the official religion of the empire, there are also a lot of “mystery cults”

If you think of anything else when hearing "mystery cult" then I don't think we can be friends.

These were pretty much just like pagan fertility religions and stuff, which was popular with all the farmers
– they revolved around the seasons: in winter they thought their god was dying and in spring he was like reborn again or something
– i don’t know, i am so hung over right now.

You could also get eternal life by doing shit like eating your god’s flesh and drinking his blood
– this causes you to be reborn in aNoThEr DiMeNsIoN!! OoOoooOOoo!!
– okay but seriously, death is very frightening for these people, and this gives them some idea of an afterlife, which the Roman religion does not
– so a lot of people double dip on religions and join a mystery cult on the side (just to be safe!!)

ANYWAY, around when Jesus was born, there was some conflict within Jewish society
– these people called “zealots” want to get their kill on and get out from under Roman rule
▪ so they run around murdering Roman soldiers and blowing up barracks and generally just being HOOLIGANS.


And so Rome is like woah hey, not cool guys.
– so Jews are more or less viewed with a big ol’ frowny face within the empire

Still, lots of people in the Jewish community weren’t into the whole throwin fits and bustin skulls thing. Most of them believed that if they were faithful and in need, their god would send them a savior (or “messiah”)
– sort of like a revolutionary military leader

There were tons of people who were like oh yeah! that’s me! motherfuckin messiah!
– But the Jews are like bullshit, if you’re the messiah why are we still having our shit ruined by the Romans every day??
▪ so, obviously, none of them are seen as the real deal

The Zealots meanwhile are like man, we really gotta find this dude

Also meanwhile, Jesus is doin his thing with the teachings and stuff
– some of the zealots like what he has to say and become his followers

Come on, zealots. Be cool.

But Rome is like okay no, you can’t just hang out with the zealots, what the hell?
– so Jesus is arrested, tried as a political revolutionary, and executed.

Suddenly, Jesus’s followers decide this is an awesome time to reinterpret the meaning of the messiah from being a war leader to being exactly what Jesus was
– so, instead of getting freedom in this life, you’d get it in the next, which I guess is just as good sort of?
▪ they even claimed Jesus had risen from the dead to support their opinion! And with all those god damn mystery cults around, the notion of rebirth isn’t TOO ridiculous

They also believed that only the Jews could be saved
– in other words: fuck off, rome.

So then this guy named Saul is like hey guys I had this vision where Jesus wanted us to spread our religion to everyone!
-he becomes known as St. Paul and starts doin his thing, but no one cares and he doesn’t really get anywhere

Then in 70AD the Zealots finally manage a revolt!! Ohhh maaan!!!
– yeah no, it is crushed like immediately

But as a result the Romans decide they have just about had it with this horseshit
– they disperse the Jews around their empire or just deport them completely so they no longer have a specific homeland

Everything about the religion is destroyed in this process…
… except all that crap St. Paul wrote down!! so the religion survives.


Meanwhile St. Mark starts tellin the story of Jesus’s life
– but he writes it IN Rome during the Zealots’ revolt, which makes him the exact opposite of popular

So, in order to better convert the Romans, he makes up that the Jews were actually responsible for Jesus’s death
– I guess they like, tricked them into doing it or something?
– those little rapscallions!!

The idea that the Jews killed Jesus is one of the largest sources of anti-semitic beliefs in the world
– this plagues them for like two thousand years.


Anyway, at this point Christianity doesn’t really stress the logic side of things.
– “what do you mean, how exactly is Jesus the son of god? here’s a better question: how exactly are you such a fuckin tool? go back to praying, loser.”

Oh, they also claim all other religions are false!

And Rome is like wait, what??
– they decide that they are tired of being chill about Christianity, declare them political radicals, and outlaw the religion. hah!

…But then like within a hundred years it becomes the official religion of the empire, sooo what the heck happened there??

I don’t know because the French class that uses the room after us is mad that we keep going over our time and we’re gettin kicked out.

These notes are from a class named “Europe to 1715”. To read more notes from this class, just click one of the links below!

Day One – Germanic Barbarians Are Fucking Crazy
Day Two – Are You Tired of Barbarians Yet? Me Neither.
Day Three – King Clovis Has No Time For Your Bullshit
Day Four – King Clovis Thinks Christianity is Silly
Day Five – In Which Jesus Scolds Some Rowdy Teen Zealots
Day Six – Heresy and Hissy Fits

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  1. cat

    this is seriously more than I ever learned in HS

    Comment — May 30, 2014 @ 4:03 pm

  2. Anonymous

    I can’t get over this blog. I never liked history in school. Now I think it’s awesome.

    Trackback — June 10, 2014 @ 10:56 am

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