EFFECTS OF CHRISTIANITY ON ROMAN EMPIRE AND VICE VERSA

This essay discusses the effects of the Church on the Roman Empire and in turn the changes that the Roman Empire influenced in the Church. Most of these changes occurred during Emperor Constantine’s rule in the 300 A.D and are analyzed in this essay. At the time Christianity began spreading in the Roman Empire, it had fractured and diversified though this led to its dilution. It was in stark contrast to the Roman religion which involved Worship of Roman gods and adherence to mystery cults such as Cybill and Adonis. In these cults, it was not exclusive to be a member though it necessitated sizeable offerings which only the wealthy afforded. This was one major area of contrast with Christianity whereby it was absolutely free to join, guaranteed an after-life and was absolute in its beliefs unlike the Roman religion which was expensive to join, was open and allowed you to join any other cult and was not definite on an after-life hence accelerating the spread of Christianity. Unlike Roman Religion which mainly encompassed the rich, Christianity freely allowed the poor, women and slaves to join. Christianity largely emphasized on loyalty and unity across a divide of citizens, that is, between the rich and the poor, which other cults failed to do. This led to a variety of changes effected on the Roman Culture by Christian principles advancement.
First, it in effect changed the societal structure that had been established in the Roman culture whereby slaves, women and the poor were segregated by the rich. This highly fueled Christianity while at the same time fragmented other groups. Therefore, Christianity is seen among other factors such as politics, a contributory factor to the stability lack thereof and consequent fall of the Roman Empire. Christianity also greatly influenced a change in customs and practices such as keeping a prisoner in the dark and instead he was allowed outdoors; a condemned man could then die in the arena but not branded on his face in accordance with the literal Christian doctrine that man was created in God’s image and hence the slave could only be branded on his feet; slave masters’ powers were reduced though a slave could still be beaten to death and all gladiatorial images were ordered to be removed although this was not strictly implemented.

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