Here’s an interesting excerpt from A. Cleveland Coxe’s introduction to the great 2nd-century church father Irenaeus’s work, Against Heresies:

This history introduces us to the Church in her western outposts… Polycarp had sent Pothinus into Celtic Gaul at an early date as its evangelist. He had fixed his see at Lyons [Jack note: today the third largest city in France], when Irenaeus joined him as a presbyter, having been his fellow-pupil under Polycarp. There, under the “good Aurelius,” as he is miscalled (a.d. 177), arose the terrible persecution [Jack note: This Aurelius is the Stoic emperor depicted by Richard Harris in “Gladiator,” under whose reign Justin Martyr and Polycarp among others were martyred] … It was during this persecution that Irenaeus was sent to Rome with letters of remonstrance against the rising pestilence of heresy… But he had the mortification of finding the Montanist heresy patronized by Eleutherus the Bishop of Rome; and there he met an old friend from the school of Polycarp, who had embraced the Valentinian heresy. We cannot doubt that to this visit we owe the lifelong struggle of Irenaeus against the heresies that now came in, like locusts, to devour the harvests of the Gospel. But let it be noted here, that, so far from being “the mother and mistress” of even the Western Churches, Rome herself is a mission of the Greeks; Southern Gaul is evangelized from Asia Minor, and Lyons checks the heretical tendencies of the Bishop at Rome. Ante-Nicene Christianity, and indeed the Church herself, appears in Greek costume which lasts through the synodical period; and Latin Christianity, when it begins to appear, is African, and not Roman. It is strange that those who have recorded this great historical fact have so little perceived its bearings upon Roman pretensions in the Middle Ages and modern times.