Review for March History Test

David Pollack

The Pax Romana is the reign of several emperors, which lasted from the rule of Augustus and the Julio-Claudian Dynasty, the Flavian Dynasty, the reign of the "Five Good Emperors." The line of the Pax Romana left the Julio-Claudian Dynasty after Nero, the dynasty's last emperor, committed suicide. After civil war raged in Rome, which included the death of two contenders and the suicide of one, Vespasian came out with the rule, and kept it from 69-79 CE. He is known for putting down a Jewish revolt, which included destroying the temple and the suicide of the Jews on Masada. His son Titus, who ruled from 79-81, succeeded him. His rule was capitalized by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. His younger brother, Domitian, ruled after him from 81-96. He crushed a revolt le by a Roman commander in Upper Germany, and executed many leading Romans because this frightened him. Doing this led to his assassination in 96, ending the Flavian Dynasty. The Senate chose Nerva as the next emperor. His rule, however, only lasted until 98. Although his reign was uneventful, he initiated the practice of adopting a son who is suitable for becoming the next emperor. He adopted Trajan, who ruled from 98-117. During his reign, he eased taxation in the provinces, provided for the needs of poor children, and had public works built. He also conquered Dacia, which contained much gold and silver. He also waged war against the Parthians. However, he was forced to return the troops due to revolts by Jews in Eastern provinces. The next emperor was Hadrian, who ruled from 117-138. He strengthened border defenses in Britain, and fought off the second Jewish revolt in Judea, the Bar-Cochba revolt. After this revolt, Hadrian had the majority of Judean Jews either killed, sold as slaves, or forced to seek refuge in other provinces, renamed Judea as "Syria Palestina," forbade Jews to enter Jerusalem except once a year, and encouraged non-Jews to settle the land. After him came Antoninus Pius, who ruled from 138-161. He was known for instituting just and humane reforms for slaves, which included prohibiting the killing of a slave without a judicial sentence, and prohibited selling slaves into prostitution, castration of slaves, and abandoning of slaves' children. He also established the principle of "innocent until proven guilty."

The last emperor of the Pax Romana was Marcus Aurelius, who ruled from 161-180. He was a philosopher, and he wrote Meditations, which eloquently expressed Stoic thought. However, he had legions that retook Armenia from Parthia, but brought back an epidemic that decimated the population. He also had to deal with German incursions into Italy and the Balkan Peninsula. This war forced Marcus to devaluate the coinage. Although Marcus Aurelius's only living son, Commodus, was a misfit and a megalomaniac, Marcus did not adopt a son and gave Commodus the rule, ending the Pax Romana. During the Pax Romana, the empire was stable, peaceful, and secure, and there was law and order because of the adoptive system, a responsible army, and bureaucracy. Several, aqueducts, sewer systems, irrigation, roads, and cities were built. Rome traded metals and salt with Spain, ham cheese, and glass with Gaul, wine, honey, and marble with Greece, and luxuries with Asia Minor. Also, citizenship was extended to almost all free-people by 212. There were some political women, women were allowed to do business and own property, and were allowed to initiate divorce. Greco-Roman culture also spread throughout the empire. Another positive about it was that slaves were finally protected under the law because of institutions initiated by Antoninus Pius.

Virgil was a writer who lived from 70-19 BCE. He is known for writing the Aeneid, a long poem that recounts the tale of Aeneas and the founding of Rome. He wrote this at the request of Augutus, who wanted a literary epic to glorify the Empire and his role in founding it (as Augustus claimed to be a descendant of Aeneas).

Augustine, who lived from 354-430 was a Saint and the bishop of Hippo in North Africa. He originally turned to Manichaeism, an eastern religious philosophy to help him find meaning in a world that abounded with evil. This philosophy's central doctrine was the struggle of the universal forces of light and good against those of darkness nd evil. However, he still felt spiritually restless. He then abandoned Manichaeism and devoted his life to Christ's teachings. He was appointed bishop of Hippo in 395 after serving as a priest. He is known for writing Confessions, his autobiography, and City of God, which was a response to the crisis of the Roman Empire. In it, he talked about how the "worldly city" could never be realized on earth, but only existed in heaven. He still said that people must deal with life on earth. This city would rise from the ruins of Rome and would be based on Christian principles.

Messianism is the belief in the coming of a Messiah who will redeem. This belief came up as Roman Procurators began to enrage Jews by doing acts of sacrilege in Jerusalem. It was also connected with the Parthians, who the Jews looked upon as a would-be redeemer. During the revolts against Rome, Jews hoped for Parthian interference. Even the Talmud says that we would know that the Messiah has arrived if a Parthian-horse is seen in Israel. This belief also gave rise to the belief that Christ was the Messiah.

