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These roles, Brown says, "contributed enormously to seeing the bishop of Rome, the bishop of the city where Peter died, and where Paul witnessed to the truth of Christ, as the successor of Peter in care for the church universal".Conditions in the Roman Empire facilitated the spread of new ideas.Constantine's biggest effect on Christianity was his patronage.He gave large gifts of land and money to the Church and offered tax exemptions and other special legal status to ecclesiastical property and personnel.During this time, the period of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, there were considered five primary sees (jurisdictions within the Catholic Church) according to Eusebius: Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria, known as the Pentarchy.The battles of Toulouse preserved the Christian west, even though Rome itself was ravaged in 850, and Constantinople besieged.
Besides, the spirit of the old law, so widely separated from all mysticism, was not so very different from the Roman spirit itself.
In addition, the peculiar intimacy of Christian society and its secrecy about its religious practices spawned rumors that Christians were guilty of incest and cannibalism; the resulting persecutions, although usually local and sporadic, were a defining feature of Christian self-understanding until Christianity was legalized in the 4th century.
A series of more centrally organized persecutions of Christians emerged in the late 3rd century, when emperors decreed that the Empire's military, political, and economic crises were caused by angry gods.
The empire's well-defined network of roads and waterways allowed easier travel, while the Pax Romana made it safe to travel from one region to another.
The government had encouraged inhabitants, especially those in urban areas, to learn Greek, and the common language allowed ideas to be more easily expressed and understood.
In subsequent centuries, Catholicism spread widely across the world despite experiencing a reduction in its hold on European populations due to the growth of Protestantism and also because of religious skepticism during and after the Enlightenment.