Chapter 5 Notes: The Roman Empire

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1 1 Chapter 5 Notes: The Roman Empire Pax Romana Octavian s rule brought a period of peace to the Mediterranean world. 31 BC AD 180 Pax Romana (Roman Peace) Artificial peace Won by war and maintained by force During Roman Peace the Prince of Peace came Augustus: The First Citizen Brought end to century of civil war Volunteered to share power with the Senate Took the title princeps or first citizen First ruler to be called an emperor Caesar was his family name Emperors of the Pax Romana Augustus Title of divinity Conferred by Senate Augustus and the Pax Romana Removed self seeking, unqualified men Created a police and fire service Established a postal service Sought to abolish corruption in provincial government Reorganized provinces Ordered a census-taking every 14 years Sought social reforms Encouraged passage of laws that promoted family Tiberius Octavian s adopted son Efficient administrator Depraved and brutal Great rejoicing when he died. Caligula Nicknamed Boots Suffered from illness that left him insane Occasionally had people slowly tortured to death at banquets Tried to get his horse elected consul Murdered by Praetorian Guard Claudius Proclaimed emperor in jest by Praetorian Guard Became one of Rome s best rulers Poisoned by his wife, Agrippina Nero Placed on the throne by Agrippina Tried to have his mother killed, but failed Eventually had her clubbed to death First emperor to persecute Christians

2 2 Vespasian The first non-patrician to rule Rome Subjugated the Jews. Titus Vespasian s son Completed his father s subjugation of the Jews Destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70 During his reign, Mt. Vesuvius erupted destroying Pompeii & Herculaneum. Domitian Son of Vespasian Was murdered in 96 Senate appointed Nerva who trained Trajan to assume power after him Trajan Under Trajan, a Spaniard, the Roman Empire reached its greatest extent. Hadrian A cousin of Trajan Began wearing a beard Traveled throughout the empire Built many walls Standardized Roman Law Antonius Pius Received the title Pius because of his pious desire to have the Senate deify Hadrian. Antonius was adopted by Hadrian Marcus Aurelius The last of the so-called good emperors Spent much of his reign securing the frontiers against barbarian invasions Died of the plague in 180 Rome borrowed, copied, modified and preserved many elements of cultures it conquered. Greeks built with eye toward beauty Romans built with eye toward usefulness / practicality Contributions to Law All citizens should have equal rights before the law. Legal codes of many modern European countries based on Roman law. Latin Literature and Language Modeled after Greek examples Added their own literary ideas and spirit Greatest Roman literature produced during lifetimes of Cicero and Augustus. Poetry of the Augustan Age Virgil Horace Often called the Homer of Rome Greatest Roman poet Wrote epic poem The Aeneid Quintus Horatius Flaccus

3 3 Poet of the Augustan Age after death of Virgil Praised the virtues of morality, justice, courage, and moderation Ovid Wrote about mythology and love. Best known work is Metamorphoses History Livy Wrote a lengthy history of Rome 142 volumes Pompeii Juvenal Wrote bitter satires on loose morals and social problems of empire Tacitus Favored the old republic over life under the self-centered emperors Greek Contributions Plutarch (45-125) Wrote biographies that compared lives of important Greek men Galen physician Ptolemy (85? 165?) Promoted geocentric theory Art & Architecture Aqueducts The Colosseum Circus Maximus Over 250,000 gathered regularly to watch chariot races The Roman Games Chariot races Gladiator contests Wild beast fights Christians were martyred Kept unemployed masses amused Circus Maximus Today The Roman Pantheon Named after the word used for the entire collection of Roman gods. Epicureanism Founded by Epicurus There is nothing to fear in God There is nothing to be alarmed at in death Good is easily obtained Evil is easily endured Lucretius Greatest exponent of Epicureanism in the Roman world Stoicism The highest good is the pursuit of the virtues of: Courage Dignity

