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Discussion Week 1

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1. Why is the Augustan Age considered a high point of cultural achievement?
[Your discussion should include a short survey of the great literary productions of the period, especially the works of Virgil, the greatest Latin poet of them all, Livy, the historian of imperial Rome, and mention some of the features of Augustan visual arts.]

2. What values were reflected in Roman art, architecture and
literature, and what role did these play in Romanization?

[In other words, if you had to define the hallmarks of Roman culture, what would you pick -
(i) logical and orderly Roman law (which they have bequeathed to the West),
(ii) good, if at times woefully cruel and stern, government,
(iii) an 'open society' where social advancement in a multi-ethnic Empire fostered prosperity,
(iv) Roman art and architecture emphasizing the conquests of war and the veneration of great and heroic ancestors, etc.?]

3. Why did Rome persecute the Christians?
[The Roman empire was polytheistic and witnessed the spread of many beliefs, such as the mystery cults of Dionysius, Demeter, Isis and Mithras, which latter came from the Persian empire. One god to the average Roman was the same as another. Why did they apparently take such exception to the Christians?]

Copyright ©2008 Aidan Breen, Ph.D.