Cultural and Political Changes and Continuities in the Roman Empire – 100 C.E. to 1000 C.E.

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Two aspects of the Roman politics and culture change noticeably; the rise of Christianity, and the division of the empire which ended with an Eastern and a Western Roman Empire. Christianity altered the Roman lifestyle, while the decentralization of the Empire left Western Europe without a strong political system until the formation of the Holy Roman Empire. Although these changes marked the beginning of the Byzantine Empire, an important continuity shaped the Byzantine political attitude; the conservation of the Greco-Roman laws and ideas. When the Roman Empire split during the 3rd century, it was having both internal and external conflicts, unable to control its vast lands. The majority of the internal conflicts were caused by the shifting in religious practices and beliefs amongst the citizens, of which Christianity was a part of. The external conflicts consisted of the spreading diseases, and the ruler’s and representatives’ inability to manage the whole empire; especially when there were nomadic invasions from the west, from the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals and Franks, who were Germanic tribes that had adopted Christianity. The split of the Eastern and Western Roman Empire later on led to many other changes such as Christianity being pronounced as the Eastern Empire’s official religion by Emperor Theodosius, Constantine guaranteeing the freedom of practicing Christianity with the Edict of Milan, the change of the official language from Latin to Greek, the East and West Schism and eventually a seceded Empire. Christianity, as mentioned, caused internal conflict as well as the fall of the Roman Empire, but also provided a base for the Byzantine culture. Constantine tried to unite both empires with Christianity, and he was the one that supported the religion causing it to spread all over Europe and Asia more vehemently. The Roman Empire was based on a state-sponsored polytheistic belief system that entailed cults, ceremonies, and worshipping multiple Gods;...
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