6ABC History: Early Christianity – the birth of Jesus of Nazareth

We all celebrate Christmas, but what is it really about? This is both a cultural and historical question that leads us into our next history topic: Early Christianity.

We will view a dramatic film called “The Nativity” that attempts to mix historical fact with the Biblical story (primary resource) to tell about the events leading up to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth – the founder of the Christian religion. (ps. this is the original Christmas story 🙂 )

Before you watch consider these historical questions:

1. The ” Nativity” takes place in Israel. Israel was a conquered territory of Rome. What did the Romans give and what did they expect from conquered people? What would happen to the Hebrews if they would not cooperate with their Roman rulers?

2. What religion did the Hebrew people practice? What was their ideas about a Messiah? How might a Messiah not be someone the Romans would want?

Now watch the film. Take notes and try to answer the above questions.

Also a shorter animated version of the basic story:

6ABC History: Roman Research Project

Now that you know a lot of about Rome generally I would like you to dig a bit deeper. You will do a research project, that is you will find more information about a specific topic.

Steps: 1. Choose any topic you would like to learn more about the Romans (ex: daily life, fashion, food, warfare) Write your topic into your notebook. You will need to make some space in your notebook for research notes.

2. Visit one of these websites or use books to find more information about your chosen topic.






3. Write down the key ideas and facts into your notebook (you don’t need to copy the whole sentence word for word).

4. Source! You will look at many sites and books. You need to know where you got your information from.  To do this you need to write a reference to each bit of information you wrote down.

EX: FACT –  “Rome is now the capital city of Italy. 2,000 years ago it was the centre of the Roman Empire.”

Source – http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/romans/city_of_rome/

Tip: To make this easier I suggest that you look at one website, write down all the info you need from it and use the source reference at the end. Then more to the next page and do the same thing. This way your information is grouped according to sources.

OK…get started!