Territorial and Christian Empires The Roman Empire, 31 B.C.E.-410 C.E. Territorial and Christian Empires The Big Picture Second Triumvirate Death of Caesar 44 B.C.E. Five Good Emperors Pax Romana
50 C.E. Edict of Tolerance Persecution of Christians 350 C.E. 2 The Pax Romana Caesars Murder (44 B.C.E.) The Second Triumvirate (43-33 B.C.E.): Approved by the Senate. Marc Antony: Caesars right-hand man, manager of his wealth, powerful general, and aggressive toward the Senate. Governs Egypt,
Greece, and the eastern provinces. Octavian: Talented 19-year-old grandnephew and adopted son of Caesar who called himself Caesar. Governs Italy and the western provinces. Lepidus: One of Caesars most loyal governors who rules North Africa under the Second Triumvirate arrangement. Cleopatra: Anthonys relationship with Cleopatra, who bore him twins, caused tensions in Rome. Rumors spread that Anthony wanted to move the Roman capitol to Alexandria, which kept him from marrying Cleopatra. 3 The Pax Romana Civil War: To firm up the alliance between Octavian and Marc Antony,
Antony married Octavia, Octavians sister, and impregnated her. But then Anthony left for Egypt, and returned to Cleopatra. Leaving Octavia alone, and dissolving the alliance between the families, and allowing for the struggle over who would rule Rome to start again. Battle of Actium (31 B.C.E.): Anthony and Cleopatra risked everything in a naval battle near the city of Actium on Greeces west coast. Octavians forces crushed their navy, and the couple abandoned their troops and fled to Egypt, leaving Octavian in control. Death of Anthony and Cleopatra: Octavians land forces pursued the couple to Egypt, and Anthony committed suicide. Cleopatra refused to be taken prisoner, and supposedly let a poisonous asp bite her chest. Cleopatras death marked the end of the last Hellenistic kingdom. 4 The Pax Romana
A New Form of Governing Augustus: Octavian creates a new form of government that doesnt offend the conservative Romans. On Jan. 1, 27 B.C.E., the young general appears before the Senate and declares that he has brought peace to Rome. Like Cincinnatus, he says hell step down from power. The Senate responds by giving him the title of Augustus, a name that implied majesty and holiness. Principate: Octavian modestly calls himself princeps, meaning first citizen. The government he created was thus called the principate. 5 The Pax Romana A New Form of Governing
Governmental Structure: Octavian allowed the Senate to maintain its old roles, as did many of the magistrates and other government officials. The power of the Senate even increased, as he allowed it to administer some territories and take over many of the elections from the assemblies. The vast complexity of the many provinces and the management of the army required a special magistrate: the princeps. By 70 B.C.E., the princeps was increasing known as imperator, or emperor, which was a term that troops had called their generals. Praetorian Guard: Augustus created a special unit of personal bodyguards, who later would achieve considerable political influence. 6 The Pax Romana
A New Form of Governing Changes in the Administration of the Provinces: Augustus created a foreign service that drew upon the equestrian (wealthy plebeian) class. About half of the provincesincluding wealthy Egyptstayed under his direct. He eliminated private tax collectors, and stationed troops permanently in the provinces and maintain fixed borders. Administrative Capacity: Only a few thousand Romans administered some 50 million people by maintaining peace, collecting taxes, and preventing power from accumulating. The system worked for centuries after Augustuss death, even through the reigns of some very corrupt emperors. 7 The Pax Romana
Augustus of Prima Porta Sculpted ca. 20 B.C.E., what does this statute tell you about Romans hopes and ideas about Augustus? Depicted in military garb, not the toga of a politician Is barefoot with Cupid at his leg, referring to his semi-divinity as a supposed descendent of the goddess Venus. Augustus did not allow himself to be worshipped as a god, but the idea that he was semi-divine spread.
