PASCO HERNANDO COMMUNITY COLLEGE
WESTERN CIVILIZATION (EUH 1000) CLASS NOTES
. Instructor: Dave Tamm / Term: Spring 2008 .
THE PAX ROMANA
The curtain is down on the republic, 5 centuries and gone. civil
problems for a one hundred year time. political manipluation. military
ambition. so, when octavian came in, 31 bc to 14 ad, created a stable
system, from 30-180 is the pax romana. octavian controlled rome's
armies yes, but its also the genius. instead of seeing how far he
could be individually, he "gave" power, in a grand show, to the
senate. well, they were flummoxed, but realized that without octavian,
all would be chaos, so they made a grand show of their own- giving him
the 'senate's blessing', and calling him Augustus.
He called himself Princeps, 1st Citizen. Accident? No, princeps was
the old senatorial title for its senior (literally) member, who spoke
first (if he wanted to). He had other titles, consul as well,
sometimes. But he permitted elections so regular people could hold
offices too. He appeared to share power.
He ruled the food producing regions, and the wealthy provinces. He
maintained the threatening provinces, so that no upstart general (ie
marius, sulla, pompey, caesar) would challenge him. So, he controlled
$ and army. And offices he appeared to share.
Well he made a great show of the Roman tradition- be he really had
them himself. He valued them, though he was a living contradition of
them. But we can live with that. He appeared to hold power at the
blessing of the people and senate. But his system was... tough to hand
on to the next one, because what kind of regime is this?!? Carefully.
He had no heir, he had only one daughter, who had no kids. He adopted
Tiberius, the son of his 2nd wife. The return of civil war we would
have thought would have happened... didn't. Never before did this kind
of thing happen.
From 14-68, the Julio-Claudian family ruled rome. Tiberius was
suspicious, Caligula crazy, Claudius was handicapped and paranoid,
Nero an unbalanced genius. And... Caligula was assassinated, Claudius
was poisoned, Nero committed suicide. How did it hold on? Rome didn't
go back to chaos. If two aliens landed in Washington and the Midwest,
then came back and discussed, they would be on two different worlds.
Same with Rome and in provinces. The Augustian miracle was that it
really was ok, and something stable that didnt depend on the character
of the ruler himself. Britannia was brought into the empire. Finances
were sound, public life was successful. If we only looked at emperors,
we'd miss out.
Civil wars of 68: 4 generals competed and Vespasian one, claiming
throne. Flavian dynasty inaugurated. Titus, Dominitian. Effective, but
Dominitian earned assassination (I am a god! Call me a god!) Still,
after all this, Augustan stability held. After assassination, it still
held! Then the best set came: the Good Emperors: Nerva, Trajan,
Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius. Lengthy reigns produce
stability and order. One long reign after another. They adopted each
other. Under Trajan, final expansion: Dacia- then the 300 year period
of expansion maxed out. Trajan's column in the forum now, carved in
bas relief (bah relief) the campaigns of dacia- the last.
Gibbon said: in the 2nd C, the empire comprehended the fairest part of
the earth and most civilized portion of mankind. Guarded by renowned
and discipline, peaceful inhabitents enjoyed and abused the advantages
of wealth and luxury. The image of a free consitution was preserved
with a decent reverence.
Historian Tacitus (1st C) said: the army can make and unmake an
emperor (there's a dangerous element there). Old Attalus of Pergamum
may have willed his kingdom to Rome, but he was the only one. Romans
believed that they should only fight if they were threatened.
'Defensive Imperialism'. So, Tacitus understood the reality: they
exaggerated the threat- and then conquered.
Social change: Senators did not try to restore the republic. Even
after Nero. Domitian. They preserved the order. No Caesar
assassinations. Sharing was ok. Old patrician families augmented in
Rome by other big families from around italy, even outside of it. Even
if Rome "conquered", it brought benefits: an enormous free trade zone.
agriculture flourished. The Persians did some of the same stuff.
Provincials were accorded protections, subject to victimization to
barbarians. Now they were protected. Lands. Territories.
Law- public courts, public justice, and this was throughout the
empire. Drive in britain, france and italy. those highways are roman.
Cities- a set of urban amenities were given to cities. A panoply of
great public buildings. forums, baths, aqueducts, and cities were
important. a key element in the roman system. Stabilizing forces. Not
like Greece or Sumer! Easy to collect taxes, easy to maintain loyalty.
