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The Power Of One God Essay

1258 words - 6 pages

Dating as far back as 509 B.C.E. and onward, the Roman Empire proved to be one of the greatest and most prosperous regimes in history. The Roman Empire was built on the foundational and traditional value of diplomacy, which facilitated the government and its success. The Roman state effortlessly conquered many lands, spread its unique culture, and evolved its empire into an international super power. However, in the third century, the Roman Empire began to suffer a period of drastic decline, and the value of diplomacy progressively started to disappear. The ineffectiveness of the Roman emperors proved to be disastrous, as the government endured instability among its leaders. Consequently, foreign militaries invaded and conquered areas of the vast empire. There are several valid theories as to why the Roman Empire gradually degenerated. Historians have hypothesized it was due to the following reasons: overexpansion of the empire; the excessive spending of the military; the disintegration of the political infrastructure; various fatal plagues, a drastic decline in the population; and the rise of Christianity. Among the many potential reasons for the decline the rise of Christianity is primarily responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire, as Christianity was a monotheistic religion, which challenged the civic duty of the Roman citizens, and separated the church from the state. Christianity instigated much turmoil between the Roman government and the Roman people, ultimately bringing about the end of the Roman Empire.
Christianity challenged the official state religion of Ancient Rome. Christianity was a monotheistic religion whose practices sharply contrasted the polytheistic religious practices of the Roman Empire. The followers of Christianity believed in one God, while the Romans believed and worshipped many gods.
Every aspect of Roman society was permeated with religion. The official state religion focused on the worship of a pantheon of gods and goddesses, including Juno, the patron goddess of women; Minerva, the goddess of craftspeople; Mars, the god of war; and Juniper Optimus Maximus, who became the patron deity of Rome and assumed a central place in the religious life of the city.

The primary reason the Romans worshipped so many gods was due to the belief that human beings were solely dependent on them. The gods were an important key to the Romans success, and it was their duty to have a public relationship with them, “religion was a force that bound families together, bound subjects to their rulers, and bound men to the gods.” Conversely, Christianity provided its followers with the opportunity to have a personal relationship with God. Christianity was more of a spiritual experience than a contractual obligation. The early Christians were considered to be a threat to the Roman Empire. The followers of Christianity challenged and rejected the traditional values associated with the Roman religion. As the Romans continued to expand the...

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