8 The Pax Romana Augustan Literature Virgils Aeneid: The greatest piece of literature of the Augustan Age was produced under the emperors patronage, composed ca. 29-19 B.C.E. It is an epic poem of a Trojan hero, Aeneas, who wanders the Mediterranean until he and his people settle and create the precursor to Rome. The poem associated the principate and Roman world domination with the values of the early Roman republic. It echoed Homer, but the values of Aeneas were closer to those of Publius Vergilius Maro Augustus rather than Achilles. Like Homer, the Vergil
70 19 B.C.E. did create a document that encompassed Roman values that would serve as a guide for centuries. 9 The Pax Romana Augustan Literature Virgils Aeneid First Lines (excerpt from The Invocation of the Muse) Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto vi superum saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram I sing of arms and the man, he who, exiled by fate, first came from the coast of Troy to Italy, and to
Lavinian shoreshurled about endlessly by land and sea, by the will of the gods, by cruel Junos remorseless anger 10 The Pax Romana Augustan Literature Livys Historia: Livy (59 B.C.E.-17 C.E.) was Romes greatest historian. His work. The History of Rome (composed ca. 26 B.C.E. to 15 C.E.) recounted the development of the city, and included many famous speeches. Like Vergil, he emphasized the importance of Roman religion and morality, and recognized that the future lay with new imperial form of government. 11
The Pax Romana Challenges to the Principate, 69-193 C.E. Augustuss Successors: After Augustuss death, no one could imagine pursuing any other means of governance than the principate, but at the same time, no one appeared as qualified or capable as the original first citizen. None of Augustuss immediate successors were as capable or talented as he was. The problem of succession would plague the government for the rest of Roman history. Tiberius (r. 14-37 C.E.): Augustuss stepson and successor, according to one historian pursued sexual extravagances and became increasingly isolated, feeling that he did not have to answer to public opinion, retiring to a villa on Capri in his later years. On occasion, he would have people executed for capricious and unjust reasons. 12
The Pax Romana Challenges to the Principate, 69-193 C.E. Augustuss Successors: The great and wise Augustus was followed by a group of terrible emperors; it is remarkable the government even survived. The following succeeded the paranoid and withdrawn Tiberius: Caligula (r. 37-41 C.E.): This irrational if not insane emperor pursued extreme pleasures and wanted to be worshiped as a god. The Praetorian Guard assassinated him to preserve order. Claudius (r. 41-54 C.E.): The Romans viewed him as a weak-willed man possibly controlled by his wives. Nero (r. 54-69 C.E.): Of the whole bad bunch, he was the most excessive and tyrannical murder. He even murdered his own mother (trying to poison her three times), and suffered from extreme paranoia. His own guard abandoned him so to avoid public execution, he had his slave cut his throat. Nero was the last emperor to have a direct family connection to Augustus.
13 The Pax Romana Challenges to the Principate, 69-193 C.E. A New Dynasty: Luckily for Rome, a competent emperor, Vespasian (6981 C.E.), took power in 69 C.E., who had no family connections to Augustus, starting a new dynasty called the Flavians. Yet his own son, Domitian (r. 81-96), proved murderous and corrupt; but his assassination did usher in a new era of peace. Five Good Emperors (r. 96-180 C.E.): These rulers increasingly centralized power at the expense of the Senate, but with simplicity and an adherence to old republican values. The five were Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius Marcus Aurelius (r. 161-180 C.E.): Perhaps the most famous of the Five Good Emperors, he was a stoic philosopher in his own right, with his
thoughts being published in his Meditations (171- ca. 180 C.E.), which noted that those in power should remain humble since flatterers are 14 frequently wrong. The Pax Romana Challenges to the Principate, 69-193 C.E. Provincial Defense: Centuries of Roman military presence brought Roman-style cities, agriculture, and culture to the frontiers of the empire, from Great Britain to Spain to North Africa to the Middle East. Maintaining these farflung territories meant that emperors spent extended periods away from Rome, like Hadrian (r. 117-138 C.E.), who spent 12 of his 21-year rule abroad, establishing fortifications and checking on provincial administration.
