MWH: Prologue - The Rise of Democratic Ideas - Lecture Notes

           * Bold print denotes a term from lecture only.




Historians research and describe the history of the human race over centuries or even a few millennia. By contrast, the life of an individual person takes place within days, years, and decades. To order these time periods, each individual day, week, month, and year are provided with a date in the calendar, so that they can all be named without ambiguity and can be differentiated from one another.



Calendars allow us not only to order and structure the past, but also to plan the future. They play a varied and indispensable role in our daily life. Each person has developed an individual feeling for whether an event lies only a few days in the past or a few years. Using the always present task of differentiating, ordering, or simply remembering the elapsed days, different cultures in the human race must have acquired methods of counting and ordering the number systems in different ways.

The concept of geologic time and the way it is measured have changed over the years. For example, early Christian theologians were mostly responsible for formulating the idea that time is linear rather than circular.


St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.) stated that the Crucifixion was a unique event from which all other events could be measured, thus establishing the idea of the B.C. and A.D. time scale. The Gregorian calendar is the one commonly used today. It was decreed by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. In the Gregorian calendar, the year is approximated as 365 days.



BC Time:  As most people know, "BC" stands for "before Christ", or before Jesus of Nazareth.  BC time counts backward from when the early scholars thought to be the time of Jesus.

    * Problem #1:  Unfortunately, we now know that Jesus was NOT  born in AD1.  We now know they were off between 3 to 6 years.  Most scholars will agree with                    setting Jesus' birth between AD 4 and AD 5.

AD Time: "Anno Domini" is Latin for "in the year of Our Lord" (NOT after death), referring to Jesus of Nazareth. That is, "AD 1996" literally means "in the 1996'th year since the birth of the Christ."   AD time obviously counts forward from the birth of Jesus.

     * Problem #2:  Now not all the world is Christian, so it makes no sense for a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Witch, a Druid, or an atheist to refer to the date as                         being in the year of "their Lord" when they don't follow him.

CE Time: CE stands for "Common Era." It is a relatively new term that is experiencing increased usage and is eventually expected to replace AD. The latter is an abbreviation for "Anno Domini" in Latin or "the year of the Lord" in English. The latter refers to the approximate birth year of Jesus of Nazareth.

CE and AD have the same and value. 2004 CE = 2004 AD.

BCE stands for "Before the common era." It is eventually expected to replace BC, which means "Before Christ." BC and BCE are also identical in value. Most theologians and religious historians believe that the approximate birth date of Jesus of Nazareth was in the fall, sometime between 6 and 4 BC. 


4 Historical time periods:


            - Prehistoric Times: Prehistory consists of the period of human history from which no written records have survived. Although people disagree as to

                                           when prehistory began; it is commonly cited as having begun about  100,000 to 200,000 years ago with the appearance of the first

                                           modern Homo sapiens.


            - Ancient Times:  is from the period of time when writing and historical records first appear, roughly 3,500 BC to AD 476 (the Fall of the Roman  Empire)


            - Medieval (Middle Ages) Times:  The Middle Ages of Western Europe are commonly dated from the end of the Western Roman Empire (476) until the rise of

                                                               national monarchies, of European overseas exploration, the invention and diffusion of printing, and the humanist revival of the

                                                               Renaissance in about 1500.


            - Early Modern Times the time between the Middle Ages and the Industrial Revolution that has created modern society. The early modern period is characterized

                                                by the rise to importance of science, cumulative and increasingly rapid technological progress, secularized civic politics and

                                                capitalist  economics.


            - Modern Times post Industrial Revolution (about 1800) to present day



P-1:  The Legacy of Ancient Greece and Rome


2000 BC:  the Greeks established cities in the small fertile valleys along Greece’s rocky coast.


City-state:  local political entities.  They were like little countries.


            * 5 characteristics of a city-state:

                        1.) Pride in homeland.

                        2.) Natural-born citizenship only.

                        3.) Jealous of independence.

                        4.) Only cooperated with other city-states in the event of invasion.

                        5.) Had a democratic government.


government: a system for controlling the society.


Monarchy:  a government ruled by a single person called a king/queen, emperor/empress, or czar/czarina.


Aristocracy:  a government ruled by a small group of noble, land-owning families.


Oligarchy:  a government ruled by a few powerful people.


Democracy:  rule by the people.


            - demos: Greek meaning “people”


            - kratos: Greek meaning “power”.


