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Roman Empire - Essay Example

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Most scholars view Christianity as one of the main reasons that led to its decline. Millions of people ruled by Rome lived hopeless lives where death was inevitable…
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Fall of the Roman Empire There were various proceedings that led to the fall of the Roman Empire, a decline that took about 500 years. Most scholars view Christianity as one of the main reasons that led to its decline. Millions of people ruled by Rome lived hopeless lives where death was inevitable. Christianity taught them that there was life after death. The emperor, Constantine eventually converted to a Christian and assured his subjects protection. The people’s attitude changed from antagonistic to pacifistic and, as a result, their defense weakened and they were overwhelmed by the barbarian attackers (“IHA”).
At the same time, there was high inflation at the empire, and its economy was deteriorating. The state was under constant threats of bankruptcy because its inhabitants resisted sharing the empire’s wealth. Large amounts of gold were sent to the orient to cater for luxury goods that led to a decline on the gold available to make coins. Its currency devalued, and people had to return bartering system of trade (“IHA”).
The empire also had heavy military spending. Its constant wars saw the army overstretched, and it started recruiting the conquered barbarians and other foreign mercenaries. The barbarians later joined up with outside forces to fight the empire. At one time, the Roman soldiers were moved to fight in Italy civil wars leaving their borders with little resistance to German mercenaries (“IHA”).
2) Periods of Roman Literature
The Golden Period
The period ranged approximately 80 BC to 20 AD. During this period, the Latin Language was perfected as a literary medium. Some of the main and outstanding Latin masterpieces were composed during this period. In it, the Ciceronian Period lasted from 70 BC to 42 BC, and was dominated by Marcus Tullius Cicero. The second was between 43 BC and 20 AD named as the Augustan Age. It featured writers such as Livy, Horace, and Virgil (Spielvogel, 152).
Classical Period
The period ran from 500 BC to 330 BC. It was a great age for arts and literature. Some of the notable figures in this period were Greek dramatists such as Aristophanes and Euripides. They were also influential poets such as Ovid and Horace (Spielvogel, 89-100).
Archaic Period
The period was between 800 BC and 500 BC. Literature from this period includes earliest texts that have preserved as manuscripts. The period marked immaturity both in language and art. Poetry dominated the period with notable figures such as Pacuvius, Ennius, and Accius. Literature also drew from the traditions of other communities’ cultures such as Greece (Spielvogel, 67-79).
3) Roman Architecture and Sculpture
Roman architecture was inspired by the Greek world and its traditions. Most of the European cities still have the architectural masterpieces that demonstrate the power of archaic Rome. Both formal and non-formal architecture such as basilicas, temples, and bridges were crucial unifying factors of the empire. Buildings that formed cities made administrative centers that acted as symbols of power in the Empire. Roman sculpture was also a continuation of Greek sculpture. Romans produced large volumes of civic sculpture that was a way of celebrating important figures and statesmen together with their achievements. The sculptures were in three forms namely; busts, statues, and architectural. Some of the statutes are Equestrian Marcus Aurelius and Augustus of Prima Porta. Another great statue is the Colossus of Constantine.
Apart from reflecting the powers of the Empire, architecture also symbolized Christianity. As the number of Christians increased, there came a demand for new buildings. The rise in Christianity ultimately led to the invention of Norman architecture (Thompson, 13).
4) Christian versus Hebrew Faith
Christian faith is all about people who believe and entrust their faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The faith began in 1st century in Jerusalem then spread to the Roman Empire and other parts of the world. People who are baptized become Christians. Hebrew faith is Judaism and is a religion of the Jewish people. The religion is based on the ethics and principles as detailed in the Hebrew Bible (Viner).
Christians believe Christ was begot by the Holy Trinity. They believe Christ walked on earth while in the incarnate form of his father, God. He was the fulfillment of the prophesy of the coming savior as detailed in the Old Testament. On the other hand, Judaism recognizes Christ as perhaps a prophet of God and a good teacher. Some practices in Christianity are such as prayers, taking sacraments, reading the bible, worshiping in church, and acts of charity. In Hebrew faith, practices are such as praying three times in a day and worshipping in synagogues among others (Viner).
Works Cited
IHA. "The Fall of the Roman Empire." Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association. Web. 15 Nov. 2014. .
Spielvogel, Jackson J. Western Civilization: Comprehensive Volume. 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2000. Print.
Thompson, Arthur. Architectural Design Procedures. 2nd ed. London: Arnold, 2012. Print.
Viner, James. "Christianity vs. Judaism." Christianity vs Judaism. Christ Church Central. Web. 15 Nov. 2014. . Read More
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