As the number of converts increased, permanent institutions were established.
The buildings and hierarchy of officials were modeled on those of the Roman Empire.
They said they had the right to decide the correct interpretation of Christian teachings and to choose their successors.
The power to determine the correct interpretation of Christian teachings is held by a Christian Church official.
Complex theological interpretations of issues that were not clear in scripture began to attract more highly educated individuals to Christianity.
Drawing on Greek philosophy and Roman legal traditions, they worked out understandings of how Jesus could be both divine and human and how God could be both a father and a son.
Jesus's harsh words about wealth and family ties were among the teachings that were modified.
Christianity became more formal in the second century due to all the changes.
The emperors tried to repair the damage.
They changed the empire with political and religious reforms.
The Roman Empire was stunned by civil war during the third century, as different individuals, generally military commanders from the border provinces, claimed rights to leadership of the empire.
emperors ruled for a few years or even months.
Non-Roman groups on the frontiers took advantage of the chaos to invade Roman-held territory along the Rhine and Danube, sometimes even crossing the Alps to maraud in Italy.
The armies of the East advanced all the way to the Mediterranean.
By the time peace was restored, the empire's economy was shattered, cities had shrunk in size, and many farmers had left their lands.
The period of chaos ended when Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military.
The court ceremonies and trappings of the Persian Empire were adopted to underscore the emperor's position.
The empire had become too large for one man to handle and so in 293 it was divided into a western and eastern half.
Two men were appointed to assist the augustus.
After a brief civil war, Constantine gained authority over the entire empire and ruled from the East.
He established a new capital for the empire at Byzantium, an old Greek city on the Bosporus, a strait between Europe and Asia.
He named it New Rome.
Constantine built palaces, warehouses, public buildings, and even a Hippodrome for horse racing in his new capital.
His successors built defensive works along the borders of the empire, trying to keep it together.
The eastern and western halves were separated despite their efforts.
The western half of the Roman Empire was unable to repel invaders due to the lack of military assistance from Constantinople.
The Roman emperor was deposed in the West in 476.
Although the Roman Empire in the East would last for another thousand years, this date marks the official end of the Roman Empire in the West.
Inflation and declining tax revenues were some of the economic problems faced by Diocletian and Constantine.
The maximum prices and wages were fixed in an attempt to curb inflation.
The tax system was dealt with just as strictly by his successors.
Goods and services became subject to taxes in kind.
As the emperors tried to assure a steady supply of these goods, all those involved in the growing, preparation, and transportation of food and other essentials were locked into their professions.
Many localities were unable to pay their taxes during the depression.
Local tax collectors had to make up the difference from their own funds if they were locked into service.
A key characteristic of European society for many centuries to follow was the lack of social mobility, as this system wiped out a whole class of moderately wealthy people.
Rome's central economic problems were not addressed by the emperors' measures.
Many free farmers and their families were killed during the turmoil of the third and fourth centuries.
Large tracts of land were untended.
The landlords began to claim as much of the land as they could.
The huge estates that resulted, called villas, were self-sufficient and became islands of stability.
Many small landholders gave up their lands and freedom in exchange for security and protection.
They were denied the freedom to move because landlords wanted a supply of labor.
The serfs were free men and women who were bound to the land.
The crisis of the third century seemed to some emperors to be punishment for the gods.
The gods of Rome were hoping that the persecution of Christians would stop.
His persecutions were never widespread or long-lived, and by the early fourth century most Romans accepted Christianity even if they didn't practice it.
Constantine went beyond toleration to favoring Christianity, expecting in return the support of church officials in maintaining order, and later in his life he was baptized as a Christian.
The building of Christian churches was endowed by Constantine.
Christianity became the leading religion after Constantine continued to promote it, because of its favored position in the empire.
Christianity became the official religion of the empire in 395.
The emperor's persecution of Christians ended shortly after his death, and the emperors who succeeded him decided to tolerate Christianity.
The senior emperor of the multiheaded late empire, who had been a leader in the persecution of Christianity, issued an order to toleration in 311.
All religions should be allowed and property taken from Christians should be returned, according to a letter written by Constantine and Licinius to the governors of Roman provinces.
The letter became known as the Edict of Milan, but there probably wasn't a formal order.
We used to want to bring all things into harmony with the ancient laws and public order of the Romans so that the Christians who had left the religion of their fathers should come back.
When our law was promulgated to the effect that they should conform to the institute of antiquity, many were subdued by the fear of danger and even died.
Since most of them persevered in their determination, we saw that they didn't worship the gods or the God of the Christians in view of our mild clemency.
By this wholesome counsel and most upright provision, we thought to arrange that no one should be denied the opportunity to give his heart to the Christian religion, or that religion which he should think best for himself, so that the Supreme Deity, to whose worship we freely yield.
The governor to whom this letter is directed should know that it has pleased us to remove all conditions which were in the rescripts which were given to you officially, concerning the Christians and now any one of these who wishes to observe Christian religion may do so freely.
In the case of the Christians, we want to make sure that anyone who has previously bought from our treasury from anyone else, those places where they were previously accustomed to assemble, and a letter sent to you officially, the same should be done.
F. Fritzsche, II, is a book.
The University of Pennsylvania has a translation department.
The internet history sourcebook project is at Fordham University.
Greeks in the south and Etruscans in the north settled on the Italian peninsula.
The culture of the small town that was growing into the city of Rome was influenced by the Etruscans.
Rome established a republican government led by the Senate.
The Romans conquered the Mediterranean and created an empire that brought them power and wealth, but also social unrest and civil war.
The republic became an empire under Augustus.
The Roman territories were further expanded by Augustus and his successors.
The capital of the empire was Rome.
The prosperity of the Roman provinces and frontiers was due to the growth of agriculture, industry, and trade connections.
Christianity began to spread across the empire in the first century C.E.
Initially some Roman officials and emperors were hostile to Christians.
Christianity was made the official religion of the empire in the fourth century, one of many measures taken to solve the problems created by invasions and political turmoil.
The Roman Empire lasted for another thousand years in the East, but not in the West, where it ended in the fifth century.
The Roman Empire's leaders, magnificent buildings, luxurious clothing, and bloody amusements have long fascinated people.
Politicians and historians have studied the reasons for its success and weaknesses that led to its downfall.
The Western Roman Empire broke apart by the fifth century C.E.
despite the efforts of emperors and other leaders.
The fall of the Roman Empire was seen by European scholars as the end of the classical era.
The practice of dividing Western history into different periods began after that.
The periodization of world history is shaped by this three-part conceptualization.
China is understood to have had a classical age, just like you saw in Chapter 4.
You will see in Chapter 11 that the Maya of Mesoamerica did as well.
South Asia is often described as having a classical period that ended in 322 B.C.E.
The dates of these ages are different from the classical period in the Mediterranean, but there are similarities between them.
The classical period was followed by an era of increased warfare and destruction.
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