but perhaps not his estimate of 217,795 c.200 ce. Late fourth-century traditions mention Christians of senatorial and equestrian rank.24 Among them were M. Vibius Liberalis, consul suffectus in 166, a senator named Apollonius who confessed the nomen Christianum in the reign of Commodus and Valerius Victor Paternus, an equestrian (d. 297). The Roman church's bureaucracy, economic wealth and jurisdiction over the city's churches (tituli) were consolidated well before c.254.25 The Christians in Rome may have numbered c.40,000 at this time, putting them in the range of 5-10 per cent of the inner city population, which has been estimated at about 700,000.26 This may well explain the emperor Decius' quip that 'I would much rather hear that a rival emperor had risen up against me than another bishop in Rome.'27
It is difficult to say how accurately the Roman model reflects conditions in the provincial towns of Latin Europe. Large cities like Aquileia and Lugdunum (Lyons) had low-status expatriate populations from the Roman orient, but epigraphic evidence is scanty or non-existent, and there are few pre-fourth-century archaeological data like the possible house churches in Rome at San Giovanni e Paulo and San Clemente.28 The Christian demography of Lugdunum is known from the letter Eusebius preserves about the martyrs there and in Vienne in 177.29 This city, located on the upper Rhone, was a focal point for the expansion of Christianity into central Gaul. Some bishops of Gaul were executed in the Decian persecution and no successors appointed, but their communities were undoubtedly small.30 The towns of Gaul with possible pre-Constantinian Christian buildings include Civitas Turonum (with a house church), Biturigae, Tolosa, Autessiodorum and Rotomagus.31 In Spain, the earliest dated Christian inscription seems to come from 354, but ecclesiastical institutions are known from a letter of the churches of Leon and Merida to Cyprian in 254, from the bishops' list of the Council of Elvira (c.305-6?) and from numbers of early fourth-century Christian sarcophagi.32 The canons of the council reveal a Christian community whose members held civic offices and married into pagan families.33 As for Britain, there are no clear archaeological
25 Lampe, Paul to Valentinus, I42f.
26 Frend, Martyrdom and persecution, 245.
28 White, Architecture, vol. 11,111-23.
29 Euseb. HE 5.1; Frend, Martyrdom and persecution, 1-30; see ch. 20, below.
30 Gregory of Tours, Historia Francorum 10.31. Hefele et al., Histoire des conciles, vol. 1. 1, 275-7; cf. Reynaud, Lugdunum Christianum; Mullen, Expansion of Christianity, 231.
31 Bedon, Atlas, 93,122,306,310; cf.Mullen, Expansion of Christianity, 230, 236, 239, 24if.
32 ILCV 3932. Mullen, Expansion of Christianity, 253f., 256f.
33 Hefele etal., Histoire des conciles, vol. 1.1, 215-64.
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