15 The Pax Romana HADRIANS WALL (border of England and Scotland) 16 The Pax Romana Challenges to the Principate, 69-193 C.E. End of the Five Good Emperors: The four predecessors of Marcus Aurelius (r. 161-180 C.E.) did not have sons, so they hand-picked their successors, and thus chose good men. But Marcus Aurelius did have a son, and he was really not fit for leadeship: Commodus (r. 180-192). Cruel,
murderous, but simple-minded, he loved the gladiatorial games so much that he shocked Romans by appearing in the arena as a gladiator himself, dressed as Hercules. His murder in 192 C.E. brought civil strife and an end to the Pax Romana. 17 City of Rome During the Empire 18 The Pax Romana A Vibrant, Far-Flung Empire Running an Empire: It is hard for us to manage in an age of instant communication how difficult the management of an empire the size of
Romes was when the fastest information could move was at the speed of a horse. And remarkably, it continued to work smoothly even when vicious and corrupt emperors were in power. Colonies: Romans had created colonies to give land to soldiers since the time of the Republic. Augustus expanded the idea, giving land and citizenship to auxiliary non-citizen troops in exchange for 24 years of service. Cities across the empire all had the same amenities: theaters, bathhouses, a colosseum, and well-built roads (many of which still exist today). 19 The Roman Empire, 44 B.C.E.-284 C.E. 20
The Pax Romana A Vibrant, Far-Flung Empire Provincial Administration: Local officials took care of daily governance, collecting taxes to maintain public servicess like water systems and public markets. They collected census data on populations and agricultural production, and sent these reports back to their superiors in Rome. Some accountability to central authority and the Romanization of colonized peoples held the empire together. Roads and Transportation: Hauling goods overland was enormously expensive; it was cheaper to send goods across the Mediterranean than ship them 75 miles overland. Yet Roman roads were of a high quality, and officials created a system that provided fresh horses to travelers and that monitored the movement of heavy goods was set up. Those who traveled lightly could cover as much as 90 miles in a day. Imperial Diversity: The empire boasted an astounding multi-ethnic
composition. Education often encompassed three languages: Latin, Greek, and a local language. Climates ranged from rainy Britain to desert North Africa. Merchants traveled constantly, and 300,000 soldiers were constantly on the 21 move to defend 6,000 miles of border. Life During the Peace of Rome A New Decadence Extremes of Wealth and Poverty: The extreme difference between rich and poor had begun during the Republic, but those with money started to flaunt it in a way that would have been frowned upon previously. Silks and embroidery replaced the rough wool of the republican toga. Satirists made fun of women with excessive make-up and elaborate hairstyles, and men who dressed flamboyantly. Pompeii: The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E. provides a
snapshot of regular urban life in Rome in time. The hot ash literally froze people in the midst of their daily routines, from bakers to fishmongers to wealthy men and women in their villas. 22 Life During the Peace of Rome The Problem with Population and Medicine Legislating Morality: Laws first passed by Augustus against people who remained unmarried too long or committed adulteryall meant to strengthen family values were largely ignored under the empire. Birthrates: Strangely, Roman birthrates plummeted during the empire. Augustus passed a law that exempted females from male guardianship if they gave birth to three children.
Women continued to practice a range of forms of birth control and abortions. 23 Life During the Peace of Rome The Problem with Population and Medicine Sexual and Medical Misunderstandings: Contrary to our understanding of the Romans, they were relatively conservative about sex. They thought sex drained male vital life forces, and thought the semen was created from brain fluid and thus needed to be conserved. Doctors also thought that women were most fertile after their menstrual periods. These misunderstandings contributed to the societys reproductive problems. Galen (131-201 C.E.): Despite these misunderstandings, Roman medicine was very influential for the next 1,500 years. Galen, a
physician, used methods of scientific observation and even vivisection to understand various processes. He mostly believed that disease was a product of excesses and imbalances within the body between the four humors: blood, bile, urine, and phlegm. If a person was feverish or 24 flushed, he or she had an excess of blood and needed to be bled. Life During the Peace of Rome The Games The Arena: Under the Empire, the arena replaced the Forum as a place for the expression of popular will. Bread and Circuses kept the masses under control. Colosseum: Built by Emperor Vespasian ca. 70-80 C.E. as a gift to the people, it
could seat 50,000 and featured an elaborate retractable awning to protect spectators from the sun. Hypogeum: Today, the ruins of the structure reveal an elaborate system of tunnels and cells underneath what would have been the arenas wooden floor. This area housed prisoners awaiting execution and wild animals used in the shows. 25 Life During the Peace of Rome A Day at the Colosseum: In the morning crowds would gather to watch executions of condemned criminals, often by wild animals like panthers or lions. In the later Empire, Christians would be executed in this way. The
afternoon would feature gladiator contests, who at first were condemned criminals trained to fight; later slaves were trained for the purpose. At first they were part of funeral rites for emperors, but they became more frequent, with games being sponsored by the state or wealthy men wanting to curry the favor of the people. 26 Crisis and Transformation The Military Monarchy: Septimius Severus (r. 193-211) Power of the Army: The army had grown strong under the military policies of the Five Good Emperors, so after the assassination of Commodus, they flexed their political muscle and placed a prominent general
on the throne, Septimius Severus. Militarization: His coming to power marked the militarization of the principate, and a break from Roman tradition. He was from North Africa and spoke Latin with a foreign accent. His power was not derived from cooperation with the Senate, as it had been with Augustus, but from the army, thus creating a military dictatorship. He also raised the pay of soldiers to guarantee their loyalty, and militarized many civilian offices, strengthening the overall power of the army. 27 Crisis and Transformation The Military Monarchy Severan Dynasty: Septimius Severuss successors were not as effective, starting with his son Caracalla (211-217), a ruthless emperor who was murdered while on campaign.