Athensthe largest and most powerful city-state to emerge in Ancient Greece.


            - citizens: People who participated in governmental decision-making.


                        * who Adult male residents


                        * responsibilities: Each year, an assembly of citizens elected three nobles to rule the city-state.


            - government:  Three nobles elected ruled the city-state.  After a year of service, the nobles became part of a larger council of advisers.


            - 600 BC: Athens begins to suffer severe economic problems; mostly due to crop failures.


                        * farmers' problems:  They had a great deal of debt.


                                    + 3 actions:

                                                 1.) The farmers pledged part of their crops to wealthy landowners.                                           

                                                2.) Later they pledged their land.

                                                3.) Finally they sold themselves into slavery and were not able to leave the land.


                                    + debt slavery:  A common practice in ancient times for someone who owed great debt to sell themselves into slavery.  They became

                                                             slave to whomever they owed the debt.  Sometimes they would be "freed" after the debt was paid off, but

                                                             more often than not, they were never freed.




 4 points on rules (laws):


            1.) Rules (laws) are designed to keep order within the society.

            2.) Rules (laws) are designed to promote the behaviors that the society approves.

             3.) Rules (laws) are designed to protect the society from outside dangers.

            4.) The government has the authority to administer punishments if the rules are broken.


594 BC:  Solon comes to power and begins to change the laws.


Solon:  was a respected statesman (politician).  He is also known as one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece due to his contributions to the city-state.  Unfortunately, his

           reforms did not really please either the wealthy or the poor.


            - 16 actions (7 in text)

            1.)  Passed a law outlawing slavery based on debt.

            2.)  Canceled the farmers’ debts.

            3.)  Established four classes of citizenship based on wealth rather than heredity.

            4.)  Allowed only citizens of the three higher classes to hold public office.

            5.)  Allowed the lowest class of citizens could vote in the assembly.

            6.) Created the Council of Four Hundred.

            7.)  Introduced the legal concept that any citizen could bring charges against wrongdoers.

            8.) Recalled all exiles – people who had been ejected from the country, or had run away because of debts.

            9.)  Limited the amount of land that could be owned by one person.

            10.) Extended citizenship to some skilled artisans in other cities, provided that they moved to Athens.

            11.) Stopped the exportation of grain to increase the food supply and keep prices down.

            12.) Encouraged the growth of olive trees.

            13.) Encouraged the exportation of olive oil and wine to increase trade.

            14.) Established a new law code (less severe than that of Draco (another Greek tyrant), which guaranteed citizens the right to bring about

                    changes in the government.

            15.) Established a court system, with jury trials for all.

            16.) Created the Heliaea – a court of appeals.


- Council of Four Hundred: prepared business for the already existing council. 


- limited democracy: A democracy in which only some citizens can participate in government.


- % of people who could participate in government: about 10%  (1/10 of the population)


            - 4 groups of people denied citizenship:

                        1.) Non-free males

                        2.) Women

                        3.) Slaves

                        4.) All foreign residents.


Cleisthenes:  is generally regarded as the founder of democracy in Athens. He worked to make Athens a full democracy.


            - 3 actions:

                        1.)  Reorganized the assembly to balance the power of the rich and poor.

                        2.) Increased the power of the assembly by allowing all citizens to submit laws for debate and passage.

                        3.)  Created the Council of Five Hundred.


Council of Five Hundred:  another governmental branch… sort of.


            - 2 duties: proposed laws and counseled the assembly.


            - membership: chosen at random from among the citizens.


% of population that were citizens under Cleisthenes: only 20% (one-fifth) of Athenian residents were actual citizens.


Persian Wars:  were a series of conflicts between the Greek world and the Persian Empire that started about 500 BC and lasted until 448 BC.


            - dates: 490 to 479 B.C


            - way Athenians maintained democracy during wars:


Pericles: Athenian statesman, who dominated the political scene for 40 years, is associated with great cultural activity.  He was responsible for building the

             Parthenon, the temple on the Acropolis that was dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom.


            - reign: 461 to 429 B.C.


            - Golden Age of Athens (or Greece):  Period from 461 BC to 379 BC in which great strides were made in the area of culture.  It is considered to be the high

                                                                    point of Ancient Greece.


            - major action:  strengthened Greek democracy by increasing the number of paid public officials and by paying jurors.


                        * result:  enabled poorer citizens to participate in the government.


direct democracy:  a form of government in which citizens rule and make laws directly rather than through representatives.  Also called a representative democracy, or

                            a republic.


citizen participation in Athens:  More Athenian citizens were actively involved in government than in any other city-state.