They asked people not to harm Rome's interests. No worse, actually
better, than any other administration.
Government: only a few hundred. thats all. all the administrators. the
army was not used as a police force. used only to defend the
frontiers. the roman presence was absent. most people will have never
laid eyes on a roman official or soldier. certainly not the emperor.
So, adopt latin, volunteer to be loyal, and people throughout the
empire slowly but surely romanized themselves. People learned how to
retain their romanization and couple themselves with rome.
What happened? the augustan principate will at one point fail.
shouldn't blind us to the achievements of the Empire of Rome.
ROME'S GOLDEN AND SILVER AGE
High cultural achievement during the peace. But, this is not a
necessary thing. Great wealth. State was wealthy, individuals were
wealthy, and the mediterranean was wealthy. Financing buildings,
supporting artists and writers etc. was a noble goal.
Nostalgia was there for old rome, but no one was willing to put down
their lives anymore. A great age of poetry came up, in the Golden Age
Virgil: immortals. read in his time and ever since, always known by
educated people. Aeneid. Story of Aneid. He was an idealized roman.
There were a few incomplete lines, and Virgil wanted it destroyed.
Emperor Augustus violated his will and saved it. Praised the
countryside, appealed to Roman citizens traditional happiness. Theme
is somber in Aeneid: not boosterism: Romes great! great! No, it was
In line 33: Oh what a job it was to found the Roman people. OH what a
JOB it was to found these Roman people. But we stuck it out. Aeneis is
carrying his pater out of the burning Troy. A burden even then. A
mission from which he will not waver.
After the 1st Century, apologists wrote not gospels, but definitions
of the new religion.
Justin Martyr -
St. Ignatius -
Its fundamental teachings were wonderful. Compelling nature of its
basic teachings. Its what antiquity's best writers pointed to.
Heroism of the matyrs. Domitian illegalized it, and even before,
Christians were harrassed. And after. The way Christians faced their
fate and oppression won the admiration of many.
The universality of it. Renouncing all other allegiances, no other
gods. A dream of the brotherhood of all people. Understanding
universal right and wrong. It sounded very nice.
A historical faith- not mythical. Not one more myth placed back in
time, but Jesus walked there! He was there! He was crucified!
Women- Christianity valued marriage, union of men and women, and
valued women's needs. No pagan cult ever had that.
Structure of the Church. No pagan cult illicited such a strong sense
of conviction and cooperation. Unity.
Peace of the Pax Romana.
Now, the Empire was geared for a shock- and Christianity and the
empire would intertwine their fates forever.
ROME: CRISIS OF THE 200s: DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (1776)
-Immoderate greatness, supersition, barbarian invasions (look at what
happened in and to the roman world)
DID IT FALL?
-Civilizational catastrophe? It didn't lose everything, but a lot changed.
-Institutional agency? gone for the most part- but changed.
31bc to 180 ad is the pax romana
180-284 is the crisis (to diocletian)
violent transfers of power, army rules- armies saw themselves as in
service of the general, not the roman state. if your general is
emperor, you are glorious and you are favored. After Trajan and Dacia,
Rome ceased expanding. In the east and north, determined foes struck
at the empire unpredictability - and it changed the roman psyche. Roma
was now on the defense!
Inflation, prices rising, prosperity of the pax romana was
disappearing. 3rd century evinces gloom everywhere. in wills, in
literature, in everything. no more bouyancy of the great pax romana.
public building stops. the confidence of the civilizaiton is gone. The
roman world is in trouble. But then, something else happens.
Interesting dimension of the process of change- Rome managed its own
transformation. Diocletian was a reformer. Long reign. From Dalmatian
family and rose in military. Decicive In 293 introduced Rule of 4.
Roman world so big, so threatened... increasingly disorderly. To
Emperors, and their underlings. 4. Possibilities for succession
changed: Emperor dies, his succesor is known. Reorganized provinces:
doubled their number for better administration. Increased imperial
administration (previously a few hundred men) to a new one of
thousands. With 50m people, still small, much smaller than in the US
today in relations to people. Prefectures, and diosces into that.
Pretorians managed the prefecture, and then by masters of the
soldiers. Size of Army increased from 300 to 450 thousand.
