The Greco Roman Influence On Christian Art Essay

The Greco Roman Influence On Christian Art Essay

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The Jewish faith believed in the coming of a Messiah and the ones who believed that Jesus Christ fulfilled this role became known as Christians. Roman’s occupied Jewish land and the Jews were seen as second class citizens compared to Roman citizens. Jews were expected to follow Roman law and were often treated harshly and unfairly. This lead to their desperation in waiting for a Messiah who they believed would rid the Jews of the Romans. When Jesus Christ came he fulfilled the Jewish law but not in the way they expected. He destabilized a lot of Jewish traditions and taught humility, servitude, and love. After his ascension back to heaven people began teaching in his name and to surrounding areas, suffering persecution for it. While Jesus’ teachings abolished many Jewish traditions, Christians themselves had still lived and were living under Roman rule and plenty of their culture traditions can be found in early Christianity. (“Early Christians.” PBS. PBS. Web. 4 July 2015). The Greco-Roman influence can be seen in early Christian art, architecture, and philosophy.
Newly converted people brought with them the “value of images [from] their previous cultural experience and they wanted to continue this in their Christian experience.” ("Khan Academy." Khan Academy. Web. 4 July 2015). One major place early Christian art can be seen is in catacombs. Catacombs, while being one cultural aspect shared with the Romans, also provided a place of burial for the dead. Since Christian faith says to bury the dead and not cremate, as was popular during the Roman time, Christians would place their dead in these labyrinths. Christian art in these tombs were mostly comprised of symbols. One of these symbols is a fish that when placed vertically forms...


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...egal and even widely accepted. Christians were persecuted for many reason one of the biggest was the fact that they worshipped only one God which was far from what the Romans believed as they worshiped several gods. Another reason for persecution was because of Jesus Christ who came to fulfill the law and deliver his people. The Romans, and many of Christ’s people, thought that this meant he would use his power to rid the Jews of Roman occupancy. This wasn’t the case as he was speaking metaphorically, but the Romans still took it as a threat and therefore hunted down those who called themselves his followers. Despite the tension between Christians and Romans and the fact that they had different worship beliefs, many Greek and Roman influences affected early Christian beliefs. These influences can be seen in early Christian art, architecture, and even their philosophy.

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