Politics in 320 ad
Imagine if the united states broke up into 4 sections, each with its own president and senate, by the reason, the u.s was too large for dc. And each section swore allegiance to each other. This was what happened to the Roman Empire in after 300 ad. And then they went to war with each other. And one president emerged in charge, eventually; finally defeating the president who had married his sister.
Back then, in general The Senate of any government, would not meet more than 3-5 times a month. Americans forget, or never knew, the federal constitution only requires congress to meet once a year. Imagine how less meetings would speed up decision-making, and increase import of issues. I’d also like to mention how in no way our founders came up with the idea of elections or Senates. They were quite popular in classical and ancient times.
There were more religions back then. Any viable religion or particular god, the government feared offending, and thus honored all viable effective religions with a liscence to incorporate. A religion like Baal, for instance, which castrated men and prostituted women, might be considered with trepidation to be honored or fully liscenced to allow converts in some cities. But if they heard of a successful religion far away, one that was bringing results, they would go out of their way to import it. Or if a religion needed an improvement or two, they thought nothing of adapting religions, combining religions, stealing religious statues of other states for themselves: That’s how cool they were.
The emperor Constantine prevailed over the second most powerful “president” by favoring Christians, and using the powerful group, along with increased barbaric soldiers; whereas Licinius who he defeated, foolishly persecuted the Christians, who he would have had a chance of winning over, had he favored them. Licinius was anti-Christian because he officially allowed magi and priests to be co-rulers. There was also a complement Constantine applied between refined serious consensusing christians, and helpful barbarians he used as soldiers.
Back then if a ruler needed money, he didn’t increase taxes on the rich, or on the poor for that matter, but just took all the money and property and sometimes even the wife, of some very rich person.
The constant warfare of the era, must be compared against the constant crime of ours. There wasn’t the crime back then our papers report now. There weren’t daily newspapers back then. The printing press was still a long way away, I guess.
In order to invade Licinius’s part of the Roman Empire, apparently, Constantine got the Goths to attack Licinius’s part of the empire, and then used that as a pretext to quickly invade that part of the empire upon easily dispatching the Goths and claiming he was insulted by Licinius who disapproved of this intervention. By then, enough Goths felt used by Constantine that they joined Licinius and fought for him. But they kept losing the war, and eventually turned on Licinius. I guess happiness to the Gothic people never lasted long, or they easily had a complex about political alliance; probably marked their barbarism. But for all their barbarism, they had one famous Goth historian Jornandes, and I wonder if his work is around to read, and if he ever explains the cultural distinction between a Goth and a Visigoth, something I’m sure everyone on of us has wondered about at some point.
As we become more acutely aware of the ignorance of nature and earth’s natural place in the universe, which is fostered by Christianity; we wonder about paganism, which was considerably more universe oriented, and try to relate to its psychological complexities in that Christianity replaced paganism and probably because it was hindered by corruption, the powers that be let it replace the paganism that explains what causes the altered state of the human race; which one can just imagine a Pagan saying, “what altered state?” Or a druid saying,” Sh, we can only worship that, not allowed to speak.”There are two interesting connections between modern federal government and the early Christian church in Italy and beyond. First of all a “pope” or “pontiff” was the word in the Roman Republic for the office or official in charge of fair elections, and I have wondered for some time how to interpret this significance psychologically. For if Christianity preaches the Kingdom of God, then surely the very notion of elections is contradictory to the church; which is why early theologians preached divinity and the virtue of understandings. So how can a pope as the leader of a religion condescend to insure elections are fair?
