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Romans + Christianity
#16
Yes, welcome back, William.
Cheers,
Jenny
Founder, Roman Army Talk and RomanArmy.com

We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.
-- Robert Louis Stevenson
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#17
I know Nero wasn't nice to the early christians, he even ha his soldiers loose dogs on them to kill them. and the 1st Christian emperor Constantine infuriates me, I'm only a young person but I'm extremely passionate about my Roman heritage (I'm Italian) and I just think it was incredibly foolish of Constantine to move the capital of Rome from Rome to what he called Constantinople. what a humble guy huh?
but anyways, anything Roman is good, that's why I joined this forum
Mike - life is extremely busy nowadays Sad <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt="Sad" title="Sad" />Sad all sleep, eat, and school Sad <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt="Sad" title="Sad" />Sad
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#18
Quote:Although I must further reduce my personal activities, I'll continue to study early Christianity & Late Roman art/homes/clothing/etc., and keep related website link lists in my personal website: Big Grin 3a66db63]http://home.bellsouth.net/p/PWP-Restitvtvs[/url]. Hope these websites help you & your good works. Pax vobiscvm, +r

I really dig this image of Christ - it's so unconventional even in Roman art to my knowledge. We see him from time to time in Imperial (purple) robes but not in Imperial military garb. 8)

[Image: mosaic44.jpg]

Quote:I just think it was incredibly foolish of Constantine to move the capital of Rome from Rome to what he called Constantinople.


I, too, would have preferred that Rome would've remained the capital of the Empire (not just the symbolic capital), but I hardly think it's fair to blame Constantine for moving it "from Rome" since he wasn't the one who actually did this. Rome ceased to be the functioning capital in the third century AD. When Constantine refounded Byzantium as "New Rome" no one thought it would become a permanent capital. In fact, he didn't spend too much time in the city and very few senators accepted his invitation to transfer their residence there. It became the real capital of the Eastern Empire and only after his death since his son and successors decided to make the city their seat of power.

Since the empire split permanently between East and West I don't think it really matters. Diocletian had his way in the end and Constantine's reunification of the Empire was only temporary. Ultimately, it turned out ot be a good thing for Western Europe that the East survived with its own capital since the latter was the main shield or buffer zone between it and the onslaught of the armies of Islam, IMO.

Quote:what a humble guy huh?

He didn't name it "Constantinople" but "Nova Roma." It was renamed after his death, but you're right nevertheless. He was considered vain even in his own time, but most Emperors were - in this respect he was not the exception :wink:

Quote:but anyways, anything Roman is good, that's why I joined this forum

Glad to have you here. Big Grin
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#19
Quote:He didn't name it "Constantinople" but "Nova Roma." It was renamed after his death, but you're right nevertheless. He was considered vain even in his own time, but most Emperors were - in this respect he was not the exception

oh, so it was just renamed to honor him or something? yeah, I've heard that some made their subjects worship them

Quote:Glad to have you here.
that's the first time I've ever heard that on any forum, because I don't know much about anything and I think I'm just an annoyance for being here with barely any knowledge, maybe we should get to know each other better before anyone says that I'm great to have around, I personally don't think of myself highly in any way. so I'll just sit back and listen from now on, seeing as I don't know anything practically about this Sad
Mike - life is extremely busy nowadays Sad <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt="Sad" title="Sad" />Sad all sleep, eat, and school Sad <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt="Sad" title="Sad" />Sad
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[Image: img46.gif]
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#20
Quote:He didn't name it "Constantinople" but "Nova Roma." It was renamed after his death, but you're right nevertheless. He was considered vain even in his own time, but most Emperors were - in this respect he was not the exception

I've heard that Constantin built "Nova Roma" as a pure christian city without any conection to pagan past. But that seems to be period christians propaganda due to presence of pagan temples and own pagan past of Byzantium itself.