Period of Chaos: From 235 to 285, many generals from all over the empire challenged current throne-holders, leading to a period of constant fighting and a series of what historians have called barrack-room emperors. Border Wars: during the 200s, the empires borders increasingly challenged by Germanic tribes to the north and the Persians to the east. Recession, Inflation, and Plague: Also during the 200s, Romans faced inflation since territorial expansion stopped but the demand for luxury goods did not. Currency became debased so as to lose a tremendous amount of value. Making matters worse, plague spread from China of the Silk Road trade route. 28 Crisis and Transformation
The Reforms of Diocletian, 285-305 C.E. Living God: Diocletian was a general who rose to the rank of emperor and insisted on the title Lord and demanded to be worshipped as a god (emperors had often been deified after their deaths), thus ending the principate. Tetrarchy: To overcome problems of communication and succession, Diocletain split the governance of the Empire between four men, creating the tetrarchy in 293 C.E. He ruled the wealthy East and his partner, Maximian, ruled the West. The two augusti adopted a caesara junior emperoras successor to each. Military Reforms: Diocletian reversed the policy of Septimius Severus by once again separating civilian and military offices, so generals could not be governors of territories and lead armies at the same time. Economic Reforms: To control inflation, Diocletian imposed price and wage freezes, which helped but led to a thriving black market economy.
These reforms often made the well off retreat from public life, becoming 29 increasingly isolated on their great estates known as latifundia. Diocletians Division of the Empire, 304 C.E. 30 Crisis and Transformation The Capital Moves East The Tetrarchy Dissolves: Diocletian and Maximian stepped down in 305 C.E. as planned, but succession did not proceed smoothly, with much fighting and strife. Constantine: A son of Maximians chosen caesar, Constantine (r. 306-337), gained the upper hand by 324 C.E.
after a series of civil wars between those with claims to the tetrarchy. Nova Roma: In 330 C.E., Constantine decided to build a new capital for the Empire on the site of the old Greek city of Byzantium, located on the seaway between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, on the trade route between Europe and Asia. The influence of Rome and the old Roman Senate had little to do with the governance of the Empire anymore. The city later became known as Constantinople; over a thousand years later it would be renamed Istanbul, after its conquest by Islamic forces. 31 Crisis and Transformation The Capital Moves East Western Provinces Under Pressure: Germanic tribes from the north increasingly pressured the borders, while people with power and wealth
retreated into the confines of their estates, even hiring their own mercenary armies rather than rely on the central government for protection. After Constantines death in 337, some emperors even invited the Germans in, although they were treated poorly. Roman Defeat: In 378 C.E., a Roman force under Emperor Valens was beaten by a smaller force of Goths, who used cavalry to smash the Roman lines, thus destroying the centuries-old reputation of invincibility of the Roman legions. Emperor Valens himself was killed in the battle. Sack of Rome: In 410 C.E., a marauding Germanic tribe, the Visigoths, sacked Rome. There continued to be a western emperor and a co-ruler in Constantinople, but the western empire began to lose any real political or military existence. 32 The Longing for Religious
Fulfillment Religious Longing: Romans strayed further from the traditional Roman gods as their empire expanded and enveloped different cultures, but a religious longing persisted that expressed itself in a variety of philosophies, movements, and cults that had their origins across the empire. Neoplatonism: Derived from traditional Platonic philsophy, this spiritual philosophy gained influence among the educated classes in the late empire. It argued that every person contained a spark of the divine that could be cultivated through serious contemplation. It created an elaborate system that tried to map out the connection between the human and the divine, and had strong mystical elements. 33
The Longing for Religious Fulfillment Mystery Cults The cults that had spread during the Hellenistic period became even more popular during the late Roman Empire. They were called mystery cults because one had to be initiated into the secret rites of the religion. Cult of Dionysus: Men and women believed they could get closer to this ancient Greek god of wine and rebirth through drinking, engaging in sex acts, and eating the raw flesh of beasts. Such rites helped bring on an ecstatic state. Cult of Isis: The cult of the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, became and her consort Osirisknown as Serapis in the Greco-Roman world also being important. The emperor Septimius Severus, a North African, often had he and his wife depicted as Serapis and Isis. Mithraism: This cult was popular among Roman soldiers and revolved
around a Persian god, Mithras, who slew a bull and who took part in a ritual feast with a sun god. Feasting in underground chambers were part 34 of the rites that the soldier undertook. The Longing for Religious Fulfillment The Faces of Judaism Judaism had split into several different sects by the time of Augustus. Herod had been made king of Judah with Roman support, and was unpopular among Jews, exacerbating communal divisions. Sadducees: Mostly the priestly elite who were focused on worship at the Temple in Jerusalem. They were conservative, rejecting new ideas like angels and the resurrection of the dead. But they were willing to compromise with Roman authorities as long as the Temple was secure.