4 Duty Simplicity of life Service to fellow men Eastern Influence Eastern mystery religions popular among Romans. Roman emperor was a god too. Roman emperor held the title pontifex maximus ( greatest priest ) Aqueducts Aqueducts The Roman aqueduct at Segovia, Spain, with its arcades, tiers, and round arches constructed of granite, is a fine example of dry masonry. Still in use, the aqueduct has a height of 128 feet (39 meters). Introduction of Christianity Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC Jews scattered throughout the empire Scattered Jews built new centers of worship called synagogues Intro. to Christianity (cont.) Jews influenced by Hellenistic culture Embrace Greek culture and language Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) translated into Greek, because many Jews could no longer understand Hebrew Septuagint The World Made Ready Greek language made the easy exchange of ideas possible. Aided the spread of Christianity The moral decay throughout the empire demonstrated the inability of human religions and philosophy to satisfy the longings of man s soul and provide a standard for moral behavior. Jesus Born in a small Roman province of Judea during reign of Caesar Augustus Demonstrated by word and deed that He was the Son of God. Most Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah. Pontius Pilate Roman governor who sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion Jesus was crucified and buried but rose from the grave on the third day according to scripture The Great Commission Matt. 28:18-19 All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost Stephen 4 Paul The first Christian martyr Originally named Saul Born in Tarsus (in present-day Turkey) Wrote approximately two thirds of the New Testament The Destruction of Jerusalem In AD 66 Jewish discontent flared into open rebellion. In AD 70, Under the leadership of Titus, who would later become emperor, Jerusalem was destroyed Church Organizational Development Christians met in private homes or in the Jewish synagogues The earliest leaders of the church were the apostles As the church spread and the apostles died, men of faith and experience were chosen to administer church affairs. Persecution of the Church Most severe during Roman Empire Christians charged with being disloyal

5 5 Romans considered Christian social misfits and Christianity a threat to their way of life. The first official Roman persecution of Christianity began under Nero (54-68) Sporadic persecution of Christians from Nero until 250 Beginning in 250, persecution intensified death by sword crucifixion wild beasts fire burning in oil Most widespread persecution occurred during reign of Diocletian ( ) Destroyed churches Burned Scriptures Christians ordered to sacrifice to pagan gods or die Acceptance Edict of Milan (313) Declaration by the Roman emperor Constantine made Christianity legal Ended almost 300 years of persecution Christians now protected by Roman law, favored by the Roman emperor granted privileges by the Roman state. Council of Nicaea Heretic by the name of Arius challenged deity Christ Constantine called for a general council of church leaders to settle controversy Presided over by Constantine Affirmed Christ s deity and the doctrine of the Trinity Branded Arianism a heresy Theodosius I Made Christianity the official and exclusive religion of the Roman state at the end of the 4 th century. Monasticism Monasticism is living life in preparation for or under religious vows. Church Growth As church grows organizational structure becomes more complex hierarchical structure develops that follows Patriarchs bishops of the most important cities of the empire: Jerusalem Alexandria Rome Antioch Constantinople Five Patriarchates Jerusalem - the beginning of the church Antioch early center of the church and the origin of the missionary journeys of Paul Rome the head of the Roman Empire Alexandria another prominent city in the empire as well as a center of intellectual learning Constantinople the capital of the eastern Roman Empire Collapse of the Roman Empire Barbarian invaders enter Roman territories Rome too weak to expel them Political disorder & unstable government. No plan for succession of rulers Ambitious generals plotted & struggled to gain control

6 6 In many cases war broke out between different legions Political turmoil & assassinations Cost: Defense of borders Expense of government Taxes increased Devaluing of currency Moral decay Contentment replaced by greed Reforms and Reorganization Attempts By end of 3 rd century the Roman Empire at point of collapse Diocletion and Constantine introduced strong reforms and delayed the fall of the empire for alomost 2 centuries In 284 Roman army proclaims Diocletian emperor Good administrator Divides Empire Maximian rules western part of empire Temporary stability Diocletian retires and joint rule falls apart Barbarian Invasion Germanic tribes settled along Rome s borders: Angles Saxons Franks Vandals Goths Huns Fierce nomadic tribe out of the Far East

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