The other opinion is that Constantin moved capital city to "Nova Roma" to make it a new political center closer to the east. There is another question why he built the city in such a megalomaniacally style?
Martin
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#21
wow, you've brought up quite a few good points Titus Martius, now I'm curious to know the answer to your questions..
Mike - life is extremely busy nowadays Sad <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt="Sad" title="Sad" />Sad all sleep, eat, and school Sad <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt="Sad" title="Sad" />Sad
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#22
my degree is in ancient history but the emphasis in my studies was biblical studies. Archaeolgoy, NT / early christainity. Talking about christianity on a forum like this should be academic. There are plenty of places to discuss relgion online.

Its hardly possible to understand the roman empire from the second century on, especially the lower side of life without acknowledging the growth of christianity. The study of law, persecution, non citizen movements, religion etc. i would love to dialouge about anything regarding christianity and rome from an academic viewpoint.

My passion for all things roman stemmed from my early life of studying christianity. I also think its impossible to understand early christianity without understanding the roman empire and civilization.

I think that christianity is best understood in its social / political context of the roman empire. neither can be fully appreciated without understanding both. Lets discuss something !!!!!!!! Dan
Dan Tharp

Sicarii Sam distant cousin to Yosemite Sam. I\'ve iced a few politicos and a good number of gauls and brits. Have dagger will travel !! Confusedhock: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt="Confusedhock:" title="Shocked" />Confusedhock:
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#23
I've also studied a bit of early Christian matter at university.

Some things I find interesting related to the roman military:

-to my knowledge there has NEVER been a depiction of anything related to christianity on a soldiers gravestele. Quite some soldiers must have been christian (for example the Syrian people were devoted christians very early) so this is a bit strange.

-In the roman catacombs there is only one grave fresco with a depiction of a soldier. The 3rd and 4th century sarcofagi however had a lot of christian images on them. Those sarcofagi often belonged to high army officers and the scenes they chose to be put on their sarcofagus very often were scenes with soldiers in them. I think they mainly choose these scenes because they liked soldiers depicted on their chest instead of choosing these scenes because of their deeper meaning. Popular scenes were: Petrus with soldiers (the apocrific (is this an english word?)) source wonder of Petrus, the captation of Petrus and his execution, Nebukadnezar and his bodyguards, Pilatus and his bodyguards etc...

The absence in painted grave art and the abundance of soldiers in the sculptural grave art may have been partly caused by the traditions in these two mediums. Soldiers had always been heavily used in sculptural art whereas frescopainters often depicted Idylic-Bucolic scenes.

Unrelated to the military:

It is often said that the early Roman Christians used secret symbols and the Roman iconography in their art to avoid prosecution. This is in my opinion very untrue. They just used the existing iconography to express their feelings, the iconography was very adequate so why use something else?
They were not afraid of prosecution at all. They build their churches in plain view of the emperor's or governor's palace, they did not hide in the shadows.

There weren't as much martyrs as some people belive. The whole martyrship cult didn't exist at all untill the 3rd and 4th century...

i could go on and on but I'm probably starting to annoy people already...

Kind regards,
Jef
Jef Pinceel
a.k.a.
Marcvs Mvmmivs Falco

LEG XI CPF vzw
>Q SER FEST
http://www.LEGIOXI.be
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#24
Quote:that's the first time I've ever heard that on any forum

You'll hear it from others, Mike. This is a very welcoming place Smile

Quote:because I don't know much about anything and I think I'm just an annoyance for being here with barely any knowledge

You seem to have an inquisitive mind and most of us come here to learn. Even scholars aren't knowledgeable about every aspect of Rome in antiquity. Most them specialize in one area. So you should feel free to ask questions on this forum.

Quote:I've heard that Constantin built "Nova Roma" as a pure christian city without any conection to pagan past. But that seems to be period christians propaganda due to presence of pagan temples and own pagan past of Byzantium itself.

The other opinion is that Constantin moved capital city to "Nova Roma" to make it a new political center closer to the east. There is another question why he built the city in such a megalomaniacally style?

