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Caylin Hindle


18 June 2017

I have always believed that history is an important aspect of our lives. History shows us

the beginning of time, how this world came to be, and the development over time. Without the

knowledge of the past, history would be likely to repeat itself. Today, we have the opportunity to

observe historical artifacts that show us the many different civilizations that came to be over

time. Thus showing us the improvements that were made with each new era. Agreement on

some sort of comfortable falsehood will not do, for without reasonably accurate knowledge of

the past, we cannot expect to accomplish intended results, simply because we will fail to foresee

how others are likely to react to anything we decide on (McNeill,1985).

In asking terrible questions about what life means and the proper ways that we has

humans should understand our place in it, these thinkers have each turned to the past for

examples, suggestions, warnings, and authority (Hodges). In this case, individuals looked

towards their religious beliefs to guide them to learn from the past. In all of the civilizations that

I have learned about, religion has shown to be one of the most important developments. Each of

the civilizations modified their religion, for example, polytheism was first developed which

eventually lead to monotheism. We also see the change of worshipping separate earthly gods to

worshipping the trinity, three Gods in one. Religion has had quite the effect on many significant

people over time. These significant individuals were all apart of shaping their societies based off

their religious beliefs.

For example, Constantine was one of the greatest reigns because of his devotion to

Christianity. During the times of the Roman Empire, many of the battles fought and won during
Caylin Hindle


18 June 2017

the reign of Constantine were dedicated to the Christian God. Constantines adherence to

Christianity was closely associated with his rise to power. He fought the Battle of the Milvian

Bridge in the name of the Christian God, having received instructions in a dream to paint the

Christian monogram on his troops shields(Matthews and Nicol).

Another example would be during the time of the post-Roman world, when King

Chilperic was expanding on Christianity. We see more development of how the trinity was

supposed to be viewed. He explained that the trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, were all

the same people, which brought much controversy to the people. Chilperic states a circular to

the effect that the Holy Trinity was to refer not to distinct persons, but only God. That it's

unseemly for God to be called a person, like a mortal of flesh and blood. He also declared that

the Father is the same as the Son, and the Holy Spirit is the same as the Father and Son


Not only did Christianity develop, but also a new religion was formed known as Islam.

Islam was born, because of the prophet Muhammad who gained courage to spread his beliefs.

Although, he experience trials like being exiled out of his country, he was able to expand his

religion by word of mouth. Eventually with aid of military warfare and taxing non-Muslims, this

religion became appealing for two main reasons. First starters most religions were forced upon

people like during the Byzantine Empire. When the Byzantine Empire was conquered, people

were open to a new religion because of gaining their rights to religious freedom. Secondly, most

people were poor and could not afford to pay those taxes, which aided the convert to Islam. Most
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18 June 2017

people were inspired my Muhammads life of continuous devotion to Islam, that after his death

the expansion of Islam continued. Soon after Muhammad's death, his followers and

companions, many of whom were scholars and teachers, began to collect and codify his

teachings and actions (Muhammad, Prophet of Islam).

All of these individuals took a stance in there civilizations, by showing their

determination and courage to put their religious beliefs first. I have learned a great deal myself of

the development of different religions, and the individuals who put their lives on the line to

transform it over time. It is up to people like me, to continue the expansion of my personal

beliefs to make a better society. Thus, it also means that I cannot force my religious beliefs upon

people as most civilizations did, but learn to be open with them in sharing them in a civilized

manner. Finally, historical narratives offer us stories of humility, courage, wisdom, andmost

importanthope. In essence, history teaches us to move forward, recognize our mistakes and

learn from them, and ultimately create a better existence for all (Postma). Learning about these

particular individuals and how they started or continued the foundation for Christianity and Islam

has shown me that I can continue to show my faith through my actions in life.
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18 June 2017

Freeman, Paul. "The Meroyingians." M10 The Meroyingians Transcript. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June


Hodges, Blair. "Hodges- Final Essay, On Rhetorical Uses of History to Understand the Present." N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2017.

Islam, Muhammad, Prophet Of Islam. N.p., 2002. Web. 15 June 2017.

Matthews, J.F., and Donald MacGillivray Nicol. "Constantine I." Encyclopdia Britannica.

Encyclopdia Britannica, inc., n.d. Web. 15 June 2017.

McNeill, William H. "Why Study History?" Why Study History? (1985) | AHA. N.p., 1985.

Web. 15 June 2017.

Postma, Michael. "What Can History Teach Us Today?" ASCD Express 6.22 - What Can

History Teach Us Today? N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2017.