THOUGHTS ON THE FIRST CENTURY

 

The First Century in which Marcus Apronius, the protagonist of this novel, was born and lived was in my estimation, one of the greatest centuries of all time and was filled with both joyous and tragic events. Most notable and magnificent of all the joyous events of course was the living Jesus Christ among men;  his Resurrection;  the birth of Christianity;  the proselytizing by the Apostles;  the establishment of the early Christian Church;  the new Covenant;  the writing of the Gospels;  and the journeys and letters of the Apostle Paul.

Tragedies abounded and included the depravity, hedonistic gluttony, and cruelty exhibited by many of the Julian-Claudian Emperors;  the blood-thirsty appetite of the pitiless Roman citizens hungry for the savage brutality of the arena;  the wars to increase the size of the Empire and enslavement of the conquered peoples to a life of subjugation;  belief in a ridiculous pantheon of gods;  and the unjust persecution, torture and martyrdom of the early Christians.

Of course, there were many secular events in ancient Rome that were neither joyous or tragic but nevertheless memorable. The engineering achievements of the arch, barrel vault and the groin vault;  the beautiful classical architecture;  the arts which included painting, sculpture, and mosaic masterpieces;  a genius for organization;  a system of law, much of which is still in use today;  and hundreds of contributions that we take for granted and never think to attribute to the Romans.

There are many facets of ancient Rome that we can admire and many that we can despise but one fact is indisputable;  they left an enduring legacy for all those that followed.

Roman Empire A.D. 14

 

 

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