Arius, who lived from 250-336, was a Greek priest in Alexandria. He led one of the factions of belief concerning the relationship between God and Christ. He denied the complete divinity of Christ. He believed that Christ was more than man but less than God, the Father and the Son did not possess the same nature of essence, and that there is no permanent union between God and Christ. The Father alone is eternal and truly God.

The adoptive system is the system in which an emperor would adopt a son who was fit to be the next emperor, as opposed to the oldest son automatically taking the throne. This system was used by 4 of the 5 Good Emperors of Rome. The last of these emperors, Marcus Aurelius, did not use this system, ending the peace and security of the Pax Romana.

Marcus Aurelius, who lived from who ruled from 161-180, was the last of the 5 Good Emperors of Rome. He was a philosopher, and he wrote Meditations, which eloquently expressed Stoic thought. However, he had legions that retook Armenia from Parthia, but brought back an epidemic that decimated the population. He also had to deal with German incursions into Italy and the Balkan Peninsula. This war forced Marcus to devaluate the coinage. Although Marcus Aurelius's only living son, Commodus, was a misfit and a megalomaniac, Marcus did not adopt a son and gave Commodus the rule, ending the Pax Romana.

Diolectian was emperor of Rome from 284-305. One of his biggest things that he did was to divide the empire into a western and an eastern half. He is also known for his persecution of Christians, which was more severe than any other before, and led to the deaths of many Christians. Some abandoned their faith because of fear of torture and death. However, they did not last long enough to threaten Christianity, and even strengthened the determination of most of the faithful and won new converts, who were awed by the extraordinary courage of the martyrs willingly dying for their faith.

Vespasian: see Pax Romana

Ptolemy was one of the most prominent scientists during the Greco-Roman age. He was a mathematician, geographer, and astronomer. He worked in Alexandria in the 2nd century AD.

The New Testament of the Bible is the anthology of the Apostles, the stories of Jesus. Besides being the source of Jesus's beliefs, it is also one of the few sources historians have concerning the life of Christ.

Judah HaNasi was the chief rabbi of Israel during the middle of the 2nd century CE. He is known for compiling the Mishnah, a collection of the oral law according to different traditions and different schools of thought at the time.

Princeps, which means "first-citizen," is the title that was given to the emperor. Emperors were also given the title named after what Octavian changed his name to, Augustus, a semi-religious and revered name.

The Council of Laodicia was a church that instituted Christian rules and regulations. It is known for making rules that seperated Christianity and Judaism. Some of the rules they instituted were that disallowed Purim gifts from Jews to goyim, and changed the Sabbath for Christians from Saturday to Sunday. They added the obligation for Christians to work on Saturday to this institution.

Rabban Gamaliel was a Jewish rabbi, and was known as an outstanding Pharisee teacher. He was also the leader of the Sanhedrin, the highest Jewish court. One of the students that he taught was Paul, known as Saul before he converted to Christianity.

The "Doctrine of the Witness" is a doctrine that was written by Saint Augustine. It suggested that the physical presence of the Jews is desirable because the Jews provide testimony to the truth of Christianity in two ways. First, the Jews possess Scriptures, which could be used to show that Christians did not invent them to predict the coming of Jesus, because they were written before the birth of Jesus. Second, the servitude of the Jews reminds the world that the Jews are being punished for their rejection of Jesus.

(Of course, because of my religious beliefs, I do NOT agree with any of this.)

Julian was a Roman Emperor from 361-363. He was the last emperor who was not Christian. He is known for pushing for a rebuilding of Jerusalem, but this plan never went through because of an earthquake.

Constantine was emperor of Rome from 306-337. He is known for issuing the Edict of Milan in 313, which granted tolerance toward Christians. He also allowed Jews to settle in sight of Jerusalem and to go there on the 9th of Av.

Tertulian, who lived from 150-225, was a Christian philosopher. He asked the question "What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem?" He says that they have nothing to do with each other. Many others shared this opinion with him because they thought that studying Greek philosophy would contaminate Christian morality and promote heresy, and the Greek philosophy and Christian revelation could not have any compromise between them.

The Vulgate is a Latin translation of the Old and New Testaments. It was translated from the original Hebrew by Saint Jerome.

Theodosius I was a Roman Emperor in the late 4th century. He is known for making Christianity the state religion of the empire in 392. He also made worship of pagan gods illegal. Because of this, the target of persecution shifted to pagans, Jews, and Christians with unorthodox views.

The Council of Antioch, similar to the Council of Laodicea, created laws and regulations concerning Christians. This council is known for the laws that it instituted in 341. It prohibited Passover visits between Jews and Christians, and did not allow Christians to eat matza.

Saint Basic, who lived from 329-379, was a Monastic monk. He thought that monks should do work besides serving God.

