Essay on Legacy of Rome and Christianity
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Legacy of Rome and Christianity
Christianity came into existence almost 2000 years ago. Christianity, like
Judaism, rose from obscurity to become the dominant religion of Western culture. Christianity also became the dominant faith of Rome at the end of fourth century A.D.
(Matthews 157.) Both Christianity and Rome influenced Europe in a number of ways. Christianity soon became the greater part of the empire. Between 284 and 476, Roman civilization went through two stages. One stage involved Diocletian's reforms -- paganisms last pinnacle, and the second part, when the empire began to fall after Constantine's reign -- the vibrant Christian age. (Matthews, 174) After this last stage, both secular and Christian writers…show more content…
(Matthews, 234) The influence of Christianity in architecture can best be described in the context of the church -- which dominated art and architecture in the Middle Ages. (Matthews, 235)
When Constantine controlled Rome, the basic form of the church was called a basilica. (Matthews 180) While basilicas varied, the basic shape consisted of a long hallway, "with an apse, or curved wall at the eastern end. Two rows of parallel columns usually divided into a central area, or nave and two side aisles. (Matthews 180) Later, in the High Middle Ages, the Cathedral emerged. Two styles of cathedral were the Romanesque and Gothic. Of these types, the Romanesque was the first. The Romanesque received its name and style from ancient Roman buildings and churches of the Early Middle Ages -- the Church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine in Vézelay, France s an excellent example. (Matthews, 236) The typical Romanesque church consisted of small windows and heavy walls and the floor of the building was in a cruciform shape to symbolize the cross. The Romanesque style also divided the nave into separate sections called bays. "Each bay is framed by a pair of
The Reign of Diocletian Diocletian was born by the name of Diocles at Salona in 245. His parents were freed Dalmatian slaves in Illyricum, which today would be known as Yugoslavia. Diocletian comes from a very meek background. He was married to his wife Prisca and had one daughter named Valeria. (p.451) One of his main accomplishments is that he set a path for a renewed Roman Empire, this was referred to as the "Later Roman Empire or the Byzantine Empire." Diocletian easternized Rome. He took in the ceremonies of the east and implemented them into what we know as the Byzantine Empire. Diocletian was very active in military duties. By being in the military he learned exceptional organization and leadership skills. He fought in the Persian War under Carus. Carus died mysteriously and his son Numerian took over his position. Diocletian then took the position of Carus' son's bodyguard. Soon after that Numerian was murdered and the whole army was in Diocletian's hands. This marked the beginning of the reign of Diocletian. (pgs. 453,454) Diocletian came to power in 284. When he arrived as emperor, Rome was falling apart. Soon Diocletian realized that his Empire was too large for him to rule by himself. In seeing this, he split his empire up into two parts: in the west was the military sector and then in the eastern half was the civilian administrative commands. Diocletian then appointed trusted friends and colleagues to help him rule.(pgs. 258-259) After a year as emperor Diocletian elected Maximian, as co-emperor, to take over the western military section of his empire. Because Maximian had no real political background he left most of the major decision making to Diocletian. After nine years, in 292, they appointed two more men as Caesars. Maximian selected Constantine because of his great military background. Constantine was also the son-in-law of Maximian. He helped rule in the west with the military. The other man Galerius assisted Diocletian in the east with administrative duties. Galerius was the son-in-law of Diocletian. (Pgs.258-259, Pg. 451) With two Augusti and two Caesars, the empire had four rulers which began the tetrarchy. Having so many people ruling over one land, there was no definite division of the empire. Maximian generally ruled Italy from Milan and Constantine ruled Britain, the situation was not so clear in the east....
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