Strana et illicita senatorial decree 35 ce
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Strana et Illicita - Senatorial Decree, 35 CE. History, Christianity and the Transformation of the Classical World 100 BCE – 100 CE. A . Century of Turmoil. Social Wars 91 BCE optimates v. populares Spartacan Revolt 73 BCE

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Strana et Illicita - Senatorial Decree, 35 CE

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Strana et Illicita- Senatorial Decree, 35 CE

History, Christianity and the Transformation of the Classical World

100 BCE – 100 CE


A. Century of Turmoil

Social Wars 91 BCEoptimates v. populares

Spartacan Revolt 73 BCE

New Men in power 59 BCE- 1st Triumvirate Crassus, Pompey, Caesar


B. Crossing the Rubicon

  • Julius Caesar d. 44 BCE- Gallic conquests

  • & Cleopatra- Ptolemies


C. The end of the Republic

1. Second Triumvirate 42 BCE

- Octavian, Marc Antony, Lepidus

- Battle of Actium 31 BCE


Age of the Emperors

Octavian changes name to Caesar Augustus

“Invisible Monarchy”

Senate remains, but republic is lost


D. The Roman Soul in Crisis

  • Mystery Cults- secret rituals- required initiation- ecstatic response / presence of god- eternal life

  • Monotheism? Gaia – “Mother Earth”

    Cicero106-43 BCEStoicism – duty to one’s role divine providence


II. Early Christianity & the Classical World


A. Traditions in conflict

Judah the Maccabee Hasmoneans 165-63 BCE- Hebrews v. Hellenism- cosmopolitan v. traditionalist Seleucid Kingdom


B. Hebrew Resistance to Rome

  • Pompey & the Pirates

  • Judea 63 BCE

    Pompey in the Temple of Jerusalem


3. Division- Sadduceesqualified interactionwritten law- Hasidim cultural purity

Pharisees prophetic visionslife after deathHillel the Elder“Golden Rule”

Zealots (6 CE)


4. Grassroots fervor

- John the Baptist

“generation of vipers!”

Critic of Hebrew leaders


C. Joshua ben Joseph ca. 6-30 CE

  • Populist- Jewish tradition- miracle worker

    Messiah (?)


  • Progressive

    - Sermon on the Mount [Matthew]

    - appeal to/for the powerless, despised

    “spirit of the law”


III. From Cult to Institution


A. The Cult of Christ

  • Maintained cult as Jewish sect

    - circumcision; Torah

    - conversion to Judaism

    - baptism; eucharist

    James


  • Messiah?- Again with the Gentiles

    - stumbling block: the crucifixion

  • We’re not with them- Roman / Hebrew War, 66-73 CE- Gospels: blame the Jews

    Masada


  • Pagans for Jesus- mythologyOsiris, Tammuz, Dionysus, Horus

    - women & slaves

    - the End is near (look busy)

    5. Appeal and threat

    - Decius r. 249-251


B. Paul of Tarsus 5-67 CE

  • Paul’s vision

    - completion of Jewish history

    - scripturally based: “Old” (Hellenized Jews)

    “New” Testament

    Gospels (second-hand)Epistles (letters of instruction)Acts (Church history)Revelation (crisis literature)


  • Break from Hebrew tradition

    - salvation was gift (grace)

    - salvation open to non-Jews

    - salvation dependent on faith, membership, & ritual

    MYSTERY CULT


  • Hierarchy

    - patriarchates

    - bishops; presbyters; deacons/deaconesses

    - ecclesiae

    Roman model

    Limited role of women (1 Corinthians)- subordinate to Church- subordinate to husbands


  • Roll call of the damned – 1 Corinthians

    - creation of the “other”- paganism; fornicators (homosexuality ?)

    - Roman decline

    - echo of Augustus

    emphasized Greco-Roman concept of jurisprudence

    - spirit and letter of the law


  • Salvation always in peril – the Devil

    - ZoroastrianismAhura Mazda – singular; all goodevil exists independently

    - demons n’stuff

    - problems of perfection


Paul organized early Christianity and made it appealing to a wide array of people...

…but it was Roman oppression that gave Christians an added sense of identity through shared hardship


IV. Rome in the Augustan Age


Why an Emperor?

  • [Rhetorical] defense of Republican virtues

  • Reform / civic peace

  • The Pax Romana31 BCE - 192 CE


A. Invisible monarchy

  • What’s in a name?

    - Consul, Augustus 27 BCE, Governor

    - Imperium Maius, imperator

    - princeps civitatus

  • Reform the Senate

    3. Build Equestrian class


B. Army reform

  • Addition by subtraction

    - 60 to 28 legions

    - dispersal

    - Praetorian Guard


2. The Legionnaires

- standing army / navy

- long tours

- chance for promotion

- veterans benefits

  • The Auxiliaries

    - chance for citizenship

    Army was a crucial instrument in spreading influence


C. Make the world “Rome”

Little Romes

- fusion of cultures

- loyal patricians

- bureaucracy


D. Moral Regeneration

  • The “family values” Emperor

    - tax breaks for kids

    - stiff penalties for adultery, the unmarried “virtue”

    2. Pontifexmaximus

    - “Cult of the Genius of the Emperor”

    What links the Empire together?


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