HIST 203 Lecture Outline (Fall 2020 – Week 2)

HIST 203
Lecture Outlines


Meet the Romans with Mary Beard: All Roads Lead to Rome (1 of 3; 59:06 min.):




c. 4 BCE – 30 CE Lifetime of Jesus in Judaea
c. 50 – 150 CE
27 canonical texts of New Testament written:
  • 4 Gospels (attributed to SS. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
  • Acts of the Apostles (attributed to Luke, c. 65-85)
  • Revelation (also called Apocalypse)
  • 21 Epistles (letters), many attributed to St. Paul
66-70 Jewish revolt in Judaea put down by RomansTemple destroyed
2nd cent. Roman Empire at its height
3rd cent. Roman Empire in crisis (250s: persecution of Christians)
284-305 Diocletian (see Week 1) reorganizes Empire; persecutes Christians, leading to DONATISM (belief that a sinful priest cannot perform valid sacraments)
312-337 Constantine (see Week 1) legalizes the practice of Christianity within the Empire (EDICT OF MILAN, 313) convenes the church Council of Nicaea in 325, which rejects ARIANISM (belief in a hierarchical Trinity) and produces the NICENE CREED

Early Christian concepts shared with pagan mystical religions include:

  • baptism
  • eternal salvation
  • death and resurrection of a savior-god
  • sacramental meal
  • human brotherhood under a divine father

Early Christian concepts shared with Judaism include:

  • monotheism: one eternal, omnipotent, unseen god
  • messiah
  • prophets
  • angels
  • miracles
  • sacredness of Hebrew Bible
  • importance of prayer, alms, tithing, fasting, pilgrimage to Jerusalem
  • ritual use of bread and wine

Early Christian concepts not shared with Judaism or pagan mystical religions include:

  • Trinity (one god, with three divine, co-equal, consubstantial, co-eternal persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
  • original sin
  • Eucharist (Holy Communion)
  • sacramental powers of priests (7 sacraments: baptism, confirmation, penance, Eucharist (communion), marriage, extreme unction, ordination)
  • sacredness of New Testament
  • administrative hierarchy: laypeople, parish priests, bishops, archbishops, patriarchs (bishops of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and, later, Constantinople)
The fourth and fifth centuries:
c. 375 – 600 Germanic migrations into Western Empire (many tribes convert to Arianism)
Late 300s – early 400s
3 “Latin Doctors” of the Church:
  • St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan (forces Emperor Theodosius to repent of massacre)
  • St. Jerome, translator of Hebrew Bible and New Testament into Latin (=“Vulgate” Bible)
  • St. Augustine, bishop of Hippo Regius and author of Confessions and City of God
391 Emperor Theodosius I makes Christianity the Roman state religion
395 Death of Theodosius I; final division of empire into Eastern and Western halves
410 Sack of Rome by Visigoths (prompts St. Augustine of Hippo to write City of God)
415 Murder of Hypatia of Alexandria (click on the trailer for movie Agora [2010], or on this 10-minute documentary, with film clips, which is the end of a 50-minute documentary on Alexandria)
455 Sack of Rome by Vandals
476 End of Western Roman Empire with deposition of last Western emperor (Romulus Augustulus) by barbarian general Odovacer