³Appeal for Reconciliation´Danny André Dixon Sermon on PhilemonJuly 4, 20102the Great of Greece, whose empire fell to that of the Romans under Pompey. Ithink of that Roman empire, a republic governed for a short time under the firstamong Senators Julius Caesar, his assassination and the dynasty that began withhis nephew Octavius, better known to us as Augustus, the emperor on the Romanthrone when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It was the time of the succeedingemperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius in the earliest days of the Christian Churchand finally the time of Nero, the first Roman Emperor to exercise a local butvicious persecution upon Christians in and around Rome for a brief time²a timethat included the latter ministry of Paul, who writes the letter to Philemon while in prison for the first time in Rome under Nero in the year 64 A.D. He would bereleased briefly, three years later, before Nero would arrest him again anddecapitate him after a second imprisonment as part of that Christian persecution in67 A.D.But it was indeed a different time²a time when slavery was the norm.There were thousands and thousands of slaves brought into Rome because of war.Slaves ³were the teachers and doctors, they were the accountants and clerks, theywere they were the household servants and the field laborers´ (Arthur Mayer Wolfson,
in Ancient Hi
[New York, NY: American Book Co.,1902], pp. 432-433).Under Hebrew law, a slave was the money or property of his master andcould be beaten to within an inch of his life, according to Exodus 21. Under Roman law, if slaves ³tried to run away, they were whipped, burned with iron, andsometimes even killed´ (I. Akatsa [03-21-2000], ³Slavery in Ancient Rome.´
tory and Thought of We
. Rich East High School. Park Forest, IL.