They were no longer influential after Emperor Titus destroyed the Temple in 70 C.E. Pharisees: This group emphasized Jewish purity laws and refused all compromise with the Hellenized world, adhering strictly to dietary laws and maintaining their separateness. They did accept new ideas about angels and resurrection, and emphasized private worship of Jews 35 all over the Roman world, not just worship at the Temple. The Longing for Religious Fulfillment The Faces of Judaism Zealots: This group advocated open military revolt against Roman rule, and restoring Israel as an independent state. This group frequently clashed with Roman authorities.
Essenes: This group retreated from the world by setting up a community on a mountain in the desert, alienating themselves from the Temple cult. The Essenes were largely forgotten until 1947, when a shepherd boy found jars deep in a cave holding scrolls created by this sect, which became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Messiah: Many Jews began believing in the coming of the Messiah during this turbulent era, a savior of the Jewish people. The Zealots thought he would be a political leader, while the Essenes thought he was going to be a spiritual teacher. Into this environment Jesus of Nazareth was born. 36 Israel at the Time of Jesus 37
The Longing for Religious Fulfillment The Jesus Movement Jesus: He was born during the reign of Augustus, around 4 B.C.E., possibly in Bethlehem, which is ten miles from Jerusalem. The gospels and other sources say little about his first 30 years. Heavenly Kingdom: He spoke not of political revolution, but of a heavenly kingdom. For three years, he preached a message of peace, love, and caring for the poor and suffering, drawing huge crowds. His growing popularity alarmed both Jewish and Roman authorities, so around 29 C.E., the Roman governor Pontius Pilate sentenced him to death by crucifixion. Apostles: Jesuss followers claimed to have seen him resurrected from the dead three days after his execution, proving his divinity and
promise of resurrection. The apostles took it upon themselves to spread Jesuss message to other Jews, most notably Peter, who preached to 38 Gentiles, but said theyd have to keep Jewish dietary restrictions. The Longing for Religious Fulfillment The Jesus Movement and the Jews Paul of Tarsus: The question of accepting non-Jews (called Gentiles) into the Jesus movement was a tricky one. Paul of Tarsus, Hellenized Jew who did not know Jesus in his lifetime, saw a vision of Jesus and was instructed to not limit the message just to Jewish communities. He removed dietary restrictions from the requirements of Christian practice and traveled across the eastern Empire to spread the message to both Jews and Gentiles alike.
