Christian Morals

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - History - 170 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1887 Excerpt: ... LECTURE XII. THE INFLUENCE OF CHRISTIAN ETHICS ON ROMAN LAW. Christianity must very early have acquired an influence in the aristocracy and the governing classes of Rome and the Roman Empire. To be sure, its profession was at first almost wholly confined to Jews and slaves. But the very banishment of Jews from Rome by Claudius--a decree the force of which was soon spent--shows that they were an important factor of Roman society: and as large numbers of the Jews not in Judaea were merchants, and many of them persons of superior culture, their ideas and sentiments could easily have obtained currency among both the speculative and the active members of the community. Moreover, though the social relations of Jews in Rome with persons of high office or position cannot in general have been intimate, we have record of some very close intimacies of that kind, as of the Herod family in all its branches with the family of Pollio, and with those of other chief men of the state. In the Roman mind it was long before Christianity assumed a form distinct from Judaism; and it is by no means improbable that among the few Jews who lived in terms of familiarity with distinguished Roman families, there were some Christians. That there were many Christian slaves in Rome during the first Christian centuries, we very well know. It must be borne in mind that slavery, though absolute in its sway, and often abject in its condition, gave numerous special opportunities of extended and enduring influence. The offices of secretary, amanuensis, librarian, and instructor of youth were generally filled by slaves, as were the nearest and most confidential relations of domestic service. In very many cases the slaves were the most intelligent and the best educated members of the family. St. P...

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