Froze wages, prices, jobs. That didnt work. Enhanced the aura of
magisty to the empire. He retires to the great palace of Split,
306-337 reformer II, extended Dios military reforms. Mobile field
armies developed- based away from the man to man all the way around
the frontier. now on the inside, to respond better. battle groups.
Economics: the solis- based in gold. great addition. Founded
Constantinople based on Byzantium.
The roman world became an armed camp. now, people knew soldiers. they
lived with them, unlike before, when they didn't know one. military
establishment became foreign. The government became intrusive, yet was
less protective... things changed from the time when peripheries were
induced to become roman through rome's strength and protection. When
they voluntarily came over to Rome's side. East and West became rivals
too. Danube barbarians came in and the east bribed them to move west.
By 476, the west is gone. who did it? The germanic kingdoms were
rome's last creative act. Barbarians, what are they?
Greeks divided up into Greek vs. Barbarians. Babababa the sound.
blabbing. those people who are different than us through language.
Rome picked it up and made the empire one unit, and the people outside
the empire as foreign barbarians.
Myth: swarms attack a peaceful roman settlement and thats it. Rome in
fact traded and spied and made treaties with them. They were not a
surprised. Warred with them. Actually, they were people who spoke
germanic languages. We're dealing with Germans. Barbarians were
Myth: swarms attack with predisposed goals, like a conquest. Romans
incountered barbarians a thousand times. not much pattern. Romans
wrote about tribes: saxons, visigoths, ostragoths, burgundians, etc.
Romans gave them names and assigned them to territories. They brought
order. What did they thing beyond the frontier? well, we dont know,
they didnt write anything down. But, the people were a polyethnic
confederations. Visigoths were a confederation. Tribes that signed up
under a common leader. They formed, unformed and reformed all over and
again. Their past is shrouded. They migrated but we really don't now,
we infer what brought them into contact with one another. They were
not really nomads either. They were settled agriculturalists.
Nevertheless, we go from roman provinces to barbarian kingdoms from
410 to 500s.
Example: Visigoths. Loose confederation of German tribes. Lived along
central Danube, north side, in 300s. Constantine federated them,
making them frontier guards. Assigned military responsibility over the
area. After 50 years, they asked Roman emperor to cross the river and
settle in Roman territory. Why? They were being pressed by the Huns.
Migratory peoples from Asia.
Roman gov't is in a pickle. They just lost Valerian in Mesopotamia! WE
are losing on that frontier today. They allowed them to enter en bloc.
Visigoths crossed in mass anyway, without permission, in 376. They
wanted land to settle on and farm, and legal status. Government
panicked, and Valens came to Adrianople, fought the Visigoths and
defeated him. Killed him. Romans traded dogmeat for Visigoth children-
they were farmers and needed food while their first year crops grew.
Now, Goths want after 30 years, a position for their king in the Roman
hierarchy. They moved to the West in the 406, moved to Italy in 408,
and sacked Rome in 410. Cataclysmic event, St. Jerome in Bethlehem and
St. Augustine decried it, the latter writing City of God.
They wanted to go to North Africa, but had no boats. So they went to
Gaul and settled round south of france. Their 325 treaty is modified
and they now have to protect the coast of Gaul, from brigiands from
people in northern Spain... supposed to stop piracy off Gaul. Now this
barbarian people worked on behalf of Rome. But they were autonomous.
Is that an invasion? Roman policy had as much a role in it as 'invasion!'
Another Example: Burgundians in Gaul. Romans hired Huns to fight the
Burgundians. Huns realized what mercenaries already know: that if you
need to hire us, we are probably more powerful than you.
Then in 451, the Huns went on a rampage, and the Romans coalition with
visigoths and franks, and at Chalons, the Huns were defeated. "Romans"
In 476, barbarian general Odoacer, Romulus Augustus is chased out,
sends his imperial insignia to Constantinople. That's all that
happened. So when did the Roman empire fall? Well... here.
EMERGENCE OF CHRISTIAN CHURCH
its members belonged to something bigger than their local church.
christians were a united group, and st. peter was the first. no pagan
cult had any kind of organization like this. catholic = universal. the
church interacted with roman state. did it help or hinder it? a
How did Ecclasia, a called community, gathered l'leglise, ecclasie
Kirche, church = the lord's house. an abstract idea of solidity. both
ways let us see the creative tension.
