Jews, Church, & Civilization III

INTRODUCTION

Theodosius, Emperor of Rome, bequeaths –

• the eastern half of the Roman Empire to his son, Arcadius, with its capital in Constantinople, and

• the western half of the empire to his son Honorius, with its capital in Milan, and later Ravenna.

393 CE:  THE ANCIENT OLYMPIC GAMES SUPPRESSED

Roman Emperor Theodosius I ends the Olympic Games, as part of his campaign to impose Christianity as the state religion. The Olympics were viewed by the Church as neo–pagan.

The consensus is that the quadrennial Olympics had commenced c. 786 BCE in Olympia, Greece, and apparently lasted in this phase for almost 1200 years. Olympia, Greece was not a classic town or city, but rather a religious sanctuary site dedicated to the Greek gods, Zeus in particular. The normative guideline over the 1200 year tenure of the games was that only free men who spoke Greek were allowed to compete. All competitors were male. Competition was generally nude subsequent to c. 720 BCE.

[Another view on the endpoint of the Ancient Olympics is that an earthquake – either in 393 CE or in the sixth century – destroyed Olympia and effectively terminated the Ancient Olympics.]

399 CE: ROMAN INJUNCTION v. APOSTOLI

April 11: A Roman law (under Theodosius) prohibiting

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