Demonstrate Significant Ideologies in the Classic World

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#####This essay begins with 3.4#####3.4 Demonstrate significant ideologies in the classical world In ancient Rome, religion adopted a major aspect of every Roman citizen’s life. Religion, originally having come from the Latin term religio, is defined by Roman philosopher Cicero as cultus deorum, “the proper performance of rites in veneration of the gods.” Another interpretation provided by modern scholar Tom Harpur is the meaning to “bind and connect” which in context can describe religion in ancient Rome as a binding force between the Roman citizens, their families and the gods they worshipped. Roman state religion was responsible for how the Romans behaved, as they lived a life of worshipping the gods, continuous rituals, along with religious practices such as prayer, sacrifice and divination. Other religions were allowed, but none proved to be a threat to the supreme state religion of the empire until Christianity. The Christian religion continued to persevere throughout persecutions until 331AD when the emperor Constantine became the first emperor to convert to Christianity himself and allowed Christianity to be accepted across Rome. Roman state religion was first established around 700 BC by the second king of Rome Numa Pompilius. Before state religion, Romans worshipped spirits called numina, who according to Marion Findlay “lived in natural objects and controlled both nature’s events and the events in human lives.” As time went on, many spirits acquired gender and names, merging into the forms of gods and goddesses which became the central objects the Romans started to worship as state religion emerged. Pompilius is also credited for establishing priesthoods to care for the worship of the gods. Roman religion was h... ... middle of paper ... ...e from God, you will not only be unable to destroy them, but you might find yourselves fighting against God.” This turned out to be true as in 312 AD, emperor Constantine the Great became the first emperor to convert to Christianity along with his issue of the Edict of Milan, which basically accepted all religions in the empire with an agreement for the good treatment of Christians. The two religions in Roman history; Roman state religion and Christianity, shared many differences and similarities, and there were reasons for the changes in attitudes the Romans showed towards these religions. Cultural expectations changed over time as each religion made effort to preserve and spread themselves over the years, and finally with the reign of Constantine, Christianity was able to be freely accepted across Rome.

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