20 May, 2007

I would have to say my favorite part of this year was the business project. It was time consuming but I enjoyed working on the project with friends. The project is also very practical.

06 May, 2007

This blog was great, except I would have added that under her the English colonized North America and she was ranked 7th of the hundred best Britons in 2002, the highest of any Monarch.

This Blog was very well done. This individual did not want to make the jump and make a very bold political statement due to endangering the integrity of this very well done piece of work. I will do it for them, in order for any nation or group of followers to be able to weather attacks is to present a united front. If a medieval line of soldiers was not united the enemy could easily penetrate their ranks. This goes in the world of politics as well, the republicans or demarcates need to present a united front, regardless if the politician has a bit of an verging view then the party. The nation will become ripped apart if you have multiple Presidents or people (senators) doing jobs they are not so post to be doing. Any ways this blog is a very good piece of historical research.

I am not sure I agree with him on everything. What caused the growth of the Church did persecution play a role in its growth?
The church grew rapidly between the death of Jesus and the fall of the Roman Empire in 410 A.D. Was this growth due to the persecution of the Church? If so how did it grow when it was not being persecuted. The one rule to ruling well is to have the respect for authority, but respecting this authority was eroding among Roman citizens, including the upper classes and the traders. The cause was related to the inappropriate behavior of roman soldiers, plundering towns, farms and abusing people as a result of the emperors ordering tax collectors into the empire to squeeze more taxes from Rome’s Citizens. The lack of self disciplining soldiers eroded the confidence in the Government ability to rule. During the chaotic times, between 200 to 350 A.D., discipline within the army continued to decline. During this time the church was on a rise. They grew to over half the empires population, in spite of the persecution of Christians by roman authorities. This paper will identify and discuss how other Social, Political/Security and Other Religious conditions were more the reason for the growth of the Christian church rather than the persecution of Christians.

Social Conditions
In the book “The Rise of Christianity”, the Author Rodney Stark, states that in 200 A.D. there were 218,000 Christians in the Roman Empire this equates to 36/100th of 1% of the population. In 350 A.D. there were 33.9 million Christians in the Roman Empire this equates to 56.5% of the 60 million people in the empire. The question is what caused this sudden rise of Christians in the Roman Empire in just 150 years. The one well known fact about the Romans and the Christians is that the Romans persecuted the Christians. There is another person who can shed some light on church population between 200A.D. and 350 A.D. this is Edward Gibbon. In his book he talks about Constantine’s conversion at about a time of 312 A.D. “The most favorable calculation, however, that can be deduced from the examples of Antioch and of Rome, will not permit us to imagine that more than a twentieth part of the subjects of the Empire had enlisted themselves under the banner of the cross before the important conversion of Constantine.”(Gibbon 183) How did the Church grow form 20 % of the empire to 56.5 % of the empire in 38 years? The growth was so explosive in these 38 years, of Constantine’s rule during a time period of no church persecution, that one can say that persecution was not a major cause of growth.

The Romans had a thing for female babies; they did not keep them most of the time at birth. “They would take the newborn children put them down by the seashore or take them into the forest and simply leave them there to die or to be eaten by animals” “They even went out into the forest or down to the seashore and they rescued the babies that had been abandoned and left to die and brought them home and they embraced them and raised them as their own daughters.” (Kurt Thieland) Due to this act of compassion showed by the church, they obtained the majority of the women thought the empire.
One other act of compassion that the church showed was in time of the epidemics. “Epidemics were common. Small pox, measles, the bubonic plague arrived on the scene and the devastating effects came with them.” “When the plagues hit the town you leave the town. Doctors, merchants, farmers... the vast majority of the citizens would simply leave. And when departing would leave behind young children, elderly” “But the Christians took a different approach. When everyone else left, the Christians stayed. Often at the cost of their own lives. They would love, feed, care for the children.” “They would literally save lives. In fact, no one could help but notice that Christians not only found the ability to risk death for others, but they were much less likely to die. The early Christians didn’t know it, but because of their love, over time, a large proportion of believers gained immunity” “Ones they left behind had come to Christ and had been loved into the Christian faith.” (Kurt thieland)

