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Roman Empire Summary
Senātvs   Populusque   Rōmānus
...The world context within which Christianity and its New Testament were born...
as represented in a world culture dominated today by the Latin alphabet.

fulfilling Daniel 7:7 as the "Fourth Beast", which led into the Bible's Hidden Time, which is not a set period
that only concludes when Christ's Church/Body spiritually completes the 7-years of His ministry,
(which was split then into two halves by His death* Daniel 9:27), in its coming future final
3½-years/1,260-days (Colossians 1:26; Revelation 11:3) after Satan's expulsion from Heaven's Court
because he no longer has an accusation to bring against the Church before Heaven's court (Revelation 12:10).
AD/CE 14: Emperor Augustus dies, but in the forty-four years of his reign he had reshaped the Roman world and reorganized the Roman State to ensure the peace he had made.
So his work endured. For long Rome kept the world at peace. teaching, as Virgil had claimed she should, law and government to the nations.
AD/CE 30:

The death of Jesus occurs 3½-years into His ministry
(at His 4th Passover).
The Herod who had the Bethlehem children under two massacred, died in 4 BC/CE, so the actual birth date of Jesus, calculated from John the Baptist (6-months older) was about September
5 BC/CE.
After Israel's national and religious leaders formally reject the Christ of God,
King Herod's Roman allies publicly crucify Jesus of Nazareth, naked, beside the highway into Jerusalem, as –
 In Latin: Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum; In Hebrew/Aramaic: מלך היהודים;
In Greek: Ἰησοῦς ὁ Ναζωραῖος ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων
The central Atonement event, within the framework of His Roman crucifixion, occurs at 12 noon on Friday, Nisan 14 (April 7),
when the Sinless One is completely cut off by God as the epitome of ALL sin (2 Corinthians 5:21);
"For our sake He [God] made Him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin,
so that in Him
[Jesus] we might become the righteousness of God.
"
and in northern Europe the Romans found the city of Tournai in 'Belgium'.
*Which ended forever
the temple significance of
animal sacrifice before God
See:
The Hidden Time
of God
See:
the Four Pillars of
the Christian Gospel
There were wars in this Augustan era, but compared with the wars of the Roman Republic, they were few and on the fringe;
there were civil upheavals, but none of great consequence during the first two centuries AD/CE of the Christian era.
The terrible year of the Four Emperors (AD 68-9), during which the generals of three armies fought for the throne vacated by the fallen Nero, left little imprint on the century that followed. Indeed, it was followed by —  
the longest period of peace and prosperity that ancient Rome enjoyed: the age of Trajan, Hadrian, and the Antonines.
Sadly during
these two centuries we find the Roman monarchy, so carefully veiled by Augustus, becoming an obvious and absolute despotism.
Some of his successors lacked the will and some the skill to dissimulate; some were simply anxious to assert tyrannical power.
 
 
Tiberius was a misfit.
Gaius a vicious experimenter in despotism on the Oriental model.
Claudius a well-meaning but fussy reformer,
Nero a vain dilettante tyrant (who raped and murdered his own mother); but,
with all these vagaries at the Imperial Court, the life of the Empire continued imperturbably on its way.
The Augustan machine stood the test.
See:
Nero & 666


 
Nero's fall was the signal for civil war, but the triumphant competitor, Vespasian, proved a strong ruler and was succeeded peacefully by his two sons, Titus and Domitian, one after the other.
 
 
Domitian, after a competent but unpopular rule, was assassinated, to give place to Nerva, the Senate's choice. With Nerva the dynastic idea which had so far dominated the succession was suspended.
 
 
The next four emperors owed their accession to adoption; that is to say, they were chosen by their predecessors as the right men for the throne and not for their family connections.
 
Nerva
ruled barely two years, but he adopted Trajan; Trajan adopted Hadrian; Hadrian adopted Antoninus; Antoninus adopted Marcus Aurelius.
They were diverse characters, these four:
• Trajan was a soldier, caring for practicalities, competent, shrewd, incisive;
• Hadrian a wonderfully versatile and indefatigable patron, anxious, ubiquitous, caring for culture and the things of the mind, a Hellenist and a modernist at once;
• Antoninous, by way of contrast, was a calm aristocrat reassuring the world by the impassivity of his gaze on the Roman tradition, stressing continuity with the Roman past;
• Aurelius was an ascetic and a philosopher, a strange blend of Roman duties and Christian-like sensibilities.
All were able rulers of a flourishing Empire.
 
With
the accession of Aurelius' son Commodus the spell was broken, and the lean years came.
 
 
For the next century a succession of short-lived Emperors appeared, set up and overthrown by force of arms.
It is not till 284 that once more a strong ruler emerged to re-establish the discipline of the Empire.
That was Diocletian. His task accomplished, in 304 he abdicated.
 
 
It was only after some seven years of civil war that the next strong Emperor, Constantine, established himself.
 
 
Constantine did two things which were to have a profound significance. He made Christianity the religion of the Empire and he built the city of Constantinople, which foreshadowed the division of the Empire into two halves, Eastern and Western. He ruled from AD/CE 311 to 337, and after his death a further age of divided loyalties and disharmony began, to continue to the end of the Western half of the Empire.
 
