The Hierarchical Structure Of The Early Roman Empire

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1. Carter’s book focuses on the diverse ways the Early Christians dealt with their world, where imperial politics, economics, culture, and religion were mixed together (x). Furthermore, the author organized his book around important imperial realities that New Testament writings negotiate (x). The audience for Carter’s book includes high school or college students, Bible study groups, Sunday school students, clergy, and scholars interested in insights about passages in the New Testament to study.
2. A. In chapter 1, Carter states that he will sketch the hierarchical structure of the Roman Empire. The author does this to ensure the reader has appropriate amount of background knowledge about Rome during the 1st century to be able to understand
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One interesting point Carter made was that slaves not only provided physical labor, but also provided highly valued skills, such as education, business, and medicine (9). Typically, I think of slaves as generally uneducated, only performing manual labor that is physically intensive; therefore, this statement was particularly intriguing because it meant despite having these skills, these people were still able to be exploited by the elite and treated poorly. Additionally, the dynamic relationship between emperors and the elite was also interesting. Carter states that the elite would make public displays of their wealth (such as building statues, providing food, sponsoring gatherings, throwing a festival, etc.) in order to gain more power and wealth from the emperor (6). In return, the elite remained loyal and ensured the emperor’s will was enforced (6). This was interesting because this relationship showed that the emperor could not simply rule however he wished. The emperor had to have an alliance with the elite to make sure his will was present throughout the empire, while still appeasing those with the influence and resources that could overthrow…show more content…
One cultural description that relates to today is the setup of the Roman Empire. Parallels between the Roman Empire structure and the American government can easily be drawn. First, the president could be considered similar to the emperor. While there is the obvious difference that the president is elected, wealthy Americans often have heavy influence in who becomes the next president. These American elite tend to choose the president who they believe will benefit them the most. Additionally, each state has their own governor, and just as governors in the first century, today governors are responsible for keeping local elites satisfied and maintaining order. As stated by Carter, Pilate had to be careful when making his decision to execute Jesus, as such an act could result in a violent uprising (39). Similarly, today political leaders must be careful when deciding what laws to pass, especially controversial ones, to ensure violence does not result. For example, laws such as allowing gay marriage or legalizing marijuana bring out strong opinions among Americans; therefore, before these laws were passed in certain states, public opinion was gauged to ensure a violent rebellion was not expected. Finally, the United States has soldiers to protect against violence within the country, which was also a responsibility of soldiers of the first

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