Who Were The Romans?

A statue of the first Roman Emperor Augustus (...

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This is taken from Olivia Coolidge’s book The Roman People: (Copyrighted 1959)

“Who were the Romans, after all? Well, strictly speaking the Romans were members of an Italian town which became an international power, ruling over the whole of southern Europe, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, and North Africa.

The traditions of the Romans, of their family life, dress, and early religion comes from this town. Looked at from a larger point of view, however the Romans were the greatest melting pot of nations until the United States. In the time of their power, you did not have to live in Rome to be a Roman, or even need to be born of Roman blood. Italians, in the first place, counted as Roman.

Secondly, the better-class people of all the subject nations were made Roman by gradual degrees.
But while the citizenship was spread in this way through the upper classes, it was spread nearly as fast through the lower. Every slave who was freed by a Roman became Roman, too.
He had certain drawbacks, to be sure, but his son’s standing was as good and anybody else’s.
Thus the lower classes were constantly being filled by hard-working people who had started from literally nothing and made good.

These were not the Romans we meet in the pages of Caesar, but the little shopkeepers and traders and merchants. We get an impression of the Romans as being a stuffy people with a formal language which nobody could possibly talk, as we mean talking. In fact they were all sorts and jabbered away to one another, often in very bad Latin or some other language.
One thing we may be certain of.

The Roman Empire was an organization which suited its members fairly well. If it had not been so, it would never have endured for hundreds of years.
It may be a pity today we mostly study the works of Cicero and Caesar. Both these great men lived in a period when the Romans were struggling through trial and error- mostly error- to find out how to organize their vast dominions.

We are apt to get the impression that they did so horribly badly, which is certainly unfair to their average record.
Augustus, who was Caesar’s adopted son, managed to preserve the forms of a republic, while at the same time he kept the control of affairs to himself and governed wisely.
The only people who did not care for this arrangement were the old Roman aristocrats who found their real power gone; and even they were grateful to see that the civil wars were finally over. Under Augustus, there really came to be a golden age.

If we want to study what the people of Rome-in the broader sense-were like, we should look for them there.
What were they like then? They were all sorts, just as we are. They had things in common, however. They were prosperous, so much so that they rather tended to think that present riches were the only way thing to aim for, especially as they were not perfectly sure what happened hereafter.

Most people’s ambition was to get rich enough to show off what they had to other folk.
Another thing about Romans is that they all owned slaves. This made for a streak of cruelty and selfishness in the nicest characters.
It also encouraged the slaves themselves to be unscrupulous. It is easy of course to condemn the Romans for faults which we should have, too, if brought up in this fashion. Then they adored pageants and shows.

They loved excitement and got it sometimes in ways which seem revolting to us; but we can understand at least what they were after.
Provincial citizens had great loyalty to their native town, whatever that might be, and very much less to their province.

Few Romans had a chance to to join in the government of the Empire. They obeyed it and were grateful, but they loved their own cities where they could rise to some modest office or promote the community welfare. This tied in with their desire to be remembered after they were dead, which was passionate.

The Roman world of Augustus is the world that Jesus Christ was born into, which gives in an extra interest for us.

Indeed the spread of early Christianity is mainly due to the Romans. They persecuted it from the first, but they helped it more.
They helped it by having a world at peace through which missionaries could travel.
They helped it by spreading common languages throughout their empire.

Most of all they helped it by mixing together all sorts of people with different backgrounds and religions who talked to each other, got their over their own prejudices, and became interested in new ideas.
All this was happening in the days of Augustus before Jesus had started to preach.”


This 1959 copyrighted work describes modern day America to the tee.

America is the Roman empire; it is the last empire (feet of iron and clay)on the image king Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream. The dream the Hebrew prophet Daniel interpreted and recorded in his book.

Revive? It never ended just changed its name.

The empire the stone cut out of the mountain will smite. After this smiting will the stone cut out of the mountain fill the earth. This is the kingdom of God.

People need to prepare their lives their families for the soon return of Jesus Christ whose coming is guaranteed. And as we see around us the signs of the times of the end no one need be found unsaved.


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