Strana et Illicita
- Senatorial Decree, 35 CE
History, Christianity and the Transformation
of the Classical World
100 BCE – 100 CE
A. Century of Turmoil
1.
Social Wars 91 BCE
optimates v. populares
2.
Spartacan Revolt 73 BCE
3.
New Men in power
59 BCE
- 1st Triumvirate
Crassus, Pompey, Caesar
B. Crossing the Rubicon
1.
Julius Caesar
- Gallic conquests
2.
& Cleopatra
- Ptolemies
d. 44 BCE
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
1.
Mystery Cults
- secret rituals
- required initiation
- ecstatic response / presence of god
- eternal life
2.
Monotheism?
Gaia – “Mother Earth”
Cicero 106-43 BCE
Stoicism – duty to one’s role
divine providence
II. Early Christianity & the
Classical World
A. Traditions in conflict
1.
Judah the Maccabee
Hasmoneans 165-63 BCE
- Hebrews v. Hellenism
- cosmopolitan v. traditionalist
Seleucid Kingdom
B. Hebrew Resistance to Rome
1.
Pompey & the Pirates
2.
Judea
63 BCE
Pompey in the Temple of Jerusalem
3. Division
- Sadducees
qualified interaction
written law
- Hasidim
cultural purity
Pharisees
Hillel the Elder
Zealots (6 CE)
prophetic visions
life after death
“Golden Rule”
4. Grassroots fervor
- John the Baptist
“generation of vipers!”
Critic of Hebrew leaders
C. Joshua ben Joseph ca. 6-30 CE
1.
Populist
- Jewish tradition
- miracle worker
Messiah (?)
2.
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
1.
Maintained cult as Jewish sect
- circumcision; Torah
- conversion to Judaism
- baptism; eucharist
James
2.
Messiah?
- Again with the Gentiles
- stumbling block: the crucifixion
3.
We’re not with them
- Roman / Hebrew War, 66-73 CE
- Gospels: blame the Jews
Masada
4.
Pagans for Jesus
- mythology
Osiris, Tammuz, Dionysus, Horus
- women & slaves
- the End is near (look busy)
5.
Appeal and threat
- Decius
r. 249-251
B. Paul of Tarsus
1.
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)
2.
Break from Hebrew tradition
- salvation was gift (grace)
- salvation open to non-Jews
- salvation dependent on faith, membership, & ritual
MYSTERY CULT
3.
Hierarchy
- patriarchates
- bishops; presbyters; deacons/deaconesses
- ecclesiae
Roman model
Limited role of women (1 Corinthians)
- subordinate to Church
- subordinate to husbands
4.
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
5
Salvation always in peril – the Devil
- Zoroastrianism
Ahura Mazda – singular; all good
evil 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?
1.
[Rhetorical] defense of Republican virtues
2.
Reform / civic peace
3.
The Pax Romana
31 BCE - 192 CE
A. Invisible monarchy
1.
What’s in a name?
Augustus 27 BCE,
- Imperium Maius, imperator
- princeps civitatus
- Consul,
2.
Reform the Senate
3. Build Equestrian class
Governor
B. Army reform
1.
Addition by subtraction
- 60 to 28 legions
- dispersal
- Praetorian Guard
2. The Legionnaires
- standing army / navy
- long tours
- chance for promotion
- veterans benefits
3.
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
1.
The “family values” Emperor
- tax breaks for kids
- stiff penalties for adultery, the unmarried
“virtue”
2. Pontifex maximus
- “Cult of the Genius of the Emperor”
What links the Empire together?
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The Transformation of the Classical World, 192