To your first point, Titus : I remember reading that too, but I think part of Constantine's rationale behind choosing Byzantium was that it was already a very Christian city. I don't know if it was dominated by Christians but the pagan temples were still standing as you said. Rome, he felt, was too pagan or too hostile to Christianity - Italy being a very conservative province - but it flourished in most other parts in the Empire as far away as Spain. But Christianity's stronghold remained in the Greek-speaking East.

To your second point about his imperial megalomania : I just don't see him as being remarkable in this respect - in fact you can say he was being very traditional :lol: Seriously, he did refound the city and invested heavily in its expansion and he wanted people to know it. So, it's not entirely unjustified.

BTW, no one criticises Rome for being named after Romulus :roll:
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#25
Quote:...I'm extremely passionate about my Roman heritage (I'm Italian)...

Praetoria: Welcome to RAT. I look forward to more of your posts. Best regards, +r
AMDG
Wm. / *r
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#26
Quote:I really dig this image of Christ - it's so unconventional even in Roman art to my knowledge. We see him from time to time in Imperial (purple) robes but not in Imperial military garb. 8)

[Image: mosaic44.jpg]

Excellent choice. In Ravenna, Italy. Dated to 5th or 6th century.

Quote:"Archbishop Andrea's palace chapel, Ravenna. Christ as legionary overcomes evil in the form of a snake. Christ, as in Arian mosaics, is represented here in naturalistic terms, but there is a subtle difference. He is not a classical nude, as East Mediterranean artists in Theodoric's suite might represent him, but a frontal legionary. The expressive eyes and a combination of hieratic elements (elaborate nimbus and cross, symbol of evil as a snake) and narrative probably reflect Italian plebeian tastes."
AMDG
Wm. / *r
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#27
Quote:...I don't know much about anything and I think I'm just an annoyance for being here with barely any knowledge...

Who really knows much about anything? :o shock: You are not alone! :lol:

To paraphrase Josh Billings: The trouble with people ain't so much what they don't know. It's what they know that just ain't so!

I look forward to learning "new" things, unlearning other things that should be unlearned, to listening & learning, to speaking & sharing, etc. +r
AMDG
Wm. / *r
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#28
Quote:my degree is in ancient history but the emphasis in my studies was biblical studies. Archaeolgoy, NT / early christainity. Talking about christianity on a forum like this should be academic. There are plenty of places to discuss relgion online.

Its hardly possible to understand the roman empire from the second century on, especially the lower side of life without acknowledging the growth of christianity. The study of law, persecution, non citizen movements, religion etc. i would love to dialouge about anything regarding christianity and rome from an academic viewpoint.

My passion for all things roman stemmed from my early life of studying christianity. I also think its impossible to understand early christianity without understanding the roman empire and civilization.

I think that christianity is best understood in its social / political context of the roman empire. neither can be fully appreciated without understanding both. Lets discuss something !!!!!!!! Dan

Dan: I'm thrilled! Given my relatively limited & patchy knowledge of early Christianity, etc., I'll have to approach this piecemeal. I have read some books & webpages, and I could read many more. There are sooo many more :? , so I prefer this discussion format for various reasons.

My posts here will be mostly of art & architectural evidence, and include some context what I "know" of related social, political, economic, religious, personal, and other relevant factors.

I look forward not only to others' questions, but also to additional context & interpretations, etc.
AMDG
Wm. / *r
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#29
Quote:... i could go on and on but I'm probably starting to annoy people already...

Marcus: You covered a good variety of points, put them in separate paragraphs that are easy to follow, and you used relevant facts & various interpretations. Great! Nowhere near annoying for me! Thanks for your excellent post. Smile +r
AMDG
Wm. / *r
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#30
Several books & websites summarize that Constantine wasn't baptized in the Christian rite until he was practically on his deathbed, and that during his last days or weeks, he also was ritually blessed by various pagan priests... Seems like he was hedging his bets.

Any other details, consistent or contradictory, or intrepretations about his religion(s) in his "last days"?
AMDG
Wm. / *r
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