Octavian (Augustus), who was the adopted son of Julius Caesar, was the emperor of Rome from 27 BCE-17 CE. To avenge the assassination of his father, he joined with Mark Antony and Lepidus, two of Caesar's trusted lieutenants, and defeated the armies of Brutus and Cassius. After defeating them, Lepidus was forced into political obscurity and Octavian and Mark Antony fought. Octavian finally beat him in the battle of Actium in 31 BCE. In 27 BCE, he said that he was willing to give up his power. He did this, however, because he knew that the Senate would ask him to stay, and that would make his power seem entirely justified. He was given the title of princeps, which means "first-citizen," and was named Augustus, which is a semi-religious and revered name. His rule was co-opted with the Senate. The Senate administered certain provinces and advised him. Also, the assemblies still selected magistrates. Augustus' main job was to command the military. He also instituted several reforms during his reign. He created a volunteer standing army, and offered veterans homes. He also built aqueducts and water mains, restored Temples, created a fire brigade and a police force, and distributed free grain. He even funded a gladiatorial contest himself. In Italy, he built roads and secured the borders against barbarians. In the provinces, he reformed the governments, regulated tax collection, and allowed citizens to bring charges against Roman officials. He also allowed local customs to remain intact. He was even deified in the East.

Odoacer was a German ruler. In 476, he took the throne after German officials overthrew the Roman emperor, Romulus. This event is traditionally regarded as the end of the Roman Empire in the west. The empire in the East continued as the Byzantine Empire.

The Germanic Tribes are tribes that lived around the Roman Empire and attacked frequently during the Late Roman Empire. The Ostrogoths, who originally lived in the Ukraine area, were forced to migrate to the Roman Empire by the Huns. After receiving mistreatment at the hands of Roman officials they began to fight the Romans. The Visigoths, another Germanic Tribe, besieged Rome from 408-409. In 410, they broke through and plundered Rome. Both Goths are known for the battle of Adrianople in 378. In this battle, two-thirds of the Roman army perished, and the emperor, Valens, was killed. This battle was Rome's greatest defeat since the battle of Canae in the war with Hannibal. Another Germanic Tribe was the Vandals. They led to the collapse of the Roman borders in 406 as they overran the Empire's Western provinces with the Alans, Suebi, the Goths, and others. However, they most well-known for their sack of Rome in 455.

Neo-Platonism was one of the schools of philosophy in the Roman Empire. Similar to the Platonic form, its philosophy reached for something beyond this world in order to comfort the individual. It replaced Stoicism and became the dominant philosophy in the Late Roman Empire as religious yearnings were transformed into a religious system that transcended reason.

The Council of Nicaea was the first assembly of bishops from all parts of the Roman world. In 325, it was called upon to settle the controversy over the relationship between God and Christ. It ruled that they were coequal.

The Council of Chalcedon is known for resolving the controversy over the relationship between Christ's divine and human natures in 451. They formulated the orthodox position that Christ is truly God and truly man and that two distinct natures, one divine and the other human, are joined and preserved in his person.

Romulus was the last Roman Emperor on the throne in the West Empire. He overthrown in 478 and the throne was given to Odoacer, a German. This event is traditionally regarded as the end of the Roman Empire in the west. The empire in the East continued as the Byzantine Empire.

Tactius, who lived from 55-118 CE, was a Roman historian. He is known for writing 3 books. The first two, Histories and Annals, he denounced Roman emperors and the imperial system. His third book, Germania, talked about the habits of the Germanic peoples. He described them as undisciplined but heroic, with a strong love of freedom.

The Apostles are missionaries of the Christian movement within Judaism. They went about, preaching the gospel about Christ. They targeted Jews and converts to Judaism who were not wholly accepted by the Jewish community because they did not adhere fully to Mosaic Law.

Paul, who lived from 5-67 AD, was one of the Apostles. He was originally a Jew who was educated by the Pharisees. However, on a trip to Africa to find people to convert to Judaism, he supposedly had a vision from Jesus. He therefore converted to Christianity. He was the first to make Christianity into a world religion from a Jewish sect. He opened the Church to gentiles by using baptism to convert, and by saying that the Mosaic Code is obsolete, and encouraged abandonment of the law. He also makes Jesus into a savior-god by saying that he was martyred.

The Papacey is the hierarchy of levels of Christian officials. At the top of the ladder were the bishops, who governed religious activities of their own regions. One bishop would be elected as the Pope, who was the head bishop.

The Gospels are the stories of Jesus written by the Apostles. After several years they were compiled into the New Testament.

Saint Jerome was a monastic monk, who wrote about the lives of the saints. He also translated the Old and New Testaments into Latin.

Saint Ambrose, who lived from 340-397, was the bishop of Milan, Italy. He is known for composing religious hymns and books on scripture, dogma, and morality. His writings included the duties of the clergy. He also created the dictum "The Emperor is within the church, not above it." This became a cardinal principle of the medieval church.

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