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Pax Romana

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<blockquote>For righteousness has arisen in His days, and there is abundance of peace, which took its commencement at [[Nativity|His birth]], God preparing the nations for His teaching, that they might be under one prince, the king of the Romans, and that it might not, owing to the want of union among the nations, caused by the existence of many kingdoms, be more difficult for the apostles of Jesus to accomplish the task enjoined upon them by their Master, when He said, "''Go and teach all nations.''" Moreover it is certain that Jesus was born in the reign of Augustus, who, so to speak, fused together into one monarchy the many populations of the earth. Now the existence of many kingdoms would have been a hindrance to the spread of the doctrine of Jesus throughout the entire world; not only for the reasons mentioned, but also on account of the necessity of men everywhere engaging in war, and fighting on behalf of their native country, which was the case before the times of Augustus, and in periods still more remote,...How, then, was it possible for the Gospel doctrine of peace, which does not permit men to take vengeance even upon enemies, to prevail throughout the world, unless at the [[Nativity|advent of Jesus]] a milder spirit had been everywhere introduced into the conduct of things?<ref>[[Origen]]. ''Against Celsus''. Book 2, Ch.30. '''The Early Church Fathers (38 Vols.)''' </ref></blockquote>
It may also be noted that later on in the Roman Empire, major codifications of Roman law such as the [[w:Codex Theodosianus|Codex Theodosianus]] (AD 438), and the [[w:Corpus Juris CivilisCode of Justinian|Codex Justianianus]] (AD 529-534) saw the introduction of Christian principles formalized into law. These deeply influenced the [[Canon Law]] of the Western Church and the civil law of Medieval Europe.
==Historical Criticism==
Given the above, one of the ironic trends during the ''Pax Romana'' was that Christianity was widely persecuted throughout the Roman empire. Because Although the spread of the ''[[w:Roman Empire|Imperium Romanum]]'' was associated with the idea of ''Pax Romana'', the ''Pax Romana'' in its turn was also associated with the compulsory recognition of the [[w:Imperial cult (ancient Rome)|Roman emperor cult]], in spite of all the religious tolerance which we know the Romans to have exercised.<ref>Jürgen Moltmann, R. A. Wilson. ''The crucified God: the cross of Christ as the foundation and criticism of Christian theology.'' Fortress Press, 1993. p.136.</ref>In spite of this however the overriding trend was the growth and mission of the Church of Christ, and its ultimate victory as the Roman Empire was eventually Christianized.
Also, despite the term the period was not without armed conflict, as Emperors frequently had to quell rebellions. Both border skirmishes and Roman wars of conquest also happened during this period. Trajan embarked on a series of campaigns against the Parthians during his reign and Marcus Aurelius spent almost the entire last decade of his rule fighting against the Germanic tribes. Nonetheless the interior of the Empire remained largely untouched by warfare. The ''Pax Romana'' was an era of relative tranquility in which Rome endured neither major civil wars, such as the [[w:Crisis of the Third Century|perpetual bloodshed of the third century AD]], nor serious invasions, or killings, such as those of the [[w:Second Punic War|Second Punic War]] three centuries prior.
According to the deeper understanding of the Church fathers, ''Pax Romana'' becomes almost a metaphor<ref>Metaphor: A figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them.</ref> and a vehicle for ''Pax Christi''. Metropolitan [[Makarios (Tillyrides) of Kenya]] has written that "it was the ''pax romana'' which accounted in no small degree to the amazing rapidity with which the Christian faith was disseminated in every territory under Roman rule."<ref>[[Makarios (Tillyrides) of Kenya]]. ''“Orthodoxy in Britain: Past, Present, and Future.”'' In: John Behr, [[Andrew Louth]], Dimitri Conomos (eds.). '''Abba, The Tradition of Orthodoxy in the West: Festschrift for Bishop Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia.''' Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2003. pp.135-155.</ref>
In the [[New Testament]], the [[Apostle Luke]], writing in the [[Acts of the Apostles|Book of Acts]] does not present the Roman Imperial order and its officers in as negative a light as does the [[Book of Revelation|Revelation of John]], but frequently in a positive light as well, highlighting a number of important factors:
[[Category:Church History]]
[[ro:Pax Romana]]

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