Hilaire Belloc continues his explanation of the big unsung factor in European history
with a look at the Church’s place in the Roman Empire, before
Constantine. He does this from the point of view of an ordinary big
Roman landowner in Lyons.
Btw, Lyons’ Roman name was Lugdunum, but
this was the Lugdunum in Gaul, not the Lugdunum in Britain.
(Colonia Copia Claudia Augusta Lugdunum,
to be more precise.) Both towns
were named after the Celtic god Lug, whom the Romans generally
identified with Mercury. (Because Lug was good at everything.) Lyons
had some savage Christian persecutions — including the spectacularly
brutal arena death of St. Blandina and her companions, which we know
from a contemporary letter from Lyons explaining events to church folks
in Asia Minor. (Letters — the Roman Internet.)