History_115_West_in_the_World_2 - Nancy Crawley History 115...

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History 115 Roman and Byzantine Empires The Roman Empire, as well as Byzantium, were two great historical locations during the period between 30 BCE and 1300 CE. They were both very influential societies in their time period for various reasons. These influential ways varied from political, economic, religious cultures, and experiences. Religion was big for both Roman Empires and Byzantium, but they were quite different. They were both influential in their own ways. The Roman Empire was polytheistic and worshipped many gods, but they also witnessed great changes and the development of Christianity. 1 In Byzantium, they were very much monotheistic and Christian. Both civilizations were very religious, just in different manners and had different belief systems. The Roman Empire was built around diversity and polytheism, while Byzantium was built around unity and monotheism. In the Roman Empire, the religious organization was built around many gods, such as Zeus, Dionysus, Isis, etc. 2 They were very much polytheistic in the beginning, but eventually began to become monotheistic with Judaism and Christianity. 3 When they were polytheistic, they went to the Pantheon, which were their temples and dome to worship at or in. Also, as polytheistic, each city within the empire had different gods they would worship and organizations they would worship at. For example, one religion, Mithras, believed they would have life after death if they followed his ways. One way of worship that was limited to 1 Brian Levack, Edward Muir, and Michael Maas, The West: Encounters and Transformations, Vol.1, to 1715 (New York: Pearson/Longman,2011), 193. 2 Lecture, Week 7
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This note was uploaded on 01/05/2012 for the course HIST 115 taught by Professor Ms.merrill during the Fall '10 term at Wingate.

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History_115_West_in_the_World_2 - Nancy Crawley History 115...

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