The
great age of Rome was the first two centuries AD/CE. During that time Roman government, Roman culture, Roman law, fulfilled their mission in the world. Compared with this period, the rest of the story is a story of decline.
 
 
In proportion as the hold of the central government on the Empire within grew weaker in the age of military unrest, the Empire found it increasingly difficult to resist the pressure on its frontiers from barbarian invaders without, driven south by the global cooling of the planet triggered by changes in solar radiation caused by the effect of the magnetic field of the planet Jupiter on the magnetic patterns on the surface of the sun which affects the number of sun-spots and thus its radiation.
See:
World Weather
Far
off in the north and in the north-east, among the tribes of Russia and the Central Steppes, the "Wandering of the Peoples" had set in motion hordes of barbarian humanity. They came with all they had surging to the west and south, even forcing other tribes to move on in front of them. The result was a continual pressure on the north frontier of the Empire, varying in intensity and direction, but a persisting and increasing menace. The first serious threats came on the Danube front towards the end of the second century AD/CE and were successfully countered.
 
 
In places Rome sought to solve the problem by allowing barbarian tribes to settle inside the boundaries of the Empire. This policy, conciliatory and liberal though it may seem, proved in the long run disastrous. As it was extended, large sections of the Empire came to be dominated by a new, vigorous, barbarian stock; superficially Romanized barbarians found their way to high imperial office (such a one was Alaric the Goth, the Roman officer who came to be a sacker of Rome). Thus the inroads of barbarians from without were reinforced by the growth of barbarism within.
 
Towards
the middle of the third century came the Alemanni (the French still call the Germans allemands), In the same century the Picts and Scots from the north and the Saxon raiders from the east began to attack Britain.
 
 
About the beginning of the fifth century the Vandals appear, and about 450 a terrible and cruel people called the Huns swept down on Southern Europe. In the incessant strain of resisting these invaders the vitality and resources of the Empire slowly ebbed.
 
In
the year 476, Augustulus, the last Emperor of the West, was deposed, and by the turn of the century the western provinces had become so many barbarian kingdoms.
 
 
There were Gothic kingdoms in Italy and Spain, and a Vandal kingdom in Africa; the Franks were in Gaul to which they were to give the name by which we know it; Roman Britain had become Saxon England. The great Roman Empire had passed away and the Dark Ages had set in, but from its fragments were to be forged the nations and cultures of modern Europe.
 
 
In Italy, Gaul and Spain the Latin language lived on, to become the Italian, French and Spanish that we know today. And the once-despised Christianity that Rome had embraced in the days of her decline saved, by converting the barbarian conquerors, much of the ancient wisdom which Rome had laboured to preserve.
 
In
the East the other half of the Empire, round its capital, Constantinople, went on, and the Byzantine civilization came to full flower, reaching a brilliant peak in the reign of Justinian (527-565). His reign is famous not only for the great and final codification of Roman Law which goes by his name and for the building of the great church of Santa Sophia ("the Holy Wisdom"), but for a remarkable territorial recovery. In that reign Justinian's great general Belisarius drove off the attacking Bulgars and Lombards and reconquered for the Empire Vandal Africa and Gothic Italy, which for two centuries was a dominion of the Eastern Empire.
 
At
the end of the sixth century the coming of Islam brought a new menace. The Muslim Arabs overran Mesopotamia (where they set up the legendary Empire of Baghdad), the north coast of Africa and penetrated thence into Spain. In the course of this expansion the Empire suffered greatly, and Constantinople itself was besieged.
 
 
Constantly weakened by the attacks of barbarian hordes, Bulgarians, Russians, Normans, it dwindled till there was little left but Constantinople and its immediate neighbourhood. Under its Emperors, who kept up Courts and hierarchies of an Oriental type, it lived on, the relic of a great past but still doing to civilized Europe
the inestimable service of preserving the books and the knowledge of the great writers of Greek antiquity.
 
In
the middle of the eleventh century the coming of the Turks and their conquest of Asia Minor (Anatolia) and the Holy Land (Palestine) brought the Crusades, which brought to the dying Empire a brief new lease of life in the Crusaders' Latin kingdom of Constantinople.
 
 
At the beginning of the fourteenth century the final enemies, the Ottoman Turks, appeared on the scene. For a long time the counter-threat of the Mongols kept them off.
But in 1453 they captured Constantinople, and the Roman Empire was at last at an end.
 
 
How the refugee scholars from the stricken city brought to an expectant Europe the treasures of Greek science and literature which for a thousand years had been lost to the Western world and so helped on the great movement which we call the Rebirth (Renaissance) is an exhilarating story which we cannot pursue here. To the end Rome and its Empire had kept the ancient culture and transmitted it. It was this recovery of Greek and Greek science which made possible
the open Bible in our Churches and the brilliant progress of modern science.
 
     
  STILL  UNDER  CONSTRUCTION  
  Bibliography:  
  Moore, RW   September 1942   The Roman Commonwealth   The English Universities Press Ltd, London  

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