Throughout time religion has influenced civilizations in a range of aspects. For instance, Catholicism influenced kings and nations in ancient Europe in the similar manner Polytheism influenced the Rome Empire. Religion has the power to cause wars, such as the Catholic Crusades. Yet, the main power is the ability to mask the true intentions of people.
The Polytheistic ideals that Roman Empire abided by bestowed a shroud for the Patricians to hide behind in questionable situations; such as when demanding resources or waging war against foreign countries. Later in history the Catholic Church motivated a set of “Holy Wars” known as the Crusades. Fulcher of Chartres transcribed the events of the First Crusade in “Chronicle of the First Crusade”; in these chronicles he provides evidence to the greed of the people who participated in this expedition. The greed and envy of the Catholic Church are seen once again in the Second Crusade to retake land lost to the Muslims. The speech given by Pope Eugene II, “Eugene III: Summons to A Crusade,” will be looked at to see such greed and vengeance.
During the reign of the Roman Empire, they practiced Polytheism. This encompasses the idea of different Gods for different aspects of what they knew, for instance Mars the God of war or Jupiter the king of all Gods. The Romans worshipped these Gods and many more for guidance, health, wealth and anything else under the sun. The people came to idea they as a nation had some divine right to anything they wanted (spices, silk, women, etc).
So thus when Rome sent an emissary to a different nation, they would invoke the king of all God’s name. “Hear, O Jupiter, and hear ye lands _____ [i.e., of such and such a nation], let...
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...more fought in the name of God.
So the concept, of religion being used to mask the intentions of individuals along with it being the cause of wars for Rome and the Catholic Church is presented. By looking at how the Romans demanded things from other nations and their process of war, the notion how they used their Gods to justify their actions. Once again years later, the Catholic Church does the same in retaking land lost to the Turks and Muslims. While they used the name of God to carry out the slaughtering of thousands of civilians, including women and child. Also, claiming all their previous possessions. Yet again with the second crusade but, this motive for more towards vengeance against the Muslims when they retook land previously belong to them. The concept of a “holy war” repeats itself through time to hide the underlining motivation of individuals.
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