1. Explain the statement that, when the Roman Empire turned away from the West and consolidated its strength in the East, "antiquity clearly came to an end."
  2. Describe the political structure of the Roman Empire as reorganized by Diocletian. By what means did he strengthen the empire? In what significant ways did he change its character?
  3. What does it mean to say that Diocletian "orientalized" the Empire?
  4. Explain this comment on Diocletian's regime: "It was almost as if the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium was now being avenged."
  5. Explain the advantages of Constantinople as a center of government.
  6. Explain the relationship between the growth of bureaucracy during the third and fourth centuries and the widening gap between rich and poor.
  7. What were the fundamentals of Jesus' teachings?
  8. Describe the contributions of Paul to Christianity.
  9. How did the conditions of the Roman world aid the growth of Christianity?
  10. Trace the development of a clear distinction between clergy and laity in Christianity.
  11. What factors helped Christianity triumph over other contemporary competing religions?
  12. How did doctrinal disputes within the Church contribute to separation between East and West?
  13. Describe the development of Christian organization down to the year 400, and explain its importance in the context of a collapsing Roman Empire.
  14. Explain this statement: "In many respects the Christianity of the late fourth century was a very different religion from the one persecuted by Diocletian and Galerius."
  15. What were the chief causes of the rise of Christian asceticism in the third and fourth centuries?
  16. What were the differences between the dominant rules of eastern and western monasticism?
  17. What were the major contributions of Benedictine monasticism to Western civilization?
  18. Discuss the effects of the Germanic invasions in the West. Why was the East much less affected?
  19. What is the doctrine of predestination? How did St. Augustine defend this doctrine?
  20. What changes were made in Christianity as a result of the work of the Church fathers?
  21. Describe the role of women in early Christian teachings and organization.
  22. What elements of classical or pagan culture were carried over into the culture of the Middle Ages? By what means?
  23. How does the Justinian Code reflect changes in the philosophy of Roman law between the third and sixth centuries C.E.? What did the Code contribute to modern legal or political theory?
  24. Why was Justinian's attempt to reconquer the West a failure in spite of military victories?
  1. Read any two of the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, or Luke) and compare the accounts of the life of Jesus. (Then, if you like, compare the approach of the synoptics with that of John.)
  2. Read some of the major epistles of St. Paul in the New Testament and consider what they reveal about the nature of early Christianity.
  3. Investigate in further detail any of the following:
      a. Early monasticism
      b. The Arian controversy
      c. The rise of papal supremacy in the Western Church
  4. Compare and contrast the teachings of Jesus with those of the Hebrew prophets.
  5. Compare the teachings of the Apostle Paul and St. Augustine. What teachings of St. Augustine have been carried over into modern Christianity?
  6. Examine the relationship between early Christianity and competing salvationist cults such as Mithraism and Gnosticism.


W.W. Norton
REVIEW: World Civilizations
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