Destruction of the Temple: Soon after the death of Peter and Paul, religions tensions between Jews and Roman came to head, particularly with the Zeaolots, and Titus, the son of Emperor Vespasian, led an army the sacked and destroyed Jerusalem and the great Temple, leaving only the Wailing Wall intact. 39 The Longing for Religious Fulfillment The Jesus Movement and the Jews Dispersion of Jews: With the Roman attack, the Essene community at Qumran was destroyed even before troops approached Jerusalem. Jews scattered all over Judaea and the Mediterranean, taking many followers of the Jesus movement with them. Resolving Tensions within Judaism: The destruction of the
Temple resolved many tensions: the Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots were all destroyed, and Pharisee practice became ascendant out of necessity (they and the Essenes were the sects that did not tie worhsip to the Temple). Spread of Christianity: Jerusalems destruction also guaranteed that Christianity would not be based in one city. 40 The Spread of Christianity to 311 C.E. 41 The Longing for Religious Fulfillment Early Christian Communities
Small Urban Groups: Christians initially came together in urban areas, meeting once a week at each others houses since there were not yet designated places of worship. They read scripture and prayed together, and culminated the ceremony in the Eucharist: the eating of pieces of bread and drinking wine that represented Jesuss body and blood. Slow but Steady Growth: By the third century, one estimate puts the number of Christians at 200,000 across the Empire, or less than 0.5 percent of the population. Despite their small numbers, their presence in urban centers sometimes put them in conflict with Roman authorities. 42 From Christian Persecution to the City of God
Looking for Christian Scapegoats Conflict with Conservative Romans: In general, conservative Romans frowned upon any religious innovations, but particularly disdained a movement that included the poor, slaves, and women within its congregation as equals. Catacombs: The Christian belief in resurrection led the community to want to keep the bodies of the dead nearby, so they built secret underground tunnels in which to keep their dead. They may have also hid there in times of persecution. Scapegoating: Emperor Nero initiated the long Roman tradition of persecuting Christians by looking for a group to blame for the devastating fire in Rome, launching a persecution campaign in 64 C.E. Many Christians who were brought to the arena to die did so bravely, leading to more converts. 43
From Christian Persecution to the City of God Looking for Christian Scapegoats Emperors Decius and Diocletian: Under these emperors, Romans were required to sacrifice to the emperor and obtain a certificate of compliance. Many Christians defied these orders and were executed in the arena, often by wild animals. Constantine (r. 306-337): Emperor Constantine supposedly had a vision before a battle that told him to fight under the sign of the cross. He did so and won, leading him to support the Christian movement. In 313, he issued an edict of toleration, and ended the persecution of Christians. Furthermore, he gave Christian priests tax advantages, allowed Christian advisors into his inner circle, and even had family members who were Christians. He supposedly converted on his death
bed. 44 From Christian Persecution to the City of God The Empire Adopts Christianity Emperor Theodosius I (r. 379-395): He forbid the worship of the old Roman cults, thereby making Christianity the official religion of the Empire. Jews, Christians, and Pagans: Judaism remained strong, while those who clung to old Roman beliefs became known as pagans, from the word pagani, which means a backward peasant, which demonstrates Christianitys hold on urban centers. Christianity Changes: The merging of government and religion changed both Christianity and the Empire. Rather than gathering in houses, Christians gathered in elaborate churches that displayed great wealth. Theologian Augustine complained that some converted only to impress the wealthy. Depictions of Jesus Christ go from
being a humble shepherd to a figure wearing imperial purple robes. Christian organization Religious disagreements City of God 45 From Christian Persecution to the City of God The Empire Adopts Christianity Christian Organization: The Church began to imitate the civil organization of Rome as it had been rearranged under Diocletian, with local units known as dioceses, and placed bishops in charge of these. Challenging Emperors: As the church became stronger, it began to challenge the emperors, such as when the bishop of
Milan criticized Theodosius for massacring rebellious citizens, excommunicating him from the church until he repented. Later, bishops of Rome came to be known as popes, who headed of the church, and took on more earthly power. 46 From Christian Persecution to the City of God The Empire Adopts Christianity Augustine (354-430): The influential theologian, in his work, City of God, tried to work out the complexities of Christianitys new position of working within a sympathetic rather than a hostile state. He was also well known for his Confessions, which described his struggles with his habits of lust. City of God: In this work, Augustine explained that the world and cities were populated by people in constant struggle between their earthly and spiritual
selves. Those who allowed the spiritual to prevail lived in a heavenly City of God, while those who allowed earthly matters to predominate lived in earthly cities. The community of the faithful existed outside of this world, and would predominate at the end of time, and thus people should not worry about Romes sacking. Augustine drew on his Neoplatonist background heavily in this work. Heresy: Over time, the state became involved in policing the correct doctrine. Those who were labeled heretics veered from mainstream Christian thought, and frequently were punished, and even put to death. 47 From Christian Persecution to the City of God The New Roman Roman Life Transformed: Under Christian influence, gladiatorial games were forbidden, replaced entirely by chariot
races. Classical literature, like Vergil, could be read, but only to extract a Christian message (Vergil and Plato to some extent were considered pre-Christians). Christians placed greater emphasis on caring for the poor. Christian Sexuality: Some Christian leaders promoted celibacy as the ideal life, while others encouraged the duty to marry and procreate. Yet Augustine wrote that even intercourse within marriage was somewhat suspect, and that Christians needed to police themselves constantly against lustful urges. 48 The Holy Life The Influence of Holy People Ascetics: Some people retreated alone into the desert to live a completely spartan existence that would not interfere with this
contemplation. Monasticism: Others chose to retreat in to highly disciplined and sexually chaste communities organized around prayer and contemplation. 49