Christianity and Pagans

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A historiography that centers on the development, expansion, maintenance, and challenges, that have faced any empire can be vast. Understandably, focusing on any one of these aspects individually could occupy a lifetime of research and study. Most developing empires appear to face a common theme: leadership challenges, military dysfunction, political maintenance, religious evolution, internal and external strife, and above all, how to find a balance for successful sustainability. People coming together with a common goal create a society. Every society needs structure, leadership, funding, regulation through politics and laws; and, eventually as it grows, it will require defense against threat. Expansion is a double-edged sword. On the one side, expansion ventures require a well-organized, strong military force, with experience that allows for progressive strategies. The benefits of expansion can be numerous: acquisition of territory, labor, resources, power and, increases in revenue. On the other side of the blade, an empire that becomes prosperous will draw attention from enemies that will eventually force the empire into a position that will require them to protect its holdings. The evolution and expansion of Rome serves as an excellent example of an empire that has faced all of these challenges and has come through numerous changes in the process. As organized and as strong as Rome was, it was not impervious to feeling periods of contraction from internal and external factors that threatened its growth and sustainability. The fall of the Roman Republic (509 BCE – 27 BCE), for example, occurred because of internal factors brought on by excessive greed; injustice and preferential decisions, imbalance in the military, and dispr... ... middle of paper ... ... foreign attributes – even to the smallest degree – is inevitable; and, each attribute and division contained within helps shapes an empire while adding to its strength or potentially contributing to its downfall. Works Cited Halsall, Paul. "Ancient History Sourcebook: The Twelve Tables, c. 450 BCE." Fordham University. http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/ancient/12tables.asp (accessed November 21, 2013). -----. "Galerius and Constantine: Edicts of Toleration 311/313." Fordham University. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/edict-milan.asp (accessed November 21, 2013). Kishlansky, Mark, Patrick Geary, and Patricia O'Brien. Western Civilization: Civilization in the West Volume A (to 1500) 7/e. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2013. (accessed November 20, 2013). "Pax Romana." UNRV. http://www.unrv.com/early-empire/pax-romana.php (accessed November 22, 2013).

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