FRQ #1

Topics: Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Religion Pages: 2 (397 words) Published: January 20, 2014
Free Response Question

From 100 C.E. to 600 C.E. Rome experienced many changes, both culturally and politically. Rome also had some continuity, like the fact that it remained an empire and religiously through the rise of Christianity. Also, Latin remained a widely spoken language. Although it stayed the same, the changes out numbered its continuities.

The changes Rome experienced were due to the empires internal and external conflicts. A shifting in religious practices and beliefs amongst citizens in which Christianity was part caused the internal conflicts. The spreading of diseases and the ruler/representatives inability to rule the whole empire caused the external conflicts. With the rise of barbarism, the empire no longer saw itself as encompassing the entire world as it once did but instead saw itself as an island civilization in the world of barbarism. In around 280 C.E. the Roman Empire split into the East and West under Diocletian. Power moved eastward and the Byzantine Empire formed. Also, by the fourth century the social structure in the Roman Empire changed. Patrician was no longer considered a class; instead they used the caste system.

Religion was a large part of any Roman’s life that was changed drastically. In the early empire, Paganism, where there was a belief in many gods, was the main religion. When the idea of Christianity came around, it initially attracted the poor. Eventually it gained popularity in the other classes. Eventually such a large amount of people believed in Christianity that even though the authorities had rejected the religion in 100 C.E., Constantine was forced to legalize it in 313 C.E. Christianity quickly spread through the Roman Empire and took over the other religions. Though the religion drastically changed, Christianity is considered continuity because it remained the official religion through out the span of the whole empires existence.

There were some other political and cultural continuity in Rome. For...
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