My response to that is that often there are things in the pure spectacle of politics that have struck me as unfair. For instance Reagan and George Bush Jr were not really popular enough to win elections in my mind, and a good pontiff would have prevented their domination and war likeness. A good pope would even have ensured somehow through religion authority that Obama have some strand of black reality and address the compelling issues of blacks in prison and dangerous black neighborhoods. A good pope might not have allowed Hillary to dominate a party based on a husband’s coat tails, nor the son of a president to so easily assume governorship. All the cheap tricks of politics a good pope would comment on and ignore the irrelevance in face of the Kingdom of God. As I speculate on why Paganism did not practice these conventions and gatherings from different regions or localities; I can only say the primacy of worship of Venus or Jupiter or Mars or the Moon or The Sun or Mithras (sun and center of earth) or Baal (sun and moon) or Isis, demeter, persephone or Hecate, or idols they prayed to, or wise men they followed: These worshipings and practices were in competition with other localities. In other words, this town here would want Venus to favor her, and another town would be saying, no Venus, we are better, spend your concern here. Paganism had such a local bent, and that it was in competition with other localities, made representative assemblies ridiculous, unless united by war, in which case it would be a war council or war lord like people. But this time of around 325ad also enforced Christianity; and this is where it gets touchy; where one goes from a government that generally keeps an eye on and registers and encourages if effective any two bit and moral religion; to a government that enforces communion and baptism. This change in roman emperor schema is consistent with draconian temperment of emperors, yet negating of the spiritual truth of reason and effective communication; this behavior then a byproduce of corruptions of Christianity; though its being government and greed and cypher of the gospel according to John and the outright perversions of Paul. Wouldn’t Christianity want many other religions and paths to the truth, on periled earth? We need to return to paganism to focus on the universe, but must that come with eunuchs and slave? Though they say the pagans treated their slaves very well, even serving them dinner at times. And yet Constantine, who elevated Christianity for his political gain eliminated the right for an owner to kill his slaves.
Constantine so liked the Christian church that he gave them sums of moneys to build and administrate orphanages and hospitals, and large yearly quantities of grain to distribute to the poor. Back then it was more politically correct to just give money and food to the poor in exchange for their political support. And this charity wasn’t necessarily derived from the rich class itself as a class; sometimes the property of just one wealthy rich man who had fallen out of favor would be confiscated by those in power and distributed to the poor or for whatever towards political goals. Thus Catholicism became the benevolent arm of the government; even as providing a service indicating the proximity of the Kingdom of God; whose essential definition precludes money, government form, and is vital towards healing arts.
And finally, most remarkably, and ironically, our notion and common use of a representative democracy seems to stem from the early Christian Church. In that as it spread over vast lands, it needed to send a representative from each area to gatherings or synods with all the representatives. And this practice has outlived cultures and nations. So the whole spread out notion of republicanism, as enjoining diverse regions; of Federalism as providing a common foundation through representatives of various areas: traces its roots to Christian dealings, and not governmental politics and issues per se.
Paganism also had an understanding that if you were a useful person helping people, and clients, so to speak, and helpers or employees helping you: that was it; that’s what pagans went by: bottom line and current barameters of influence wisdom and effectiveness. This was always such a shifting changing potential of politics, that a centralizing unity, which America finds so necessary, would detract from those local influences and esteems. So federalism, which aims and fails to provide local freedom, by virtue of the very fact that as a centralizing force it has no desire for local oppression, (and yet this training is corrupted today in ignorance of local assemblies of people and local consensusing): Whereas paganism and worship of what works, and what is flowing and from which individuals, can not be interrupted by the ideals of an area far away that doesn’t know the nuances that make local paganism special. Paganism is risk management, faith and hope, that things work out well. It is not an ordered way, like christianity; because the order of the universe is in question. It is not to be ruled by a capital because the special local niches and nuances and specialities have to be autonomous to command the respect consistent with the unique qualities of the universe etc, paganism seeks to exploit for its own gain.
Then there are other nefarious similiarites between the fourth century and today. Farming was farmed out; required colonies of barbarians. And yet there was a pagan tradition of making agriculture a lower class sport; when really it is very close to godliness and god an upper class sport.
And yet the decay, consistent with a lack of actual production by the citizenry, an urbanization at the expense of a united land.
Paganism would explain these latest dark turns and twists of humanity as the work of an evil god; which relating to is hard to imagine. Yet a bottom line is the recognition and following this kind of work deserves. People would come like pilgrims to see ascetic men whose vow ascended them. Yet it was not easy to get to that stage. But that kind of extraordinary behavioral appeal existed in Christian and Pagan practice. One could pray to the extraordinary. Yet one wonders what specific vows would be taken. It seems to be the vow to not use money. But what about production, it’s not enough to not be a part of sin, there should be some simple actual productive contribution to earth’s people. The the point is to be allowed to be recognized, and gain assistance, and results from spiritual searching.
For instance, in more ancient times, Christianity reduced slavery, whereas paganisn held firmly to the belief in lower forms ok for slavery. And there were eunochs about back then. Was the price of castration actually towards an enlightenment of our impotence due to the causes of the universe? What was that all about?
Tags: 300 Pagan Religions in 300 AD, Catholicism in the Roman Empire, Christian Ascendency in the Roman Empire, Constantine the Great, Constantinople, Jacob Burkhardt