1000 Skeletons Discovered in Catacombs in Rome

According to News.Scotsman.com, over 1000 skeletons have recently been located in the catacombs beneath Rome. According to the account:

ARCHAELOGISTS exploring one of Rome's oldest catacombs have discovered more than 1,000 skeletons dressed in elegant togas.

Experts are thrilled by the find - which dates from about the first century - as it is the first "mass burial" of its kind identified. Mystery surrounds why so many bodies were neatly piled together in the complex network of underground burial chambers, which stretch for miles under the city.

It was the custom then for Rome's upper classes to be burnt not buried, so it is thought the skeletons may be early Christians. Tests are being carried to establish whether they suffered violent death or were victims of an unknown epidemic or natural disaster.

It should be noted that these bodies are from the 1st Century, and if they are, in fact, Christian skeletons it would be further confirmation that Christianity had spread to Rome by that time as recorded in the Bible and several other places. I make this statement only because some people apparently don't understand how quickly Christianity spread. Take, for example, the very first comment to the article on the Scottsman.com website:

The skeletons were not Christian. Christianity did not spread to Rome until after the first century. As is true for many or most of the catacomb burials, the skeletons were very likely Jewish. Rome had an immense Jewish population before and after the destruction of Jewish independence in ancient Israel in the year 70.

Christianity didn't spread to Rome until after the First Century? I guess that Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans to . . . uh, the people in Rome, New York? Oh yeah, and the Neroian persecutions were of . . . um . . . who? No, while they have yet to confirm the identities of these people, given what we know about the catacombs and the early Christian community in Rome I think that the archaeologists' first instinct is correct that they are Christians and the only real question is exactly when and how they died.

Comments

Lurchling said…
Let's not forget that Paul was imprisoned in Rome and Clement of Rome speaks of Paul and Peter's martyrdom there. Paul did not establish the church in Rome either, of course implying that there were other Christians preaching there before him. Mark and Luke's Gospels were in all likelihood written in Rome as well.
Layman said…
Clement himself wrote from a well-established church in Rome during the first century.

Also, Tacitus is quite clear that Nero (in the 60s AD) was torching Christians in Rome during the first century.
kamagra said…
Well actually people say that they know about the story, but the truth is that nobody knows the real truth, not even me.

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