Bishops were just pious people, then from higher social origins, and
as roman state became more intrusive and claimed people's loyalty
less, they directed it to christianity and the christian authorities
got more of that authority.
distinctive clothes were introduced. patronage, property wealth,
intervention in legal and heveanly affairs. Well, in the 400s they
came from same families as their traditional roman secular
counterparts. continuity and change both. emergence of bishops of
rome, and pope is a term of endearment (daddy). papa.
succession of apostles who, as matthew tells, 'go forth and teach,'
hand on the imperative to successor after successor. all bishops reach
back to apostle by their lineage (i learned from x who learned from x
who learned from John. add an x in each generation).
Matthew says: Peter is the rock upon which which i will build my
church. the gates of hell will not prevail against it. I shall give
unto thee the keys to the kingdom of heaven. whose sins you shall bind
on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whose sins you loose are loosed
in heaven. Vatican flag has keys on it.
Peter. Peter is designated the leader, he explains apostles decisions,
and is always listed first. so those who followed Peter followed in
his leadership role. Peter went to Rome and died there, and his
successors were the bishops of Rome.
played out in 4th and 5th centuries- between cities like alexandria
and antioch, and constantiople, etc. and these guys would appeal to
the bishop of Rome. this was turned into a right to speak in the first
place. then a precedent.
emperor theodosius promoted pope. one emperor, one pope one religion.
Pope Leo I (440-461) is the great theoritician of papal leadership.
the idea is spelled out and finalized. so in 5th, he can take for
granted he is leader of all christians viewed as a community. Gregory
I the Great (590) takes over responsibility in Rome for everything.
the food and water supply, the defense against Lombard barbarians.
Quasi emperor or king of rome. but should it be just the pope? sole
ruler? collegial view says no, monarchical view yes. collegial way
says 'all cardinals should vote'.
popes like Leo could not really impose their will all around the
CHRISTIAN CHURCH AND ROMAN STATE
Christians encountered the Roman state through persecution. blood of
martyrs is the seed of the church. Nero scapegoated them. Domitiian
outlawed them. So now they were not persecuted, but prosecuted! Pliny
wrote about it to Trajan, from asia, "what am i supposed to do about
christians?" and trajan said "they are around there, so well, oh well.
don't worry about them too much. So, no systematic relentless
persecution. But there were pogroms. round ups. passions of the
martyrs were drawn on model of passion of christ. martyr is someone
who gives witness. not dies. Decius later, in 200s really persecuted
them. sporadic until Diocletian, who persecuted them further. Part of
an overall ideological program. He had everyone denounce christianity
and burn incense to the roman gods.
Constantine's mother was catholic, but he didn't convert till he was
an old man. In 313 edict of milan granted toleration and tax
exemptions and fiscal privilages to the church. He donated and had
built the Original Church of St. Peter, St Paul outside Rome, and
Some pagan revival, but it was clear that paganism was on the way out.
Theodosius 378 made christianity the state religion. In late 500s,
Jolasius wrote to rome: when the church is in conflict with the state,
the church must take prescedence because it is concerned with men's
eternal souls, while the state is concerned with their earthly bodies.
jesus stood before pilate, jolasius stood before emperor- "my office
is more important than yours". took 5 centuries but it happened.
A canon of scripture was formulated: what scriptures? rabbis already
compiled the jewish part, the hebrew scriptures. should christians use
them? of course. it became the old testament. catholic bibles today
have septuagent books, from the greek translation, but the protestants
do not. they use the hebrew.
how about the New Testament? it was written in greek, but rome spoke
latin. latin versions appeared and St. Jerome made an official one for
all the scriptures. he made the vulgate bible in 382. so, basic texts
are made up. church did it!
exposed when freedom came with edict of milan. 3 in 1? oh my gosh. 3
persons in one God? Well, Arius taught that Jesus was subordinate to
God the father. In 325 the Council of Nicaea- developed the Nicene
Creed. Many Germans converted to Arianism.
Another problem: is Jesus true God or true man? How does a God die? In
451 it was decided that yes, Jesus was true both. The man had to die,
the God was reborn. Already we have a long history for Christianity!
EUH 1000 Main Next: Christianity