The Romans had a very structured social system containing Imperial Domus, Senators, Equestrains, Commons, Freed People, and Slaves. The Imperial Domus is the Emperors of the Roman Empire. The Senators were the ruling senators before the Emperor took over. The Equestrains are people who can show that they can sustain an income of 400,000 Sentences (91,970 dollars). The dollar figure is obtained by finding out that 4 Sestersis, equal one Denarius. One Denarius equals three and a half grams of silver. 350,000 grams of silver equal 12,345 oz of silver. The exchange rate for silver is one ounce for 7.45 dollars. This totals out to 91,970 dollars that the Equestrains had to have as a sustained income. This is not factoring in inflation rates; there is evidence that they had a falling economy in there last several hundred years.

The empire used as much labor as they could and did not take advantage of the new technology. The steam engine had been invented by a Greek named of Alexandria during the rule of Augustus, the empire still relayed on human and animal labor. Producers had no use of technological progress because they had plenty of slaves to run anything they needed. They had been increasing output by utilizing more labor by utilizing their army’s reward of captured slaves.
The problem, was little was understood by government under the emperors, because they knew only of the military. Due to this, the policies incorporated continued this imbalance in trade and the flight of the empires gold and silver eastward. To pay soldiers, emperors lowered the quality of money, and the government began paying its debts in money that it would not accept from citizens as payment of taxes. As a result, the middle class went bankrupt due to skyrocketing prices. Due to this, in the cities the population did not make a revolt, but in the countryside there were many revolts. These revolts were not united and were not large enough on an individual scale that the empire’s legions would be challenged. Due to these revolts some trade routes were cut off, which forced helped Rome’s trade with China and India to come to an end.

Since the Roman economy was in a state of decline people were forced to move. This shift was from the populated cities to the, rural cities and towns. This shift was caused by the need for food, due to this the cities shrunk drastically. This happened because, the agricultural areas, fell victim to barbicans or Roman Soldiers.

Political Conditions / Empire Security Conditions

Despite the Edict of Toleration, God remained unkind to Gallienus. A general in Syria, Macrianus, revolted against Gallienus, proclaiming his area independent of Rome. In Gaul a general named Postumus rebelled and proclaimed himself emperor, and from Gaul he took control of Britannia and Spain. Then in 267, Goths in large numbers again crossed the Danube and attacked Greece by sea and by land. By the year 268 Athens was overrun. As the Goths were moving to anther target of opportunity, Gallienus and his legions attacked and defeated them. But while Gallienus was in Greece, another general revolted against him, in northern Italy. Gallienus rushed back to Italy, and, while besieging the rebel general at the city of Milan, he was murdered by a group of generals who believed that they could rule better than he. The leader of these generals, Marcus Claudius, became emperor and took the name Claudius II.
Claudius rallied what forces he could against the Goths. With skill he managed to defeat them and to pacify areas within the empire south of the Danube, a pacification that included allowing Goths to settle permanently on available land in Thrace and Macedonia. The upstart emperor who ruled over Britannia, Spain and Gaul, Postumus, had been cut down by his own soldiers, and contenders fought for control of what had been his realm. Claudius continued to reign only in the central part of the empire, including Moesia, where he defeated another invasion of Goths. Then in 270, while preparing to move against an invasion by a Germanic people called Vandals, bad luck caught up with him: he died of the plague.

Claudius' chosen successor was a tough-minded soldier, Aurelianus – one of those who had conspired with Claudius against Gallienus. Aurelianus became the emperor known as Aurelian. He ruled energetically and enforced army discipline. An outstanding general, he re-established Roman rule in the east, and, with the eastern front secured, he was able to regain the provinces of Britannia, Spain and Gaul, the upstart who had ruled these areas submitting peacefully to Aurelian's authority.
Aurelian earned the title “Restorer of the World.” He increased the amount of food distributed to the people of Rome. He tried to reform Rome's coins, and he tried to subordinate the worship of Rome's gods to the worship of the sun god Sol Invictus. Then in 275, while on his way to another war against Persia, Aurelian was murdered by a group of officers whom his secretary had misled into believing he had marked for death.
During the next nine years Rome had six more emperors. Alamanni again pushed into Gaul. More Franks came in boats along the channel coast and penetrated the heart of Gaul by way of its rivers. The Franks sacked northern Spain, and they sailed into the Mediterranean and to North Africa, where they established a pirate base.

