As the Greeks were the most brilliant originators of Western civilization, the Romans were the most notable organizers and preservers. By force of arms and statesmanship, the Romans linked the proud cultures of the Hellenistic east with the less sophisticated cultures of the western Mediterranean. Embracing Alexander's dream as their legacy, they made the idea of "one world" a reality. They thought of themselves as great with a divine sanction for Rome to rule the world. The Romans came everywhere, with their riches, their skill, and their arrogant spirit.

Along with the Pax Romana went the building of highways and the growth of commerce. Roads of solid construction traversed the Empire and made possible more extensive travel and trade than the region had ever known. The pirates had been curbed who had imperilled shipping in the Mediterranean. Roads, travel and commerce facilitated cultural and religious as well as political unity. Roman temples were the homes of deities more frequently than they were the halls of worship, and were often used for secular purposes and for exhibition of works of art.

The Romans were a law unto themselves. They would have laid waste to all Israel if it suited them. Others were appalled by the corruption, the preoccupation with vice, and the rampant adultery and homosexuality. The ruling class grew soft with luxury and the lower classes became mobs and lost the desire for labor, in Rome they idle all day. The Syrians were always a problem for the Jews but the Roman military was many times stronger than the Syrians ever were. They marched with dreadful legions that had never been defeated, and the poor Jews were powerless to destroy them. Jewish leaders were correct when they advised their people not to take arms against the Romans, not to vex or molest them in any way, for if they did so, we can be sure that the Romans would destroy every town in Palestine , even to Jerusalem. The synagogues would not not only be profaned, but razed to the ground, and the people sold into slavery as they were in the days of Babylon. The enemy was among them in full force and they were powerless to resist.

Just like America had always looked at Europe, the Roman had always looked askance at the Greek intellectual, clever but volatile and unable to govern and administer. Indeed all engineering skills, like all medical skills were provided by Greeks in the Roman Empire; the Romans supplied merely the organizational ability. Some Romans were predicting that the decay of the old Roman virtues meant death and disaster to all the world. The Latin race had spent its powers more in action than in thought. It borrowed its philosophy from the Greeks; the science it studies is law and order; the art it cultivated most assiduously was that of war. Hence the Roman trump of fame sounded most frequently a martial note; the majority of illustrious names in the annals of the republic and the empire were those of soldiers and men conspicuous in public affairs.

The Greek "Nothing too much" met in Rome, its logical opposite, "Even everything is not enough," pillage and pilfer, grab and gorge: fill to repletion and vomit and fill again, dominate and exploit the world until they have nothing. Do not the Romans without any help from our God, govern, reign, and have the enjoyment of the whole world, and do they not have dominion over you as well? No other creed was humble enough to lay its foundations among the buried hopes, fears, and desires of the masses; no other creed was willing to give to the poor and the humble a parity with the rich and the wise and the proud. And then came Jesus. Christianity tunnelled underground to a region where faith as well as reason prevailed, where hope, not pride and arrogance, were established: in the catacombs of the faithful where the assembly of the living took communion among the tombs of the dead.
[07, 347, 350, 23, 379, 365, 383, 392, 394, 396, 401, 402]

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