Pliny however does not appear to believe that Christians constituted a threat to the security of the state as ‘he found nothing more than a malignant and immoderate superstition’,which he does not consider to be a crime. Pliny’s enquiries suggest that the Christians were plainly guilty of being Christians. But, in his opinion the Christians bind themselves by oath and not to some crime. Pliny asks ‘Whether it is the name itself…or only the offenses associated with the name that is to be punished.’ Which cements Pliny’s perplexity as to what type of punishment should be inflicted if their crime is only the name they bear.
The first thing that comes to mind in reading Trajan’s reply is that Trajan’s view on the treatment of Christians