Peloponnesian War:  Warfare between the city-states… well really just Athens and Sparta.  It ended democracy in Greece when they were invaded by Macedonia


            - dates: 431-404 BC


            - 2 city-states involved: Athens and Sparta



Philosophy: It is the rational investigation of questions about existence, knowledge and ethics; any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation.  Greek for "love of wisdom" or " the search for truth ". 


            - philo: means wisdom


            - sophy: means  love of


Logic: is concerned with what is true and how we can know whether something is true; reasoned thought.


Greek Philosophers:  Great thinkers who used logic and reason to investigate the nature of the universe, human society, and morality.  They began in the 300's BC.


            - what they wanted to do: To use logic and reason to investigate the nature of the universe, human society, and morality.


            - 2 bases for philosophy:

                        1.) The universe (land, sky, and sea) is put together in an orderly way and is subject to absolute and unchanging laws.

                        2.) People can understand these laws through logic and reason.


Socrates:  The first of these great philosophers.  He is considered to be one of the greatest teachers of all time. 


            - Know Thyself”:  Ancient Greek aphorism was inscribed in golden letters at the entrance to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.  (An aphorism is a wise

                                          saying that bears repetition.)  Socrates felt this was the most important knowledge a person could gain.


            - Gadfly:  is a term for people who upset the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or attempts to stimulate innovation by proving an irritant. 

                           The term "gadfly" was coined by Plato to describe Socrates' relationship of uncomfortable prodding to the Athenian politician scene, which he

                           compared to a slow and dimwitted horse. We still use the term to describe many politicians and social commentators.


            - what he encouraged students to do:  to examine their most closely held beliefs.


            - Socratic method: A question and answer dialog Socrates used for his teaching.


            - written record:  He left none.  We only know about him from the writings of Plato.


            - Trial and death of: See Scorates handouts


            - death:  Socrates was sentenced to death in his trial.  He drank hemlock. 



Plato: Another great Greek philosopher


            - relation to Socrates: his student--- who actually wrote down some

                                         of what Socrates said, albeit, a long time

                                         after it was said.  His writings (and those of

                                         playwrights Aristophanes and Xenophon) are

                                         the only sources of information on Socrates. 

                                         He was also the teacher of Aristotle.


            - The Republic: In his most famous work he set forth his vision of a

                                perfectly governed society. 


                        * “philosopher-kings”: Whom Plato felt should rule the  

                                                 republic.  These guys would be not the

                                                 richest and most powerful but by the

                                                 wisest in the society.  If they were the

                                                 wisest, they should make good kings,

                                                 and rule fairly.



            - the Academy:  the Athenian school of philosophy and learning

                                 that Plato founded in approximately 385 BC.

                                 The Academy continued in operation for several

                                  hundred years. The term academy and

                                  academic are now general terms for learning in

                                  schools, colleges, and universities.




                                  In the Academy, Plato gave lectures or talks

                                  or seminars or held conversations, but we have     

                                       no record of what he said. He did not write it

                                  down. In fact he did not think that philosophy

                                  could be learned from writings, but only in

                                  conversation.  He said, "After much converse

                                  about the matter itself and a life lived

                                  together, suddenly a light, as it were, is kindled

                                  in one soul by a flame that leaps to it from



Aristotle:  Plato’s student who examined the nature of the world and of

                         human belief, thought, and knowledge.  Along with Plato, he

                         is often considered to be one of the two most influential

                philosophers in Western thought. He wrote many books about

                physics, poetry, zoology, logic, government, and biology. 


                Aristotle's books are not easy to read. At first they seem

                highly organized and comprehensive essays, but when you

                read them you often find that the plan announced at the

                beginning is not actually carried out, that there are overlaps

                and gaps, and so on.  Unfortunately, historians believe that

                the majority of Aristotle's work has been lost.


                         Aristotle was also the tutor of Alexander the Great.


            - Politics:  His comprehensive examination of the origins and

                        structure of the state.

                          Depending upon the number of people involved in

                          governing and the focus of their interests, Aristotle

                          distinguished six kinds of social structure in three



                                    1.) A state with only one ruler is either a monarchy or a


                                    2.) A state with several rulers is either an aristocracy or

                            an oligarchy.

