Thursday, February 18, 2021

The religious tradition in the Late Roman Empire

 The religious tradition in the Late Roman Empire

The religious tradition in the Late Roman Empire The Roman Republic managed to determine its influence over the entire Mediterranean region by the center of the second century B.C. and Rome continued to be the Capital city of Roman Empire until the 4th century A.D. We also discussed how the Roman Republic drew its power from the senate and on all major issues the ruler obtained the approval from the senate. Here during this Unit we'll discuss the changes through which the Roman Empire skilled since the start of the Christian era . Beginning from the primary century A.D. the senate lost its powers and gradually the monarchy got established. The structure of state and therefore the system of administration underwent many changes. Towards the top of the third century A.D. the empire got divided into separate administrative zones. By the fourth century A.D. the empire was formally divided into Eastern Roman Empire with its capital at Constantinople and Western Roman Empire with seat of power at Rome.

The Roman Empire since the start had a practice which was tolerant towards various cults and sects. within the period under discussion new religions like Judaism and Christianity got introduced to the Romans. Religious tradition in the Late Roman Empire of those Christianity after initial hostility got wider acceptance within the whole Roman World. during this section we'll discuss various Religious traditions within the Roman Empire and therefore the spread of Christianity.

The Early Religious Sects

In the age of Roman Republic there have been various deities, goddesses and gods which were being worshipped by the Roman elites and customary people. The supreme deity of the town of Rome was Jupiter who was considered the king of gods. Mars was also another important deity because he was considered the god of war. The religious tradition in the Late Roman Empire within the Roman Empire the faith was an integral a part of the Roman state and therefore the religion was polytheistic (belief in or worship of the many gods). In every a part of the empire especially within the West, the people followed different religious cults.

The Roman state religion was managed and organised by pontifex. within the beginning of the republic the pontifex (priest) was elected from among the plebeians and he had to perform all the religious rituals of the state.

The dominant religion of the Romans might not be considered because the sole religion of all the people of the Roman Empire . Religious tradition in the Late Roman Empire there have been quite number of Eastern cults which were introduced and expanded within the empire. These cults entered the most territories of empire through various ways of expansion and were carried by the soldiers traders and slaves to varied regions of the empire.


Judaism and Christianity originated within the region which at the present constitutes Palestine and Israel in West Asia. Before the emergence of Christianity the Judaism (the followers were called Jews) was the main religion of this region and Judaism provided the fertile ground for the birth of Christianity. within the fourth century A.D. Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire . Before we discuss the causes of the increase and spread of Christianity within the Roman Empire we might wish to provides a brief account of the Judaism.

Christianity in Late Roman Empire

For The religious tradition in the Late Roman Empire As we all know Jesus (C 4 B.C. – C 29 A.D) was born at Bethlehem, near Jerusalem sacred city of Jews, into a humble family. (The exact date of his birth isn't known. it's believed that it had been round the first year A.D. or a touch before it. However, the amount before his birth is taken into account as BC and therefore the start of church year since his birth is taken into account after that) Jesus stayed in his home town situated in north Palestine, for thirty years of his life. consistent with traditions, he spent forty days within the desert of Palestine and beginning of his desert stay he began to spread the divine message which had been revealed to him. It seems that Jesus was quite dissatisfied with the Judaism of the amount . He felt that the rabbis (Jewish religious leaders and scholars) were more involved the legal issues, rituals and rules regulations of each day life instead of the moral transformation of the inner life. 

The ideas of Jesus were seen as threat by the Jewish priests and students while variety of Jews from among folk saw him as a Messiah who was there to liberate them and show the righteous path and have become his followers. The famous of those were 12 disciples. Roman rulers also saw Jesus as a threat around whom the rebels might rally around to revolt against the Roman rule. Some Jewish leaders handed over Jesus to Romans.


The Roman Emperor was a sovereign authority and was considered as divine representative of the god. The Roman emperors were also the symbol of deities. The components of state like senate, army, civil bureaucracy and judicial apparatus was controlled by the patrician elite. During this era the mighty Roman Empire was divided into Eastern and Western parts. Religious tradition in the Late Roman Empire The decentralization of the administration was experimented toward the top of 3rd century A.D. under the joint rule of Diocletian and Maximian. The Roman Empire still largely trusted slave mode of production and it extracted the excess production of slave labour with the assistance of slave masters. 

The late Roman society was divided among various classes. The patricians and slave owners who resided mostly at the developed urban centres of the empire were the ruling and dominant class. The religious tradition in the Late Roman Empire , The plebeians, free tenants, colonates, urban proletariats and slaves were the lower classes of the Roman Empire . The lower classes had no property rights and therefore the slaves were sold and purchased just like the cattle within the markets. Emergence of coloni or share croppers was a crucial development.