Free «A Besieged Roman Empire» Essay Sample
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Following the events of the period between 350 to 450 CE significant changes in the political and the social arena, some of the main political achievements gained during this period were include: reinforcement of the army; victory at war against the Germanic tribes; leadership for the army established; rules and laws constituted to govern the catholic faithful and protection of the religious dogma of all the people within the Roman empire.
Transforming the Army and the Local Authorities
Nepotianus in the year 350 CE opposed the rule of Magnentius but his self-proclaimed interest of power did not see the light of the thrown for he was killed alongside his mother the Magnentius he tried opposing. Upon this occasion his first cousin Constantia stood up to the task of opposing Magnentius upon which the opposition and conflict went on till 353 CE. In the year 355 CE Constantia named his paternal half cousin and in-law, Julian, as the Caesar of his Western Roman Empire (Guiseppe, 2006). Within the period of the next half decade after he was named the Caesar of the Western Roman Empire, Julian embarked on a serious war against the Germanic tribes upon whom he emerged victorious in most of the encounters. Among the defeated tribes included Alamanni which allowed his securing of the Rhine frontier. An impending war between Shapur II of Persia was instigated by Constantia upon which he ordered the troops of Julian’s Gallic Army to assist; the war however did not happen following the demise of Constantia in 361 CE (Brown, 1989).
Julian’s reign was termed as controversial in that he lifted the persecution of Pagans and Pagan temples. This made it for the pagans to have their freedom of gathering to oppose the church and so on. Unfortunately for the church some changes were not as impressive has he would have intended; the calling back of exiled bishops to the church dented the church’s reputation. He resumed the war his late cousin Constantia had instigated upon where he got a mortal injury that led to his death. The mess that he created on the religion arena was rectified by his successor Valentinian who after being elected as an Augustus chose his younger brother Valens, while Valentinian was in charge of Western Roman Empire, his brother, Valens, assumed control of the Eastern Roman Empire and succeeded. Procopius, Julian’s Cilician maternal cousin tried to dispute the rule of Valens but was defeated and executed in May 27, 366 CE hence protecting what would have been a reversal of the religious beliefs just like his late cousin Julian had done (Baldi, 2002).
The Making of a Governing Constitution
After the era of war and civil conflicts the fall of the Roman Empire under the regimes of previous Augusti allowed Honorius, Theodosius II, and Valentinian III to formulate their set of governing rules and laws that were to serve as the constitution of the empires they were ruling. Some of the rules or laws in their self-designed constitutions were primitive but also very fair (John, 2004). The main issues that were constituted upon included setting worship boundaries between Catholics, Heretics, Pagans, Donatists and the rest of the marginalized tribes and groups. Some of the rules that were put in place to govern these groups had a set of guidelines that differentiated the kind of punishments for each specific group or se of people if they were broken. Most of the laws however favored the Catholic Church and following this case, numbers of convert cases were prompted by the changes brought by the introduction of the constitutions.
Catholics and the Entire of Worship and Non-Worship Groups
Catholics as depicted in the constitution were the main faithfuls within the Roman Empire. For the rest of the religious groups and the cults that were referred as pagans were marginalized as the constitution depicted. The rules and the laws that were put in place, such as those that allowed bishops to rule in disputes. The verdicts that they were to give they were in not appealable in any other arm of the law. The promotion of these bishops led to the conversion of many people to catholic. For the sake of the church, catholic was endorsed by the constitution and this led to the present popularity of the religion. It was not acceptable for the other groups to insult the Catholics either by holding public gathering openly to teach any scriptures that were against the catholic teachings.
Corpse-bearers were exempted from paying taxes and this promoted a population increase in this field; it was also made clear that there were not supposed to be more than 950 corpse-bearers within a certain unit of attendance. This was to regulate the system in which corpse-bearers were seen as outcasts in the society. For the sake of handling the issues that they were to go through, making their case in the constitution was a means of accepting them in society thus neutralizing the numbers into the societies’ mind sets of seeing them people who did not belong. The beliefs of these people were aimed at being made the acceptable concept that went well with the destined minimal standards of faith (Chadwick, 1971).
Promotion of the Catholic Church
The church was seen as the only ultimate holy place as people had lost their morals as a result of the war that had subsequently be followed by rapes, murders and other sorts of crimes. Doctrine of the church was included into the constitution thus making Catholic the main and almost the only church whose teachings would not be debated on or opposed by any of the other groups that either belonged to certain worship or not. These groups were not given the same position in the society as catholic because the practice of paganism was rampart at that time. Most of the groups were run by vigilant leaders who were not in to religion and were out to oppose the government changes. Some of the practices of worship by some of these groups were unacceptable to the authorities and to the majority of the existing catholic faithfuls. The practices included public preaching against the doctrine of catholic and at times persecuting the faithfuls and bishops of catholic.
Most of the crimes that were committed by these groups were put to a rest with the promotion of Catholic Church that defined a certain set of guideline of how its faithfuls were supposed to control themselves. Immorality in terms of murder and rape was minimized in that people were taught morals and they could also be excommunicated from the church if their behavior persisted. The result was; they would be vulnerable belonging to no apparent faith and that the punishment of their crimes or privileges would be taken away from them (Spodek, 2000).
Characterizing the period between 350 CE and 450 CE
This period under the regimes that promoted war, rape, murder and all kinds of immorality can be characterized as the period of mental, ethical, emotion and moral erosion of the Roman Empire under the leaders and rulers of that time. The introduction of the church and the constitution did make it the best of what a person would ask for. As a result giving more rights to certain religion and taking some rights from others curbed the problem of social derailment of the communities. The period can better be characterized as both tormenting and recreating at the same time.