Cultural and Political Changes and Continuities in the Roman Empire – 100 C.E. to 1000 C.E.

681 Words Nov 9th, 2010 3 Pages
Two aspects of the Roman politics and culture change noticeably; the rise of Christianity, and the division of the empire which ended with an Eastern and a Western Roman Empire. Christianity altered the Roman lifestyle, while the decentralization of the Empire left Western Europe without a strong political system until the formation of the Holy Roman Empire. Although these changes marked the beginning of the Byzantine Empire, an important continuity shaped the Byzantine political attitude; the conservation of the Greco-Roman laws and ideas.
When the Roman Empire split during the 3rd century, it was having both internal and external conflicts, unable to control its vast lands. The majority of the internal conflicts were caused by the
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when legal protections were given to Christians.
Although the Roman Empire went through modifications in culture and politics, it succeeded to maintain principal Roman and Greek philosophies and laws. The Byzantine Empire effectively used old Roman laws in codifications such as the “Corpus Iuris Civilis” issued by Justinian, one of the early Byzantine Emperors. The education system was formed after the Greek schooling traditions; Byzantine scholars concentrated in areas such as Greek philosophy, literature and medicine, also studying the works of Aristotle, Homer and Plato. The Illiad and the Odyssey were also studied Byzantines considered themselves as the heirs of the classical Greek culture.
As the stability and economy of the Roman Empire went downwards, it took its toll on the citizens too. Small landowners, women, slaves; the oppressed groups of Romans started to question the quality of life and afterlife promised and granted by the state religion. When Christian missionaries came along, these subjugated peoples saw this new religion as a system that promised salvation that rewarded the good and punished the bad: in this case the upper and ruling class were seen as “bad”.
Christianity also introduced a God who did not resemble any of the Roman Gods, in any way; unlike Jupiter he did not seduce women, scheme against others, lie, or practice adultery. The Christian God was a respectable and acceptable

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