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Notes on video lecture:
Intertwining of Religion and Politics in the Roman Empire
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
map, evangelium, Asklepios, exist, rhetoric, occasional, Savior, Roma, divine, blind, patron, wisdom, authorities, margin, taxes, thinner
1. local leaders nurture             /client relations with Rome
mutual benefaction, gift exchange
time and space are marked in provinces in Rome
calendar changes in Asia
cult for the goddess          and honoring the imperial family
we shouldn't think as provinces and cities outside Rome as on the             , but as areas appealing to make a connection to Rome to tie themselves into Roman governance
some provinces mixed more easily than others with Rome's culture
provinces benefited in terms of trade,           , and cultural exchange
2. border between religion and politics doesn't really            in the Roman Empire
emperor is celebrated as a             
Tacitus writes that Vespasian healed a            man, just as Jesus heals a man in the Gospel of John
the boundary between human and divine were                in the ancient world
wise men, philosophers, and emperors are often described as divine or nearly so
3. Christian testament language is adopting language of its time and environment: Roman imperial                 
                    , or good news
soter, savior, healer
not only associated with emperors such as Augustus or religious leaders like Jesus, but also with cults of the god                    (a god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek religion)
peace and universality was terminology of the times which Christian picked up to talk about their own religious life
4. religion and politics are mixed in cities in civic assemblies
*** our term "religion" and our term "politics" don't        well as separate spheres onto the ancient world
in Paul's letters we find language that is simultaneously religious and political
this is to be expected in a context where the imperial family was recognized as              or like the gods
it's hard to know if Paul and those he wrote to stood for or against the Roman Empire
Romans 13: "the person who resists the                        resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment, for rulers are not a terror to good conduct but to bad"
yet also Paul represents the Roman officials as fundamentally mistaken: if they had understood God's hidden             , they would not have crucified Jesus
*** Paul is isn't writing systematic theology or even writing systematically. He is writing                      letters to particular communities.
at the time of writing his letters, there is no larger context


lacuna (pl. lacunae), n. [la-KOON-igh] a gap in a manuscript, inscription, text, painting, or a musical work  "There are substantial lacunae in the surviving texts, including a gap in the Annals that is four books long."
apotheosis, n. deification, specifically under the Roman empire, the formal attribution of divine honors to a deceased emperor or other member of the imperial family  "A deceased emperor held worthy of the honor could be voted a state divinity by the Senate and elevated as such in an act of apotheosis."
benefaction, n. an act of doing good; a benefit, a blessing, a contribution of money or assistance  "They nurtured a patron-client relationship that was marked by mutual benefaction."
beneficent, adj. characterized by or performing acts of kindness or charity  "The Roman Empire was not entirely beneficent and kind to its provinces, of course."


######################### (56-117 AD)
Senator and a historian of the Roman Empire
  • two major works: "Annals" and "Histories" examine the reigns of Tiberius, Claudius, Nero, and the Year of the Four Emperors


who was the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek religion
Asklepios [ah-SKLEE-pee-us]

Ideas and Concepts:

Modern symbolism from the ancient world via tonight's Letters of Apostle Paul class: "In Greek mythology, the Rod of Asclepius [ah-SKLEE-pee-us] is a serpent-entwined rod wielded by the Greek god Asclepius, a deity associated with healing and medicine. One of his daughters was named Hygieia, or Hygiene, the goddess of cleanliness and sanitation, and another was named Panacea, the goddess of universal remedy. The rod-and-serpent symbol has continued to be used in modern times, where even today it is associated with medicine and health care."
Paul's Letters: Authorship and Audience
Form and Physicality of Ancient Letter Writing
Paul's Letter Writing Within the Tradition of Ancient Rhetoric
Ancient Responses to the Letters of Paul
How Ancient People Wrote about Their Place in History: Polybius and Daniel
Four Stories of Empire in Judea: Babylonian, Macedonian, Seleucid, and Roman
The Roman Empire's Knowledge of Early Christian Communities
Josephus on the Definition of Jew and Christian in the Ancient World
Understanding the Historical Josephus
The Priene Inscription
Intertwining of Religion and Politics in the Roman Empire
Letters to the Corinthians
Slavery and Freedom in Roman Corinth
Slavery in First Corinthians