Roman Empire Essay

935 words - 4 pages

Running Head: The Correspondence of Pliny and the Emperor Trajan 3The Correspondence of Pliny and the Emperor TrajanFirstname Lastname CollegeWhat were the chief features of the Roman Empire at its height during the second century CE?According to the textbook, the Roman Empire was at its height during the second century CE. This was a time in which the Roman Empire covered nearly three and a half million miles and had a population estimated to be over fifty million. This was the apex of the empire, and it the Roman Empire was characterized by a variety of distinct features. All free citizens in the Empire were granted citizenship. Moreover, there was sufficient cultural freedom for many groups to express their customs while still being in the Roman Empire. Latin was predominantly spoken in the western portion of the empire while Greek was spoken in the eastern portion of the empire. The city-state was also an integral facet of Roman politics and culture and greatly influenced the social and cultural as well as political nuances of each area and its inhabitants lived their lives. During this time period, literature, Roman writing was as strong as it ever was, with many great works being writing during the second century. Other, facets of this empire included technological advancements such as plumbing, aqueducts, a currency, etc.How did early Christian communities fit into the Roman Empire? How did Christianity contrast with other Roman religious beliefs?The archetypical religions of the Roman Empire were overwhelmingly polytheistic, with notable religions being paganism. Christianity on the other hand was monotheistic. Christian communities did exist during the second centuries, but as time progressed and later into the 3rd century increased religious conflicts began to occur. The Roman Empire consisted of a mix of various groups and there was considerable tolerance, but as the 3rd century came, there came to be considerable religious tension. The Christians denounced the Roman gods and demonized worshippers of polytheistic religions. That led to great internal segregation within the empire after the 2nd century and onward. Besides the belief in many gods, the Romans also differed form Christians in that they believed in syncretism. This was the idea that many gods would come about in many different areas of life in different forms. This allowed pagans and other polytheistic Romans to be more tolerant of other religions. Christianity, on the other hand, blatantly denounced the worship of other gods as being blasphemous. Overall, during the early years of Christianity and arguably for part of the second century, there was little conflict. However, as time progressed and Christianity gained traction, increasing conflicts began to occur. The Roman Empire saw great internal tension during the later part of the second century and 3rd century and say the...

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