First Century Rome and the 21st Century
There are many things that took place during First Century Rome. Some of which can be compared to the 21st Century. Starting with the power, to the environmental conditions and even how it is the backdrop of the New Testament.
During 1st Century Rome the Roman Empire was from the Mediterranean, through Europe, to the Southern tip of Scotland and into Germany. The Roman Empire was powerful and during the 1st century they were the most powerful military in the world. However, even though the Empire was strong and powerful the Jews held on strong.
Jews had lived in Rome since the second century BC. Julius Caesar and Augustus supported laws that allowed Jews protection to worship as they chose. Synagogues were classified as colleges to get around Roman laws banning secret societies and the temples were allowed to collect the yearly tax paid by all Jewish men for temple maintenance. There had been upsets: Jews had been banished from Rome in 139 BC, again in 19 AD and during the reign of Claudius. However, they were soon allowed to return and continue their independent existence under Roman law. (PBS, 2006, Jews in Roman Times)
The environmental conditions were different than those of today. There were no buses, cars, planes or even trains to bring someone from place to place. In fact, due to these limitations they lived in places where they could use the land around them to their advantage.
The way communication was established in Ancient Italy, the network of rivers was crucial. The lowest available crossing was at the lowest point of the Tiber River. The first Roman bridge ever built was the Pons Sublicus, and it was built at this location. The technology at the time of building the bridge was not sophisticated enough to construct one long bridge but, conveniently, Tiber Island was halfway between the river’s edge. So the builders, under the reign of Ancus Marcius, built two small bridges. One bridge led from one side...