                                    3.) A state in which all rule is either a polity or a



                          In each pair, the first sort of state is one in which the

                          rulers are concerned with the good of the state, while

                          those of the second sort are those in which the rulers

                          serve their own private interests.


            - the Lyceum:  He established his own school, the Lyceum,

                               spending most of the rest of his life engaged

                               there in research, teaching, and writing.  He and

                               students often walked around on the grounds

                               while discussing. At Lyceum, Aristotle would give

                               advanced lessons to a private circle in the

                               morning, and in the afternoons he would hold

                               more popular speeches to a larger crowd.




Athenian juries: Jury duty was considered to be the most important

                         civic duty.


            - 2 duties:

                        1.) The jurors would hear both sides of a legal case.

                        2.) Then they would render their verdict by casting bronze

                     ballots in a large ballot box.


            - size:  ranged in size from at least 201 to as many as 2,500 men.


            - role of women:  Women were not allowed to serve as jurors.


            - ostracize:  to banish, a leader from Athens for ten years to

                           prevent a person from gaining too much power.




18 contributions of the Greeks (4 in text)


            1.) Set lasting standards in government and philosophy.

            2.) They used reason and intelligence to discover patterns and   

             explanations of the world that they called natural laws.

            3.) They developed direct democracy in order that citizens could

             actively participate in political decisions.

            4.) They also were the first to develop three branches of

             government - legislative, executive, and judicial.         

            5.) Democracy (the whole concept)

            6.) Equality of citizens

            7.) Idea of public service

            8.) Individual freedom

            9. Classical architecture

            10.) Sculpture

            11.) Written history

            12.) Philosophy

            13.) Drama

            14.) Poetry

            15.) Physics

            16.) Biology

            17.) Mathematics

            18.) Medicine


            - legislative branch: to make and pass laws


            - executive branch: to carry out the laws


            - judicial branch: to settle disputes about the laws


Rome:  A civilization on the Italian Peninsula that began developing, and would eventually be the largest civilization in the ancient world.


            - Latins: The earliest Romans


                        * dates: 1000 to 500 B.C.


            - 2 groups they fought:

                        1.) Greeks

                        2.) Etruscans


600 BC:  a series of kings ruled Rome.


509 BC: a group of Roman aristocrats overthrew a harsh king. They set

            up a new government, calling it a republic.


Republic:  a form of government in which power rests with citizens who

                have the right to elect the leaders who make governmental



            - indirect democracy: when citizens who have the right to elect the

                                         leaders who make governmental decisions.


            - voting rights:  citizenship with voting rights was granted only to

                               free-born males.


Patricians: the upper social class was aristocratic landowners who held

                 most of the power.


Plebeians: the lower Roman social class.


            * 3 groups:  common farmers, artisans, and merchants.





2 points on the Patricians:

            1.) They inherited their power and social status.

            2.) They claimed that their ancestry gave them the authority to

             make laws for Rome and its people.


2 points on the Plebeians:

            1.) They had the right to vote.

            2.) They were barred by law from holding most important

             government positions.


problem with unwritten laws: With laws unwritten, patrician officials

                       often interpreted the law to suit themselves.  They could

                        also change laws as they wished.


Twelve Tables: The first set of written laws in the Roman republic. 

                        They had the laws carved on 12 tables, or tablets, and

                        publicly displayed.  For the first time, all the people

                        knew what the laws were.


            - date: 451 BC


            - 2 ideas:

                        1.) It established the idea that all free citizens had the right

                    to protection of the law.

                        2.) Now laws would be fairly administered.


Consuls:  Governmental officials who ruled in early Rome.  They formed

               the executive branch of government.


            - 2 duties:

                        1.) They commanded the army.

                        2.) They directed the government.


            - term of office: only one year


Senate: one of the three legislative bodies in the Roman government. 


            - 4 points:

                        1.) Patricians made up the senate.

                        2.) It controlled foreign policy.

                        3.) It controlled financial policies.

                        4.) It advised the consuls.


Dictator:  a leader who had absolute power to make laws and command the army.


            - when used: in a time of crisis.


            - term of office:  The dictator was limited to a six-month term.


Problem with Roman expansion: For hundreds of years after the

                                                 founding of the republic, Rome

                                                 expanded its territories through

                                                 conquest and trade.  It just got too

                                                 large to handle.


            - 2 points:

                        1.) It had the chaos of civil war.

                        2.) The authoritarian rule of a series of dictators ruined Rome.


