The Rise Of The Roman Empire Essay

1541 Words Feb 9th, 2016 null Page
Throughout the fourth century, the Roman Empire saw many different changes to how its government functioned. As Christianity grew and steadily became interwoven into the empire, it influenced these changes. The imperial bureaucracy, the army, the emperor, and the concept of the empire all were shaped by the Christian religion. Christian doctrine helped to legitimize these different organizations and people while creating a firm foothold for itself within the empire.
The expansiveness of the empire by the fourth-century and the realities of joint emperorship meant that the armies of the Roman Empire played a large role in helping run the empire. The army was utilized in defending the borders from outside threats such as Sasanian Persia (Heather, 109). It also was used within the empire to protect civilian interests (Maas, 90), and even collect taxes (Maas, 94). One aspect of the fourth-century that made relying on the army particularly difficult was the growing popularity of the Christian religion. In earlier periods, Christians would go to extreme measures, including martyrdom, to avoid becoming a soldier and having to kill (Maas, 105). As the empire became predominantly Christian, it would have been difficult to reconcile the soldiers’ religion and the realities of military service, especially when the army needed between fifteen and thirty thousand recruits a year to maintain itself (Maas, 94). It was not advantageous for the empire to have an increasing percentage of…

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