Change and Continuity: Rome (100-600 AD) Essay

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From 100-600 AD, the Roman Empire was the centerpiece of Western Civilization, although it experienced many changes along the way, including change of religion, customs, and political power, while keeping some continuity including Latin being the worldly language in Rome and the fact Emperors were still in use.

The most obvious change in Rome, in this time period, was the changing of polytheism to monotheism, specifically Christianity. Knowing at 200 A.D all people at liberty of Roman Empire get civil rights it accounted into 303-305 A.D Christians getting persecuted. In 313 A.D., Christianity was illegal in the empire, until Emperor Constantine legalized it, and Christianity became the official religion of Rome by the end of the Fourth Century A.D. This caused the city of Rome to be the center of the Catholic world for many years later, and it is still today. More changes occurred when barbarians took over much of the Eastern part of the Roman Empire by 600 A.D. When the Franks occupied Gaul, The Anglo-Saxons in Britain, and many more barbarian groups in various regions.

There were many customs of Rome. Some of them were, slavery, family connections, and recreational fighting. The use of slaves was common in the upper and middle class Roman families. Slaves were used for farming, business and public buildings. Slaves were also uses for slave market. When slaves were first captured, they were brought to auction blocks stripped naked as the buyers examined and placed cards on the slaves that listed all the qualifications of the slave. Other ways in which masters degraded their slaves was by selling them into prostitution, especially, the females. Family connections and blood lines were very important in Roman culture, even taking priority over wealth. An example was Gauls Marius being forced to to marry Julius in spite of wealth, just to move up on the Roman political ladder. Another custom was the gladiator fights at the coliseum. Good gladiator fights seemed to brighten up the day. Gauls Marius had the idea of supplying troops with training and gear, instead of having them pay for their own shield.

Rome was originally established as a small city state which showed great promise for becoming a dominant force in the Mediterranean. With a strong centralized, republican government which provided fair and efficient institutions that gave all Romans a voice in politics, as well as a powerful, consolidated army, and many resources that provided for a prosperous economy, Rome had just the right ingredients or information to accomplish this task. However, a large regional state was the limit to what Rome’s republic could handle efficiently. As a regional state, it had a hard enough time having compromises between the different social classes.

As an empire it wouldn’t be workable to allow enough constituencies as a voice in the government to prevent class tensions or problems. For hundreds of years different rulers messed with different ideas of designing a political structure that would maintain the empire. There were few continuities in this time period, but one was that most of Europe still spoke Latin, the language of the Romans. Another continuity is that Christianity, specifically Catholicism, remained as the main religion of Western and Central Europe through the Middle Ages, and still is today, and the political side of the Romans were centralized.