27 BC:  the republic collapsed, and Rome came under the rule of an

            emperor (a monarchy).



reason Rome was a great power:  by conquering other lands AND by

                                                   bringing the conquered peoples into

                                                   its system.  People felt like they



3 beliefs the Romans shared with the Greeks:

            1.)  They believed that laws should be based on principles of reason

              and justice.

            2.) They believed that the laws should protect citizens and their



                        ** This idea applied to all people regardless of their

                   nationality. **


4 principles of Roman law:

            1.) All citizens had the right to equal treatment under the law.

            2.) A person was considered innocent until proven guilty.

            3.) The burden of proof rested with the accuser rather than the


            4.) Any law that seemed unreasonable or grossly unfair could be set



528:  The Justinian Code was written.


Justinian: Emperor who ordered the compilation of all Roman laws since the earlier law code.


            - Justinian Code:  The new law code consisted of four works.


                        * The Code:  contained nearly 5,000 Roman laws.


                        * The Digest:  a summary of legal opinions.


                        * The Institutes:  served as a textbook for law students.


                        * The Novellae: contained laws passed after 534


            - as a guide:  It later became a guide on legal matters throughout

                            Western Europe.


            - “A government of laws, not of men.”:  Written laws helped

                                                                     establish this idea.


                        * meaning:  It was a government in which even rulers and

                                 other powerful persons could be held accountable

                                 for their actions.


4 contributions of Rome:

            1.) Rome gave the world the idea of a republic.

            2.) The idea that an individual is a citizen in a state rather than the

             subject of a ruler.

            3.) Rome’s greatest and most lasting legacy was its written legal

             code and the idea that this code should be applied equally and

             impartially to all citizens.

            4.) Rome preserved and added to Greece’s idea of democracy and

             passed on the early democratic tradition to civilizations that




 P-2: Judeo-Christian Traditions


Monotheism: belief in one god/goddess


Polytheism: Belief in many gods/goddesses


3 monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam


- 2 ideas that they had on the development of democracy:

            1.) The idea of the worth of the individual.        

            2.) The idea of the responsibility of individuals to their



Hebrews: Name for the ancient leaders and followers of Judaism.


            - other names: Jews, Israelites


Torah: the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (or of the Old Testament

               for Christians).  It is also called the Pentateuch.


Abraham:  According to the Bible, he was chosen by God to be the

                “father,” or ancestor, of the Hebrew people.  He was given

                 the job of leading them to Canaan.


Canaan:  an area of ancient Palestine.


            - 1800 BC: The time of the Hebrew moving into Canaan.


polytheists: people who believed in more than one God.


8 beliefs of the Hebrews: They believed -

            1.) There was only one God.

            2.) God was perfect, all-knowing, all powerful, and eternal.


                        - way other groups saw gods/goddesses: thought that what

                              the gods wanted from human beings was the

                              performance of rituals and sacrifices in their honor.


            3.) It was God’s wish for people to live moral lives.

            4.) Human beings are created in God’s image.

            5.) Each human being has a divine spark that gives him or her a

            dignity that can never be taken away.


                        ** For the Greeks and Romans, the individual had dignity

                  because of his or her ability to reason.


            6.) Each person had dignity simply by being a child of God.

            7.) God had given human beings moral freedom.

                        * moral freedom: —the capacity to choose between good

                                            and evil.

            8.) Each person was responsible for the choices he or she made.



            - Judaism:  the religion of the Hebrews (and modern Jews)


            - Hebrew Bible: the Old Testament


Moses: Ancient Jewish leader who received the Ten Commandments

           from God.




            - Ten Commandments:  laws given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.                                                             These orders serve as the basis for Jewish



                        * date: Sometime between 1300 BC - 1200 BC.


            - 2 points on the Hebrew law code:

                        1.) Focused more on morality and ethics and less on politics.

                        2.) The code included rules of social and religious behavior to

                    which even rulers were subject.


            - 6 roles:

                        1.) diplomat

                        2.) lawmaker (legislator)

                        3.) political organizer

                        4.) military leader

                        5.) judge

                        6.) religious leader


            - Exodus: the liberation of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt.


            - covenant: An agreement with their God.


Prophets:  leaders and teachers who were believed by the Jews to be

                messengers from God.


            - 7 ideas/teachings:

                        1.) Attacked war.

                        2.) Attacked oppression.

                        3.) Attacked greed.

                        4.) Strengthened the Jews’ social conscience (which has

                    become part of the Western tradition).

