Ancient Rome

Their perception on the world and the events going on around them.


Background Information

The Roman Empire lasted from about 30 BC to 1453 CE. In fact, it was of the largest civilizations of it's time. It was also widely renounced for it's powerful army. Soldiers were well trained, and always on the job. For example, when they weren't marching or in battle, soldiers spent their time repairing streets, bridges, and others tasks that required strength. This was needed, for the Romans were often trying to conquer other lands. This meant that they were often at war. This is a huge part in the Roman's view of others.

The Rise of Christianity

The religion known as Christianity is practiced by roughly 2,040,000,000 people today. One of the reasons it is so widely practiced today is that it originated in one of the largest empires of all time! But it wasn't accepted at first.

In the beginning, Christians were considered criminals. This was because it was illegal to worship anything but the Roman Gods. Even so, the religion grew rapidly. Christians were always trying to convert followers, in hopes that they would overcrowd the people who practiced Roman Gods. Then they might be accepted.

Most of the early people who practiced Christianity were from the poorer sections in Rome. This was because of two main reasons. The first reason is because of where they would go after death. In the Roman religion, only gods could live in heaven. Everyone else went to the Underworld, a dark and gloomy place of unhappiness. However, in Christianity, as long as you followed the path of God, you could earn a place in heaven. The second reason is because every Christian was considered equal to all other Christians. There was no nobility or higher castes.

Christianity was finally accepted in 313 CE, when Roman Emperor Constantine converted and made the religion legal. This meant that Christians could no longer be arrested just for their religion. Since they could now openly practice and teach their beliefs, Christianity soon became the dominate religion of Rome, which covered northern portions of Africa, western portions of Asia, and most of Europe. Eventually, you were required to practice Christianity in order to be an official Roman citizen.

The Crusades

A Christian Crusade soldier in uniform.

As previously addressed, Christianity played a huge role in Roman life. So it's no wonder that when the Pope announced that the Christians needed to go to war, many people were on board. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

As Christianity was rising in Rome, another religion called Muslim was rising in Mecca. It worshiped one God, called Allah, and was spreading in the present day Middle East. It grew there, and then spread west into northern Africa, and north into present day Turkey. Eventually, it began to work it's way into Europe, the central hub of the Roman Empire. They then began to try and convert Christians. This was bad news for the church.

The pope came out and told the Christian followers that if a person helped to fight the Muslims and drive them out of Rome, then they would be guaranteed to go to heaven, despite all prior sins. Many people decided to go fight, for heaven is the goal of all Christian life. In addition, the Romans believed that they were superior to all others, including in terms of religion. They thought Christianity was better than Muslim. The Muslims believed the exact opposite, that they were better than Christianity.

They also fought over the Holy Land. The Holy Land is the city of Jerusalem, Israel. In Christianity, Muslim, and Jewish, this city plays a key role. In fact, each of those religions even has a special monument in the city. This also caused much fighting and warfare between the religions.

In total, there have been 16 Crusades, including the Children's Crusade and the King's Crusade. Today, there are still disputes about who officially owns the Holy Land, but the fight over superiority has pretty much died down. In short the Romans believed that they were of higher rank then everyone else.

The Roman View

In conclusion, Romans saw themselves as the top dogs of their time. They had LOTS of land, (which at this time meant you had power). They also had a dominant religion, Christianity. Finally, they had one of the most powerful armies of all, so they could basically take over any land they wanted to, (which meant that they had easy access to more power). In other words, they viewed themselves as the Kardashians of the first thousand CE, and the rest of the world as the ant you step on on the sidewalk.

I hope you have learned something about the Romans. If you are interested, please check out the link below. Thanks!

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