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Glossary of 09Rise of Christianity Fall of Rome

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Why did the Roman Empire and the Jews of Palestine eventually come into conflict?
The Romans were polytheistic and demanded that the people they conquered made offerings to Roman Gods and recognize the emperor as divine (god). The Jews were monotheistic.
What major issues divided the Jewish people of Palestine into three groups?
(1) absorbing Greek (Hellenistic) ideas
(2) returning to the Torah and Jewish laws
(3) revolting against Rome & re establishing an independent Jewish nation again.
What person did the Zealots think would appear and lead them to freedom?
A Messiah (savior)
What is the name for the scattering of the Jewish people when the Romans destroyed the temple of Jerusalem and expelled the Jewish people?
The Diaspora (dispersion) approximately 66 AD to 135 AD.
What is the name of the founder of Christianity?
Jesus of Nazareth.
What religion did Jesus practice?
Judaism.
Jesus believed in the Jewish ideas of monotheism and obeying the Ten Commandments and other Jewish laws. What new ideas did he emphasize?
(1) that he was the Son of God or Messiah.
(2) mercy, forgiveness, charity.
(3) those who believed in Him would have eternal life
What is the name of the head of the Roman Catholic Church?
The Pope.
What role did St. Paul play in spreading Christianity?
He spread Christianity to non-Jews (Gentiles) throughout the Roman Empire (Mediterranean area).
How did emperors such as Nero and Diocletian treat Christians?
They persecuted and scapegoated them for Rome's problems. Many were executed, burned at the stake, crucified, etc.
How did EMPEROR CONSTANTINE influence the success of Christianity?
Emperor Constantine issued the EDICT OF MILAN (313 AD) which granted religious toleration/freedom of worship.
How did Emperor Theodosius influence the success of Christianity?
In about 395 AD, he made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.
What do we call the period of peace and prosperity from the time of Caesar Augustus to the death of Marcus Aurelius?
The Pax Romana (Roman Peace). Two centuries of peace, extensive trade and stability. After this period the Roman Empire declines.
What social and economic problems grew after the Pax Romana/death of Marcus Aurelius?
Taxes are too high so the middle classes begin to disappear.

Emperors begin to come to power by assassination and violence.
In 284 AD, how did Emperor Diocletian simplify the problems of ruling the Roman Empire?
He split the empire in two - he gave the Latin speaking Western European part to a co-emperor and kept the wealthy and safer Greek speaking Eastern half for himself.
Where did Emperor Constantine set his new capital of the Roman Empire?
Byzantium (he re-named it Constantinople).
What invaders tore apart the Roman Empire?
Germanic tribes such as Vandals, Ostrogoths and Visegoths, Lombardis, and the Huns.
Who is the famous barbarian who Christians called the "Scourge of God" because they felt he was a punishment for mankind's sins?
Attila the Hun.
What were two military reasons for the decline and collapse of the Roman Empire?
(1) Germanic invasions pushed back the borders of the Roman Empire in Western Europe.
(2) The Roman soldiers were no loyal patriotic and loyal - often they were hired soldiers of fortune (mercenaries).
What were some social reasons for the decline and collapse of the Roman Empire?
(1) the rich, upper classes of Rome lived in luxury, spent lavishly on themselves, while ignoring the growing problems.
(2) the middle classes and landowning farmers disappeared, unable to pay high taxes. (3) Poor unemployed mobs wandered the streets of Rome, given "bread and circuses" to forget their problems.
What were the political and economic reasons for the decline of Rome?
(1) The rulers and government officials had become corrupt and oppresive.
(2) Assassinations destabilized the govt.
(3) Taxes were too high and landowners left their land to work for rich landowners (beginnings of serfdom).
(4) Slave labor replaced paid labor.
What part of the Roman Empire survived after the sack of Rome in 476 AD?
The eastern Mediterranean part. It became the "Byzantine Empire".

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