Other Religious Conditions

The big religious movement of the late Roman era was neo-platonism. Plotinus had studied philosophy at Alexandria. During a time in the military in 243 and 244, he failed to meet eastern thinkers and to learn Persian and Indian philosophy, as he had hoped, and he returned from military service to Rome, where he spent much of the rest of his life teaching philosophy. He saw himself as a reformer of Plato's philosophy. It was the last big development in philosophy before the triumph of Christianity, his views gaining a wide following among Romans. These Romans were looking for something to subside the disorder of the Roman Empire.

This new religion looks very much like a New Age thought. It is designed to expand on his eastern influence. It contains several things, these would be terms like “The One”. “The One” is the source of all, it is the absolute. It contains a step between the eastern thought and the other Roman religions. This was “The Divine Mind”, this mind is eternal and transcendent. The last is the soul, it is said to be both cosmic and individual. (Plotinus)


Do to many reasons, the Roman empire fell. Was its persecution of the church a good thing a for the church. The Church exploded, at a time that there was persecution. This explosion was about 25.7 people per day for 150 years. During this 150 years, the empire was falling apart. The empire had ten to eleven emperors, about three outside forces that had attacked and taken a portion of the empire. Most people were shifting from cities to the countryside. Seeing how the empire was being divided, the citizens needed something to hold on to, “a religion”. There were many religions, the two big religions were Christianity and neo-platonism.

The most important piece of information is the Edward Gibbon quote that talks about how the church was only at twenty percent of the population until Emperor Constantine’s conversion. If there was only twenty percent how did the persecution effect the growth and did it effect this explosion. The growth before Constantine was from the compassion that the church showed to the female babies that were left to die. This compassion is also affected when the church stayed during the epidemics. “When you have all the girls, you get all the boys.” (Kurt Thieland) This quote talks about what would have happened as a result of the compassion of the church, they would have expanded in size due to marriage. During this time the church is doing all these selfless acts, the Roman Empire is setting up the right social conditions, for people to seek out the church and not have to worry about being persecuted.
The Romans were allowed by God to set up this explosion of the church. The church had one unexplained thing on their side and that is miracles, it is extremely hard to way their effect not knowing how many times they occurred. “It is not reasonable for pagans to reject the testimony of authentic miracles.” (Augustine 195) The growth of the church was prohibited by the persecution, because the roman citizens were afraid to seek out the church to find a religion that worked for them.

Works Cited Page
Gibbon, Edward. The History of the Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, Penguin Books. London, England, 2000.

Augistine, Saint. City of God, Image Books Doubleday. New York, New York, 1958.

Extraordinarily Lives, Thieland, Kurt, High Desert Church April 8, 2004

Plotinus, http://www.kheper.net/topics/Neoplatonism/Plotinus.htm

The problem is more then just cultures and being condemned by their own people. If they are willing to kill themselves do you really think they care about what intellectuals say. Many of these suicide bombers are being compensated for their life by their families being taken care of. We need to fix that but I doubt they will ever cherish a human life like we will, at least not for a generation or two.

This blog was very well done, one saying that has never changed and never will is "Whoever wins the war writes the history books." There are pages on the Axis powers' war crimes but there are paragraphs on what the U.S. did to citizens of Japanese decent. I am in no way sticking up for the Axis powers because what they did was and is extremely moral repugnant. But if you are trying to write a history book don't leave out parts just because our government wants to forget what they have done. When I visited Dachau there was a group of what looked to be cadets from the German Air Force or Navy there and they said that they were touring every single death camp that was setup in WWII. They are making sure that they don't forget just make sure we do the same.