                        5.) Held out the hope that life on earth could be improved.

                        6.) Believed that poverty and injustice need not exist.

                        7.) Believed that individuals are capable of living according to

                    high moral standards.


Judea:  homeland of the Jews


            - date ruled by Rome: 63 BC


Jesus of Nazareth:  Jewish teacher whose preaching contained many

                             ideas from Jewish tradition, such as monotheism and

                             the principles of the Ten Commandments.  His ideas

                             went beyond traditional morality. Christians believe

                             him to be the savior.


            - birthdate:  was born around 6 to 4 B.C.


            - dual citizenship: Jewish and Roman


            - 7 teachings:

                        1.) Monotheism

                        2.) The principles of the Ten Commandments.

                        3.) Emphasized God’s personal relationship to each human


                        4.) Stressed the importance of people’s love for God, their

                    neighbors, their enemies, and themselves.

                        5.) Taught that God would eventually end wickedness in the


                        6.) Taught that God would establish an eternal kingdom in

                     which he would reign.

                        7.) People who sincerely repented their sins would find life

                    after death in this kingdom.


            - why he was viewed as a political threat: Because some referred to

                             him as the “king of the Jews,” the Roman governor

                             considered him a political threat.  (According to

                             Roman law, you could have no king before Caesar.)


            - Messiah: Savior


Christos: is a Greek word meaning “messiah” or “savior.”


Christianity:  the name of the religion founded by Jesus, was derived

                    from the name Christ.

            - secret symbol of early Christians


                        * Why they needed a secret symbol: See lecture


Paul:  the apostle who had enormous influence on Christianity’s



            - where he preached: in cities around the eastern Mediterranean.


            - 4 teachings:

                        1.) Stressed that Jesus was the son of God and that he had

                    died for people’s sins.

                        2.) Declared that Christianity was a universal religion.

                        3.) Christianity should welcome all converts, Jew and


                        3.) He stressed the essential equality of all human beings, a

                    belief central to democracy.


How the Romans felt about Judaism and Christianity:  They were openly

                                                                                 hostile toward



2 ways the Roman Empire helped spread the ideas of Judaism and Christianity:

            1.)  Indirectly through the Diaspora. After the Jews began to rebel

             against the Romans in the first century, they were exiled from

             their homeland in A.D. 70. This dispersal was called the


            2.) The Jews then fled to many parts of the world, where they

             shared their beliefs that all people had the right to be treated

             with justice and dignity.


Diaspora:  when the Jews were exiled from their homeland in A.D. 70. 

                they then fled to many parts of the world.


Roman persecution of the Christians:  (AD 64-331)

Early Christians were people who were fundamentally different.

The Christian ethic lived out became itself a criticism of pagan life. Meals at heathen feasts and social parties began with a liquid offering and a prayer to the pagan gods. As such, serious Christians would not participate in them. By such actions, the early Christians were frequently labeled as being unsociable, prudish, non-tolerant, and subversive.

The Christian view of slavery and human life were decidedly different from the surrounding culture. Human life had greater value for the believer. The body was seen as the temple of the Holy Spirit. This attitude was an uncompromising condemnation of a morally corrupt world's acceptance of unchastely conduct. And the belief that family life was a sacred calling ran against the cultural norm.  Even in the treatment of the dead there were differences. The Romans burned their dead; the Christians had a higher respect for their dead and buried them.

Simply, the Christians stood out. They did not make for a good "fit" with the culture and therefore came under considerable mistrust and ridicule.


The Roman persecution of Christians began during the reign of Nero   (Nero slaughtered Christians by the hundreds after the fire in Rome.), and persisted until Christianity was recognized as a legitimate religion by the Emperor Constantine 249 years later. 


This persecution was justified by the belief that the Christians' refusal to pay homage to Rome's pagan gods provoked their wrath. The disastrous consequence of a flood, drought, earthquake, or    other calamity, was often attributed to the Christians' lack of piety and the resulting retribution of the gods. Christians were denounced as enemies of men and the gods and therefore subject to the severest tortures.


Conviction did not lead inevitably to execution. Pardon would be granted if the Christian threw a few grains of incense on the altar of the pagan god and thereby recognize its dominance. If this offer was refused, more severe measures such as scourging or other tortures were implemented. If these failed, the victim was lead to the circus or theater and subjected to a horrible death for the     amusement of the crowd and the pleasing of the gods.


