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Transcript
Chapter 5
• After winning a violent civil war, Augustus
came to power and transformed the
Roman government into a new system,
the principate, which itself was also
transformed as succeeding emperors
struggled to meet the challenges of
governing of an empire.
The Pax Romana, 27 B.C. –
192
A.D.
• Augustus Takes Power
– Civil War
• Octavian and Antony battled over who would rule all of Rome
• Antony committed suicide, and Octavian stood as sole ruler
of Rome
• A New Form of Governing
– The Principate
• The governmental system of the Roman Empire founded by
Octavian (also known as Caesar Augustus)
– Governmental Structure
• The vast extent of the empire and the increased complication
of public affairs required a special magistrate, the princeps,
to coordinate the whole, and to control the army
The Pax Romana, 27 B.C. –
192
A.D.
– Administering an empire
• Augustus ran the empire as one would run a household
– Virgil’s Aeneid
• A mythological tale of the wandering of the Trojan hero
Aeneas, who founded the city of Rome
– Livy’s Historia
• The History of Rome emphasized Roman religion and
morality
• Challenges to the Principate, A.D. 69-193
– Augustus’s Successors
• Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero
The Pax Romana, 27 B.C. –
192
A.D.
– A New Dynasty
• Vespasian took power in A.D. 69 and restored some order to
the empire
– Provincial Defense
• A Vibrant, Far-Flung Empire
– Colonies
• For military veterans in the provinces
– Provincial Administration
– Roads and Transportation
• Fifty thousand miles of roads
Chapter 5
– Imperial Diversity
• Multiethnic and multicultural population
• Three languages: Greek, Latin, and a local dialect
• Included an array of climates and geological features
• The wealth pouring in from the provinces
brought new problems to Roman society,
which Roman rulers tried to solve with
laws and new civic activites.
Life During the Peace of Rome
• A New Decadence
• The Problem with Population
– Birthrates
• Sexual and Medical Misunderstandings
– Galen
• Used some modern scientific techniques
• Embraced moderation
• The Games
– From Forum to Arena
• The Roman Colosseum was used to hunt exotic animals, for
public executions, and for gladiator contests
Chapter 5
– Gladiators
• Condemned criminals armed with weapons were
paired to fight until one was killed, and the winner
won the right to live until his next fight
• With the end of the Roman peace, rulers
like Diocletian and Constantine sought to
resolve economic and political problems
with reforms.
Crisis and Transformation, A.D. 192
– ca. 400
• The Military Monarchy
– Threats to Empire
• The army’s power contributed to some instability
• Generals became rival claimants to the throne
– Economic Recession
• Luxury spending damaged on already weakening economy
– Inflation
• The price of grain climbed so much that a measure that cost
two coins in A.D. 200 cost 300 coins just a century later
• The Reforms of Diocletian, A.D. 284-305
– Tetrarchy - Rule by four men
• Diocletian ruled in the eastern region, and Maximian ruled in
the west
Crisis and Transformation, A.D. 192
– ca. 400
– Military Reforms
• Diocletian separated civil and military offices
– Economic Reforms
• Freezing prices and wages, and raised taxes on payment in goods
• The Capital Moves East
– Constantinople
• Constantine built a new urban center on the site of the old Greek
city of Byzantium
– Twilight of the Empire
• By 410 the western region had disintigrated
– Rome’s “Fall”
• Peoples from the north invaded the empire
• Caused the breakup of the huge empire that had dominated the
Mediterranean
Chapter 5
• Although religion continued to play an
important role in Roman life, many
suffered from a spiritual dissatisfaction,
which led to the popularity of new
philosophic and religious movements.
The Longing for Religious
Fulfillment
• Stoicism and Platonism
– Neo-Platonism
• Each person contained a spark of divinity that longed to join
the divinity that had created it
• Mystery Cults
– Cult of Dionysus
• Celebrated the mysteries of the god of wine and rebirth by
drinking, engaging in sex acts, and ritually eating the raw
flesh of beasts
– Cult of Isis
• Egyptian goddess of fertility
• The Four Faces of Judaism
The Longing for Religious
Fulfillment
– Sadducees and Pharisees
• Sadducees largely comprised members of priestly families,
and they were religious conservatives who rejected any new
ideas that they did not find in the Torah
• Pharisees emphasized Jewish purity laws, and accepted new
ideas of the resurrection of the just and the existence of
angels
– Essenes
• Withdrew from the social world and moved to separate
communities and attempted to live pure lives
– The Messiah
• Many Jews believed that a savior would come to liberate
them
• The Jesus Movement
The Longing for Religious
Fulfillment
– Jesus’ Ideas
• For about three years, Jesus preached in Judea and Galilee,
drawing huge crowds to listen to his message of peace, love,
and care for the poor and suffering
– Apostles
• Appealed to other Jews by preaching and praying at the
Temple and at small gatherings of the Jewish faithful
– Paul of Tarsus
• Took up the mission of bringing the Christian message
beyond the particularity of the Jewish communities to the
wider world of the Roman Empire and beyond
The Longing for Religious
Fulfillment
– Destruction of the Temple
• The Roman armies proceeded against Jerusalem,
they burned the city, and destroyed the Second
Temple
– Dispersion of Jews
• Many Jews were scattered from Judea all over the
Mediterranean and recentered on synagogue
worship
• Early Christian Communities
Chapter 5
• Christians were misunderstood and even
persecuted until Constantine’s support of
Christianity transformed both the status of
the religion and Christianity itself.
• Looking for Christian Scapegoats
From Christian Persecution to the
City of God, A.D. 64-410
• Constantine: The Tolerant Emperor
– Constantine Supports Church
• He returned property to Christians who had been persecuted,
gave tax advantages to Christian priests, and let Christian
advisors play a role in his court’s inner circle.
• The Empire Adopts Christianity
– Christianity Changes
• Instead of gathering secretly in homes, Christians met in
churches
– Christian Organization
• Bishops were in charge of all aspects of church life, from
finances to spiritual guidance
From Christian Persecution to the
City of God, A.D. 64-410
– Religious Disagreements
• The Council of Nicaea was assembled to dispute over the
nature of Christ
• The Nicene Creed stated that Christ had always existed
– City of God
• In City of God Augustine tried to address other religious
quarrelsw
• The New Roman
– Christian Sexuality
• Some Christian leaders strongly advocated celibacy
Chapter 5
• Fleeing Christians sought refuge and
spiritual fulfillment in asceticism and
communal monasticism, while saints
became an important part of the Christian
faith.
The Holy Life
– Flight to the Desert
• Escape persecutions and chaos
• They objected to the union of church and state that developed after
Constantine’s rule
– Monastic Communities
• Some people wanted simply to withdraw from the distractions of the
world so as to worship God without enduring the rigors of the desert
hermits
• The Influence of Holy People
– Saints’ Cults
– Ascetic Influence
• The luxuries of the Roman world seemed shameful when compared
with the purity of the monasteries