When Was The Roman Empire Established History Essay
The Roman Empire was established over two thousand years ago and covered most of Europe, Mediterranean and Northern Africa. The rise of Julius Caesar helped the formation of the Empire because of his many victories in wars. The Imperial Rome had grown so strong and so had its culture, art, religion, military and education.
Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus was the first emperor of Rome and his reign saw tremendous improvement in governance and infrastructural development. He wrote a memoir of his life which has survived until now.
Roman art was found in almost all places under the Empire creating a cultural unity in terms of material, objects and methods used.
In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there are various displays of artwork from the Roman Empire. These range from sculptures to jewelry and provide a glimpse in to the beauty and innovation of art. Christianity has become a religion with more than two billon followers currently. It became the religion of the Roman Empire and therefore has an interesting history. There have emerged many evidences and controversies concerning Christianity in relation to the Roman Empire. Some of these have had support from artifacts of the ancient empire.
Roman art started drawing interest in the twentieth century and we can use it to trace the rise of Christianity as well as their claims of persecution for instance. Romans were great soldiers, administrators, writers and artists. Sculptures, some of which are on display bear witness to the culture and values of the Roman people. Many of their buildings were filled with sculptures especially of their heroes. Nineteenth century collectors from England made it a hobby to go back with at least a piece of Roman sculpture to adorn their homes.
The Eternal City itself is filled with beautiful stone and marble carvings and antiques some of which have found way in to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Roman art was derived from Greece and modified to fit the likes of Romans. A number of artists have contributed to the present day revival of first century Roman Empire Art which nearly got lost; these include Raphael and Michelangelo.
Going back to history, the Augustinian Age brought about the first manifestation of art in Rome. This was the era when Augustus was the Principate. This great ruler of the Roman Empire saw to it that art was embraced. Culture and events taking place were incorporated in artwork as a means to preserve those emotions for the future generations. Paintings in relief, statutes and architectural columns were some of the areas the Romans excelled in.
The temples became vital since they treated their leaders as heroes and hence had to decorate them with their idols. Triumphal arches were elected whenever the Roman soldiers conquered a foreign land and made it their province. Looting also become a norm especially form Greek art and such got a place in the Roman Empire. Later emperors of Rome like Nero also made it possible to extend art in many places.
From the New Testament, we read that Jesus was crucified by Roman forces in Judea. The rise of Christianity is complemented by the Fall of Rome. The earliest Christians are usually presented as better placed to deal with harsh times.
The Romans believed in their heroes for gods unlike Christians who believed in one God. This attitude of having superstitions taboos and traditions caused much conflict with Christians. It is good to note that even reading the holy writings was denied and if copies of the New Testament were found, they got burnt.
Roman gods and goddesses presented a religious influence of such a magnitude that those who opposed them were regarded outcasts. Christians therefore underwent persecutions as the bible bears witness. The fact that Romans had many gods is seen in their art whereby statues and paintings in temples show that they actually paid homage to these gods. Some Greek statues upon being looted were moved to Rome and installed in temples albeit with different names. The
Roman religion was so confusing that over the years, people could not even remember what some of these gods were associated with. All these traditions were in contrast to Christians beliefs (Grant 25).
In Josephus Antiquities, there is evidence that the King Antiochus Epiphanies came to Jerusalem and looted its temple artifacts which were meant for worship. In addition, there were murders everywhere to those who opposed these progressions. The Age of Augustus saw many other atrocities committed on those who believed in one god. Augustus biography is a testimony to the deeds he committed. Such included building temples to gods, dictatorship, sacrifices and introduction of money.
Since much of the idols they made have survived or has been duplicated even now, we get to see how much influence the Roman Empire had on people. The attitude that Romans had on Christianity is therefore embedded in these artworks. Paintings and relief sculpture show scenes where differences of opinion rose and which led to many conflicts.
The books of Acts and Paul’s epistles also record the influence the Romans had on Christians. Josephus records many instances where wars broke out because Romans could not tolerate Christianity to blossom. The birth of Jesus was caught up in the Roman Empire and this saw many young children get killed as the Romans sought to eliminate the coming King.
Perhaps the bitterest memory of Roman Empire in the Masada massacre that was as a result of Christians standing their ground and refusing to pay homage to Rome and its Gods. Over the next few centuries, this act became a lesson for Christians in their pursuit to disengage from Rome precepts and worship their only one God.
Christians have ever viewed the Roman Empire as a hindrance to their call. Apart from being labeled a cult, Christians nevertheless continued to grow and achieve new converts. A great persecution arose in AD 303, under Diocletian because Romans thought Christians as having become too large and dangerous an entity.
All the above facts show that the Roman Empire was against Christianity from the beginning. The Met gallery of Greek and Roman art has various displays showing statues and portraits of Roman emperor like Augustus, Antoninus Pius, Caligula as well as the Dominitian’s palace. A Statue of an Old Market Woman is exhibited and displays her carrying offerings to Dionysius and another Bronze Statue of a Boy.
In conclusion, the Roman art presented a time of beauty, triumphs, peace and freedoms which is contrary to the story given by Christians in their persecution. The Romans only created their magnificent idols in order to worship them in contrary to Christians who suffered in order to worship one God.
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