Constantine:  Roman emperor who took a favorable view toward

                      Christianity. (His mother was a Christian.) He believed

                      that the Christian God had helped him conqueror his

                      rivals.  He publicly converted to Christianity, and put

                      an end to the Roman persecution of Christians.  He

                      eventually made it the official religion of the Roman



            * 312:  Battle of Milvian Bridge

                            He was fighting his rivals for the imperial throne and

                   prayed for divine help before going into battle.  He said

                   he saw a cross of light in the heavens bearing the

                   inscription, "In this sign, conquer."  He ordered his whole

                   army to make the mark of the cross on their shields, and

                   they were victorious.


            * Edict of Milan:

                            Constantine declared an official end to state-sponsored                       persecution of Christians in 324 with the Edict of Milan,

                   setting the stage for the empire to later become officially

                   Christian.  It granted religious freedom throughout the

                   Roman Empire, and ordered the restitution of property

                   confiscated from Christians.


380Christianity was made the official religion of the Roman Empire.


3 reasons Christianity was able to draw believers away from the Roman gods.


            1.) The Christian message was personal and offered salvation and

            eternal life to individuals. The Roman state-based religion was

            impersonal and existed for the good of Rome.



            2.) Christianity seemed familiar. It was viewed by some as similar

             to other religions, offering immortality as the result of the

              sacrificial death of a savior-god.

            3.) Christianity fulfilled the human need to belong. Christians

             formed communities bound to one another. In these

             communities, people could express their love by helping one

             another and offering assistance to the poor and the sick.

             Christianity satisfied the need to belong in a way that the huge

             Roman empire could never provide.


Islam:  Another monotheistic religion that taught equality of all persons

           and individual worth also developed in southwest Asia in the

           early 600s.  It was based on the teachings of the Muhammad.


Muhammad: was an Arab religious and political leader and the final prophet of Islam. Islam is considered by Muslims to be the final step in the revelation of a monotheist religion of which earlier versions were the teachings of Moses and Jesus. Non-Muslims generally consider him the founder of Islam. According to traditional Muslim biographers, he was born 570 in Mecca and died June 8, 632 in Medina, located on the Arabian Peninsula.


Muhammad is said to have been a merchant who traveled widely. Early Muslim sources report that in 611, at about the age of 40, while meditating in a cave near Mecca, he experienced a vision. Later he described the experience to those close to him as a visit from the Angel Gabriel, who commanded him to memorize and recite the verses later collected as the Qur'an. He eventually expanded his mission, publicly preaching a strict monotheism and predicting a Day of Judgment for sinners and idol-worshippers. He did not completely reject Judaism and Christianity, two other monotheistic faiths known to the Arabs; he only claimed to complete and perfect their teachings.  He is regarded by Muslims as the last and the greatest prophet to come to earth.


- Allah: Arabic for "god".


- Qur’an: The holy book of Islam.


            - 2 teachings:

                        1.)  He emphasized the dignity of all human beings and the

                     brotherhood of all people.

                        2.) He taught of a belief in the bond of community and the

                    unity of all people led to a tolerance of different groups

                    within the community.


Muslims: Followers of Islam.


            - 3 requirements:

                        1.) To offer charity and help to those in need.

                        2.) Rulers were bound by the laws like everyone else.

                        3.) Muslims were required to show tolerance for the religious

                    practices of Jews and Christians.


            - effect on rulers:  Under Muslim law, rulers had to obey the

                                    same laws as those they ruled.


Five Pillars of Islam:  The 'Five Pillars' of Islam are the foundation of

                                 Muslim life.

            1.) Faith or belief in the Oneness of God and the finality of the

             prophethood of Muhammad.

            2.) Establishment of the daily prayers.

                        * They pray five times a day facing east. 

                    (early morning, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and evening.)

            3.) Concern for and almsgiving to the needy.

            4.) Self-purification through fasting.

                        * Ramadan:  The ninth month in the Muslim calendar (which is

                         solar not lunar like the Christian one.)  Every year in

                         the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from dawn until

                         sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual

                         relations. Although the fast is beneficial to health, it is

                         regarded principally as a method of spiritual self-

                         purification.  By cutting oneself off from worldly

                         comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person gains

                         true sympathy with those who go hungry, as well as

                         growth in his or her spiritual life.

            5.) The pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) for those who are able.


3 democratic ideas spread by monotheistic religions:

            1.) It is the duty of the individual and the community to combat


            2.) People need to appreciate the worth of the individual.

