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The Transformation of Rome

The Transformation of Rome

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Published by nynjamo
Class Assignment: Chapter 6
Class Assignment: Chapter 6

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Published by: nynjamo on Apr 25, 2013
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Miguel EspinalWestern Civilizations 1014/24/13 Assignment-Ch. #6/TheTransformation of Rome
1. Summarize early Christianity in Rome.
Christians did not hold such a dominant place in the first few centuries.They were not the majority, and held little real power in society untilConstantine's reign (312-337 CE) at the earliest. They lived instead on themargins, first as varieties within early Judaism with apocalyptic and messianicemphases, and then, thanks to the missionary work of Paul and others, as smallcommunities in many cities scattered throughout the Empire. The urban profile of early Christianity grew in the first centuries, and it is within the cities of theRoman Empire that Christianity experienced much of its early growth and whereit was called upon to respond to societal needs.
2. Discuss the ways that Christianity changed after it became a legal religion.
The Romans tried to beat down Christianity but failed. By the fourthcentury Christianity becomes the state religion and by the end of the fourthcentury it is illegal to do any form of public worship other than Christianity in theentire Roman Empire. There is a great mystery in how this happened -- how suchan extraordinary reversal, that begins with Jesus who is executed by the Romansas a public criminal, as a threat to the social order, and somehow we wind upthree centuries later with Jesus being hailed as a God, as part of the one, true
 
God who is the God of the new Christian Roman Empire. There is a remarkableprogress, a remarkable development in the course of three centuries. ... It's hardto understand exactly how it happened or why it happened, but it is important torealize that we have a progression and a set of developments, and thatChristianity by the fourth century is not the same as the Christianity that we seein the first or even the second.
3. Describe how three emperors discussed in the lecture, dealt withChristianity and Christians.
Christians had always been subject to local discrimination in the empire,but early emperors were reluctant to issue general laws against them. It was notuntil the reigns of Decius and Valerian, that such laws were passed. Under thislegislation, Christians were compelled to sacrifice to Roman gods or faceimprisonment and execution. When Gallienus acceded in 260, he issued the firstimperial edict regarding tolerance toward Christians, leading to nearly 40 years of peaceful coexistence. Diocletian's accession in 284 did not mark an immediatereversal of disregard to Christianity, but it did herald a gradual shift in officialattitudes toward religious minorities.
4. Why do you believe Constantine built a new capital? Why do you believe hechose that location?
He came to the conclusion that Rome had ceased to be a practical capitalfor the empire from which the emperor could exact effective control over itsfrontiers. Constantine built his new capital because of its strategic location. TheWestern part of the empire was becoming militarily vulnerable and he wanted the
 
capital to be in a safer part of the empire. The western part of the empire wasbecoming populated more and more by tribes who were less "Roman" than theinhabitants of the eastern part of the empire and so an eastern location waspreferable. Finally, the eastern part of the empire was wealthier and locating thecapital there would allow better administration and military protection of the bestpart of the empire.
5.
Summarize Rome’s decline.
 
The split into an eastern and western empire governed by separateemperors caused Rome to fall. The eastern half became the Byzantine Empire,with its capital at Constantinople (modern Istanbul). The western half remainedcentered in Italy. Many say the Fall of Rome was an ongoing process, lastingmore than a century. Since Rome still exists, it is argued that it never fell. Someprefer to say that Rome adapted rather than fell.
6. What role did women play in the early Church? Why did the role change?
In the early days of Christianity shortly after Jesus death, women had anactive role in his arrangement of things, after which women played a significantpart in spreading Christianity. Along with men, they preached to others about
God’s Kingdom and did things related to that work.
What seems to happen withinthe first few centuries is that whatever limited activities women might have had inthe beginning begins to get curtailed as you have the development of a hierarchyof clergy members with bishops, presbyters and deacons, and it's pretty firmlyestablished that women should not be either bishops or priests. Many churchfathers write about this. So women tend to get excluded from those functions,

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