How Did Roman Culture Affect Italian Culture

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Italian culture and society underwent significant changes in the sixth century. Unlike Byzantium, which continued as a clear heir of the Roman Empire, conflicting influences on Italian life altered the imperial culture of the Italian region. Although the Gauls did absorb aspects of Roman imperial culture, such as the style of government and material and luxurious lifestyle, Gallic society remained fundamentally different from that of the Romans. The increased focus on monasticism, due to Italy functioning as a religious powerhouse, also altered the Roman influence on the region. It is a complicated question, determining if 6th century Italy was an heir to the Roman Empire or the start of a new cultural beginning, however, I will argue that …show more content…
It can be seen with multiple barbarian kings the use of Roman triumphs and other means to provide authority and legitimacy to their actions. This is closely tied to the adaption of Roman political structures as it was important for the barbarians to remain relatively approved of by the existing Italian population, which formed a much greater percentage of the population than the Germanic tribes. Rothari, the 17th Langobard king, compared himself to Romulus, the 17th king of the Romans, providing legitimacy for his actions of improving the law, which was “purged of everything superfluous, decreeing it after a great victory over the Romans as a new basis for peace internally and as a sign of strength externally. In so doing, Rothari consciously placed his kingdom alongside those of his Roman-Gothic …show more content…
Benedict. “Much wickedness do you daily commit, and many great sins have you done: now at length give over your sinful life. Into the city of Rome you shall enter, and over the sea shall you pass: nine years shall you reign, and in the tenth shall you leave this mortal life.” In this passage, Benedict, while displaying his power of prophecy, is speaking with King Totilas, who subsequently converts to Christianity. Benedict was not offering Totilas an extension on life if he converted, rather, he gave the king an approximate time of his death, forcing Totilas to confront what he believes will be waiting for him in the afterlife. According to the text, which is likely to be biased in favor of Benedict in how this event, if it really did happen, played out, presents this as Totilas’ conversion moment. This passage indicates the power the church had over the secular authorities. It was control over salvation and the afterlife which the church was able to wield against powerful pagan kings such as Totilas, Clovis, and Theodoric. Not only was this a way to spread Christianity, it was a way for the bishops and other religious leaders to control the secular authorities. While secular rule was by no means separate from that of religion during imperial Rome, the shift towards a more powerful church, a more ascetic and monastic one at that, was definitely a new addition to the

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