But theyprovided an alternative to pagan city life.Monasticism is the most obvious example of the way in which Christianitybuilt something of its own which undermined the military and politicalstructure of the Roman empire.
This essay is going to focus on the Roman Empire from the rise to the fall and the government, architecture, mythology, Family Structure, and Food of the Romans.
If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus. The vast extent of the Roman empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of virtue and wisdom. The armies were restrained by the firm but gentle hand of four successive emperors, whose characters and authority commanded involuntary respect. The forms of the civil administration were carefully preserved by Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the Antonines, who delighted in the image of liberty, and were pleased with considering themselves as the accountable ministers of the laws. Such princes deserved the honour of restoring the republic, had the Romans of their days been capable of enjoying a rational freedom.
As soon as Hadrian’s passion was either gratified or disappointed, he resolved to deserve the thanks of posterity by placing the most exalted merit on the Roman throne. His discerning eye easily discovered a senator about fifty years of age, blameless in all the offices of life; and a youth of about seventeen, whose riper years opened the fair prospect of every virtue: the elder of these was declared the son and successor of Hadrian, on condition, however, that he himself should immediately adopt the younger. The two Antonines (for it is of them that we are now speaking) governed the Roman world forty-two years with the same invariable spirit of wisdom and virtue. Although Pius had two sons, he preferred the welfare of Rome to the interest of his family, gave his daughter Faustina in marriage to young Marcus, obtained from the senate the tribunitian and proconsular powers, and, with a noble disdain, or rather ignorance, of jealousy, associated him to all the labours of government. Marcus, on the other hand, revered the character of his benefactor, loved him as a parent, obeyed him as his sovereign, and, after he was no more, regulated his own administration by the example and maxims of his predecessor. Their united reigns are possibly the only period of history in which the happiness of a great people was the sole object of government.
The labours of these monarchs were over-paid by the immense reward that inseparably waited on their success; by the honest pride of virtue, and by the exquisite delight of beholding the general happiness of which they were the authors. A just but melancholy reflection embittered, however, the noblest of human enjoyments. They must often have recollected the instability of a happiness which depended on the character of a single man. The fatal moment was perhaps approaching, when some licentious youth, or some jealous tyrant, would abuse, to the destruction, that absolute power which they had exerted for the benefit of their people. The ideal restraints of the senate and the laws might serve to display the virtues, but could never correct the vices, of the emperor. The military force was a blind and irresistible instrument of oppression; and the corruption of Roman manners would always supply flatterers eager to applaud, and ministers prepared to serve, the fear or the avarice, the lust or the cruelty, of their masters.
It is the design of this, and of the two succeedingchapters, to describe the prosperous condition of their empire; and afterwards,from the death of Marcus Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstancesof its decline and fall; a revolution which will ever be remembered, andis still felt by the nations of the earth." "Trajan was ambitious of fame; and as long as mankindshall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers thanon their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the viceof the most exalted characters." "That public virtue which among the ancientswas denominated patriotism, is derived from a strong sense of our own interestin the preservation and prosperity of the free government of which we aremembers.
Only later have Russianhistorians begun to realize that their position verged on absurdity.It is tempting to laugh at this game of finding a date for the end of theRoman empire, especially when the date is four centuries before thebeginning of the Roman empire.
The first proposed idea for the collapse of the Roman Empire is when Germanic migrations started, along with the aggressive westward movement of the Huns'.
If we can notice it, where can we place it?Historians, theologians, and political theorists have meditated on the decline and fall of Rome for centuries.
They reflected on the causes ofthe fall of Rome even before Rome fell in any sense.Professor Mircea Eliade rightly observed that the Romans were continuously obsessed by the "end of Rome"'.
Between these two extreme dates there are plentyof intermediate choices.There are still traditionalists ready to support the once famous date of september 476, when Romulus Augustulus lost his throne; andthere are more sophisticated researchers who would prefer the deathofJustinian in 565 or the coronation of Charlemagne in 800 - when theRoman empire was in a way replaced by two Roman empires.
Many of these works were erectedat private expense, and almost all were intended for public benefit." "Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire, the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind; and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise the improvements of social life." "Agriculture is the foundation of manufactures;since the productions of nature are the materials of art.
The Roman Empire began when Augustus won the second great civil war and ended, when the last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was overthrown by the Germanic King Odoacer.
The structure of the Empire was such that one individual had complete control over all matters of the state, The Emperor, of course there were various branches of the government that still served under the emperor and functioned on their own, dealing with the integral economic and social aspects of the Roman state....