Week 15 – Christianity; Rome and the Visigoths

In what ways did Christianity represent a departure from the ideals and practices of ancient Greece and Rome?

I am not really sure why we got this question again, since I already answered a very similar question on the 12th week essay, but let’s answer it anyway.

The main difference is, of course, in gods. Christians have only one true God and Greeks are polytheistic, which means they believe in more gods.

Another huge difference is in their behaviour. Greeks focused on themselves and on their own well-being, meanwhile Christians tried to help everyone in need – even their own enemies, as St. Paul said: “Care and charity of Christians should extend outside the household of faith, even to enemies of the Christian faith”

St. Basil the Great also made a public hospital, tried to make institutions for widows, orphans, sick and poor. Christians overall brought a new meaning to charitable work.

Discuss the relationship between Rome and the Visigoths.

Visigoths were people who wanted to live in Rome, but Romans wanted to know if they are trust-worthy first, so they told them to spend some time in front of the gates first. When the Huns came in to Rome, the Visigoths needed to come in so they do not have to always counter the Huns’ attacks and so they were let in on one condition – they had to give up their weapons. Once let in, the Visigoths were treated very poorly and decided things need to change. Romans agreed to make a meeting with them, however as Visigoths later found out, it was only so Romans could kill their leaders. This lead to the Visigoths revolting and attacking Romans. Romans needed more soldiers to calm it down and took some guards away from the front gates, which lead to Germanic people coming in Rome and fighting against the Romans, too. Finally, the Visigoths defeated Romans and pillaged Rome for three days.

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