1. Why were people looking to religion for comfort in the 3rd century AD?
During this century there was political unrest and a military monarchy that caused uncertain times for many Romans. Looking to religion, people were able to find comfort in the ideology of an after life and purpose in the concepts of the religion. There was little certainty as to the duration of the empire and therefore the citizens were looking for something to hold on to and look forward to during this time.
2. IDENTIFY what factors contributed to the successful spread of Christianity?
With a unified government, information was passed with ease and therefore the religious ideas were also spread rapidly. Christianity was considered a religion of the poor which included most of the Roman empire. The appeal of a personal relationship with God made this relationship even more alluring to most of the citizens. In 313 AD, Constantine I made the religion legal which added to the spread of Christianity. Finally, when the Empire split to the East and West, Christianity was accepted as the state religion and continued to flourish.
3. DESCRIBE the reforms of Diocletian. What impact did these changes have on Rome?
Diocletian worked towards centralizing the government and unifying the Empire in order to restore peace and create stability. He established an autocratic government and increased the number of bureaucrats that worked under the government. The split of the Empire came under Diocletian in order to diffuse military threats. Diocletian revamped the tax system and reintroduced the coin system as a way to halt inflation. In terms of stability and growth, these reforms were a positive turn for Rome. However, many of these reforms such as reconstructing the government and military had devastating impacts on the financial standing of the Roman Empire.
4. EXPLAIN how Christianity changed in the late Roman Empire?
At the initial introduction of Christianity, many Romans wished to cling to the Pagan religion that had previously served Rome. Christians were persecuted and the religion was considered to be illegal. After Constantine I made the religion legal in 313 AD, the persecution began to cease and Christianity was allowed to flourish freely. Later, when it became the religion of the state, Christianity was well accepted.
5. How did the Roman Empire fall? EXPLAIN three different causes/philosophies
Many factors led to the decline and eventual fall of the Roman Empire. Historians and theorists do not necessarily agree as to which event was at fault but most do agree that there was a combination of many factors. One of these factors was the rapid expansion of the borders of Rome did not allow for unity and the conquered people influenced the Romans which added to the separation. The economy also led to the fall of the empire. The government spent too much money on expansion and military endeavors which caused the economy to collapse. Finally, Christianity changed the mentality of most citizens and they became more pacifists. This made it harder to get the citizens to fight for the government and therefore the empire collapsed.
6. What have been the greatest contributions of Roman society? DEFEND your answer with at least one, well-constructed example. (6-8 sentences)
The Roman society operate in a relatively modern way when considering the amount of influence the culture had on modern society. Contributions can be seen through roadways, city planning, and many other infrastructure areas. However, the main contribution in regards to society is the foundation of law and order that the Romans laid for modern society. Beginning with the Law of the Twelve Tables, Romans separated the law into civil situations between citizens and state situations which involved acts against the state. This is witnessed today in the courtrooms as civil suits are separate from criminal trials. This allows for specific courts to handle certain situations and the punishments to be based on who is impacted by that situation. This separation carried over into the way of government that is recognized today as democracy. New laws had to be passed through two legislative bodies which is a system that is still used today. Therefore, by this contribution, Roman society set the pace for law and order in modern society.