regular fasting, constant attention to the poor and needy. Christians seem to have lived like everyone else in the midst of their neighbourhoods, except that they did not abort or expose unwanted children, they usually did not seekmili-tary service or magistracies and did not frequent temple, theatre, hippodrome or amphitheatre. The traditional hierarchical family structure, including slavery, was reinforced by theological underpinnings that nevertheless pointed the way towards respect for each baptised person as redeemed by Christ. As we have seen, these were ideals that delineated believers' lives. In the gap between ideal and reality lay their emerging sense of authentic Christian living.

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