Book III: Blandina
160 – 192 A.D.
Marcus Aurelius succeeds Antoninus Pius as emperor in 161.
His son Commodus follows, emperor from 180 to 192 when he is assassinated.
The great plague of the mid-160’s scours the empire. One notable victim is the Lord of the Segusiavi.
A prominent Christian philosopher, Justin, is executed in Rome, instigated by jealous heresiarchs.
The Christian ekklesia in Lugdunum suffers a major tragedy in 177. Pothinus is succeeded as bishop by Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, the last surviving link to the Age of the Apostles.
In Africa localized persecutions of Christians increase, as wells as in Greece and Asia.
Controversies and animosities plague “The Way”. Yet the Christian movement steadily grows.
Hostilities erupt in Egypt, Africa, Syria, Germany… The years of the pax Romana have given way to instability and uncertainty. As in the “Year of the Four Emperors” in 68-69 A.D., there are many contestants for the emperor’s purple. An African general prevails, but he has his enemies.
Throughout these years of troubles and turmoil, the Family Segusiavus perdures, led by Sagittarius’ son, Ignatius. But greater threats arise…