If this brief statement by Thallus refers to Jesus’ crucifixion we can ascertain that

(1) the Christian gospel, or at least an account of the crucifixion, was known in the Mediterranean region by the middle of the first century AD. This brings to mind the presence of Christian teachings in Rome mentioned by Tacitus and by Suetonius. (2) There was a widespread darkness in the land, implied to have taken place during Jesus’ crucifixion. (3) Unbelievers offered rationalistic explanations for certain Christian teachings or for supernatural claims not long after their initial proclamation, a point to which we will return below.