The first, or proto-, martyrs of the Church of Rome commemorate the untold number of Christians put to death under the reign of Nero, in what would ironically later be termed  64 Anno Domini, but which contemporary Romans would have dated 817 A.U.C., ab urbe condita, from the founding of the city in again what we would call 753 B.C. (April 21, to be precise), but for the Romans was year zero.
Nero’s persecution was the beginning of many, Domitian, Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Decius, Valerian, Galerius, Diocletian, emperors who saw Christianity as a rival to what they saw as their

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