            3.) They all preached of the equality of people before God.


                        * as a basis:  These ideas would form part of the basis of

                                  democratic thinking.


Roman Catholic Church:  developed from Roman Christianity.


            - 3 points:

                        1.) By the Middle Ages, it had become the most powerful

                    institution in Europe.

                        2.) It influenced all aspects of life—religious, social, and


                        3.) It was strongly authoritarian in structure - it expected

                    unquestioned obedience to its authority.


Renaissance:  a period of European history, during which renewed

                     interest in classical culture led to far-reaching changes in

                     art, learning, and views of the world.


            - dates:  1300 to 1600


            - meaning: rebirth


            - 9 points:

                        1.) The Renaissance was marked by renewed interest in

                     classical culture.

                        2.) They were dedicated to the restoration of old monuments

                    and works of art and the rediscovery of forgotten Greek

                    and Latin manuscripts.

                        3.) Renaissance thinkers were interested in earthly life for its

                    own sake.

                        4.) They rejected the medieval view that life was only a

                    preparation for the afterlife.

                        5.) Scholars placed increasing value on subjects concerned

                     with humankind and culture.

                        6.) The study of classical texts led to an intellectual

                     movement that encouraged ideas about human potential

                     and achievement.

                        7.) Christian writers were critical of the failure of the Church

                     to encourage people to live a life that was moral and


                        8.) They also discussed ways in which the lives of all in society

                     could improve.

                        9.) Renaissance thinkers and writers began to explore ideas

                    about political power and the role of government in the

                    lives of ordinary people.

                        10.) During the Renaissance, individualism became deeply

                      rooted in Western culture.


            - Individualism:  is the belief in the importance of the individual

                                and in the virtues of self-reliance and personal



                        * 4 points on the expression of individualism:

                                    1.) Artists expressed it by seeking to capture individual


                                    2.) Explorers demonstrated it by venturing into uncharted


                                    3.) Conquering nations demonstrated it by carving out

                            vast empires in the Americas.

                                    4.) It also was shown by merchant-capitalists, who

                            amassed huge fortunes by taking great economic





Reformation:  a 16th-century movement for religious reform, leading to

                     the founding of Christian churches that rejected the

                     pope’s authority.


            - date: 1500’s


            - Protestants:  People who wanted to reform the Catholic Church.

                              They were called Protestants, because they

                              protested against the power and abuses of the



            - Reformers:  stressed the importance of a direct relationship with



            - importance of the printing press:  Protestants believed that the

                            Catholic Church had distorted the Bible’s message,

                            and encouraged their members to read the text for

                            themselves. The printing press made it easier for

                            people to get copies of the Bible and read it for



Martin Luther:  German monk who was the founder of the Protestant

                       Reformation in 1517. 


            - 3 points:

                        1.) Criticized the Church’s practice of selling pardons

                    (indulgences) for sins.

                        2.) He contradicted the Church’s position that salvation came

                    through faith and good works.

                        3.) He said people could be saved only through faith in God.


Protestantism:  a new division of Christianity


            - what it encouraged:  It encouraged people to make their own

                                          religious judgments, which led to division.



            - 4 early Protestant denominations:

                        1.) Lutheran

                        2.) Anglican

                        3.) Presbyterian

                        4.) Calvinism


Catholic stands (beliefs)

            1.) Claimed the right to interpret the Bible for all Christians.

            2.) Said the only way to salvation was through the Church.


Protestant stands (beliefs):

            1.) Called on believers to interpret the Bible for themselves.

            2.) Said that the clergy had no special powers; people could find

             individual paths to God.


            - emphasis:  private judgment in religious matters—on a sense of

                          conviction rather than a reliance on authority—

                          strengthened the importance of the individual even

                                        more.  This led to a questioning of political authority.


2 ways the Reformation contributed to democracy:


            1.) By challenging the authority of monarchs and popes, the

             Reformation indirectly contributed to the growth of democracy.


            2.) By calling on believers to read and interpret the Bible for

             themselves, it introduced individuals to reading and exposed

             them to more than just religious ideas.


Peasants’ Revolt: (one of many peasant revolts)


            - where: Germany


            - when: 1524


            - demands:  They wanted an end to serfdom, or being forced to

                           serve a master.


            - importance:  It was the largest mass uprising in the history of

                             Germany.  The people now realized that they had

                             rights and the power to change how things were



            - # killed: 100,000