As important as the Jewish background is to the rise of Christianity, so is the Roman background. All of the events of the New Testament take place within the borders of the Roman Empire and there are frequent interactions with various aspects of Roman authority.
This episode includes a short summary of the Roman emperors of the first century and their importance for understanding the history of Christianity. There are also some comments about other ways that Rome influenced the spread of Christianity.
In the episode, I mention these resources: