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Pax Romana To The Pax Mundi: Perception Collusion Of Post Hellenistic Civilizations

1699 words - 7 pages

The year 27 C.E. saw to the end of the renowned and glorious Roman Republic after the mutual suicides of Mark Antony and Cleopatra and Octavian’s ascension to Roman rule in 29 B.C.E. Despite its dissolution into the tomes of history, Roman Republicanism became a mentality and personality of those living beneath it. Rome had its influence draped all across the Mediterranean world, stretching from Hadrian’s Wall in upper Britannia to the shores of southern Egypt, from the coast of the Black sea to the Strait of Gibraltar (Tignor et al. 263). Interestingly enough, the collusion of cultures already smacked of Hellenism by the time of Roman Empirical expansion so marginal civilizations, notably a newly-reformed Judaic one, were not nearly as overwhelmed as expectation would have it. Judaism/Christianity contextualized and supplanted many of the cultural vestiges floating around the Levant with its own set of moral and social laws outlined in the Torah and Pentateuch. And though these laws stood apart from Roman law, Jews adored Hellenism where it could convenience them; the similarities of Hellenism to stoicism would prove amicable to the transition between ruling bodies. Standing at its polar opposite is the paternalism of Rome which commoditized human life for the sake of commerce and privatizing land. By virtue (or vice) of distance and circumstance, regard to the Roman Empire in the first century B.C.E. would vary wildly between a Roman patrician and a Palestinian Jew: the former with disdain for its collectivist practices, the latter with felicity for the more rational ideologies they espoused.
After the revolt of the Maccabees brothers in 166 B.C.E and the subsequent introduction of Hellenism by Alexander the Great, paradoxically Jewish culture adopted sweeping changes, most notably in the cataloguing of their beliefs in a koine Bible (Tignor et. al. 214). Hellenism’s appeal of reason and logic became integral parts to the Jewish weave that would have extended into Palestine by way of scholastic solidarity. Philo of Alexandria (20 B.C.E-50 C.E.) made vocal his appreciation for tools of a more profound understanding of holy texts, stating that he “not only…read the sacred messages of Moses, but also in [his] love of knowledge [he wanted to] peer into each of them and unfold and reveal what is not known to the multitude” (HR 98). Hellenism begot a more thorough relationship with Judaism as a religion for its followers. This new theological approach was afforded to Jews by the cosmopolitan phenomenon and its affinity for logic, which Philo (among others—Maimonides, for example) applied ontologically. Moreover, the logically necessary, and dogmatically irrefutable, universalism in tow with God parallels the central ideas behind stoicism (HR 111). Seeing as how cosmopolitan the Mediterranean world had become, one law filtered directly from a universal force would appeal to the Jews in a religiopolitical sense (HR 111). This would be mainly due to...

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