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What were some of the central reasons for christianity spreading so rapidly in the first five centuries of the new millennium?

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You are to write two essays of at least 600words each (1200 words in total). At the end of each essay you should write down the word count. You are welcome to go over the minimum word count if you think that your answers will be improved by more material. I do not grade you based on the word count, but keep in mind that if your essay is shorter than 600 words, you most likely will not have enough material or detail to answer the questions sufficiently, and by that resulting in a lower grade.
You should use short quotations and references from the texts and readings to illustrate specific points or arguments you are making.
Keep in mind that the strongest essays will include material from multiple sessions. The topics/questions are designed to be expansive and they require you to address events over a wide time frame.
Each essay MUST be properly documented with parenthetical citations, which include the name of the author and the page number – there is no need for a works cited page, as the texts are all common. For the Textbook, (Hunt, page number) is sufficient. For the Sources book (Lualdi, page number). If you want to cite the lectures, simply reference the name of the lecture (first slide of each lecture).
For this exam you ARE NOT ALLOWED to use any outside sources. I have given you access to the textbook and I am testing you on having read the assigned pages from them. As this is an exam, any instance of plagiarism or use of outside sources that are not cited will be reported to an Academic Integrity Officer. Any exam that has no citations will receive 0 points.
I am testing you on having watched/listened to the lectures and read the assigned readings from both the textbook and the Sources book.
Please keep in mind that the strongest historical essays pay close attention to the chronology of events. An essay that moves back and forth in time period is generally a disorganized essay, so I would suggest you try your best to keep your events and examples in chronological order.
Questions: Choose TWO.
Option 1
The ancient Mediterranean world was interconnected and saw the interactions between numerous civilizations throughout the period. Despite the common focus of history books on the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, they were continually influenced by surrounding civilizations, from Northern Africa to the modern Middle East, stretching as far east as the Indus river at some points. For this essay I would like you to discuss the influence that these interactions had on classical Athens during the 5th century BCE, the empire created by Alexander the Great, the Roman Republic of the 3rd century BCE, and the early decades of the Roman Empire established in 27 BCE. How was western civilization shaped by these interactions?
Your essay does not need to be exhaustive, but choose at least one example from each time period in order to help you construct your argument.
Option 2
The height of democracy in Classical Athens followed the turmoil of the Persian Wars where Athenian influence was expanded throughout the Aegean Sea. Similarly, the Roman Republic fought numerous wars to expand its influence across the Mediterranean while also enriching themselves in the process. For this essay, I would like you to discuss how the greed for more spoils and influence across their regions eventually led to both external and internal problems for both Athens and Rome. How did the often rapid expansion of influence weaken the internal systems of both democracy in Athens and Republican rule in Rome? How did the need for greater power and influence in their regions betray the fundamentals of each governing system?
For this question I want you to be clear as to what specific time periods you are discussing. The periods of monarchy for both Greece and Rome are irrelevant to this question, as is the period of the Roman Empire.
Option 3
From its origins as a small Jewish sect in its infancy, Christianity did not seem likely to become the most widespread religion of the Roman Empire. Over the course of the next five centuries after the death of Jesus, Christianity would become the common religion of the Roman Empire, stretching from the modern Middle East all the way north in Europe as far as modern day England. What were some of the central reasons for Christianity spreading so rapidly in the first five centuries of the new Millennium? In what way did the existence and organization of the Roman Empire crucial in how quickly the new religion spread? How did Christianity borrow from Roman administrative techniques to both aid in its spread and centralize its message? Please try to provide examples that cover the entire period in question.
For this question, you don’t have to offer an exhaustive answer, but do try to offer examples or “snap shots” from different periods within the time frame offered, from the early Roman empire, a divided Roman empire, and the interaction with the Germanic tribes in the North.
Do not use any outside source only from the textbooks

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