The Fall of Rome to Late Antiquity

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The different method in which history has been recorded has evolved from the Fall of Rome to Late Antiquity and this period of writing has changed from militaristic and political history into social and religious side of history. This style of writing is more specifically included with the readings, giving more perspective of the long term of life for the people in this time period. This approach to writing is more favorable because it gives more information of the time period and the religious aspect of the time. In the Fall model, it leans towards the militaristic aspect of writing and it is not as specific during this time period. The texts show the methods in which they were written with the religious aspect, and is shown in Beowulf, The Life of Daniel, Synesius and others. The texts all have a common theme throughout of heros and religion, creating a society that God had blessed upon them.

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Throughout the second to the ninth century, the writing styles changed in the way of militaristic to religious and it affected the contemporary texts for the period. It is shown throughout the entirety of texts in The Life of Daniel, Beowulf, Synesius, and more. In Synesius’ letters, he states he does not want to be bishop because he was afraid he would let the people down because he was a common man. But God has imposed upon me not what I desire but what He wished, (Synesius, Letter 96, in Reader for HIS 319, p. 14). This shows the importance religious figures has in their societies. They ran the government, you could not be in power without having a religious side. It was a different time then, and it shows in the readings. In Beowulf, it was a similar aspect because he was a religious figure but very powerful ruler and warrior. Sent by God to comfort the people, to keep them from fear– (Beowulf, in Reader for HIS 319, p. 40). This was clear of the time, and the Fall of Rome successors writing style, strayed. The writings in the texts states the societal and religious aspects of life, and follows the model of Late Antiquity.

However, in this time, Synesius was religious and lived in a Christian society, while in power, still stated his disbelief in the main aspect of the Christianity faith. He does not believe in the resurrection, and makes it clear he will not spread the propaganda or lies as he sees it to the people. This resurrection, which is an object of common belief, is nothing for me but a sacred and mysterious allegory, and I am far from sharing the views of the vulgar crowd thereon, (Synesius, Letter 105, in Reader for HIS 319, p. 15). He does not want to lie to them but the people still want him in power regardless of his beliefs. I will endure lawsuits and quarrels, so long as I can fulfill this mission, heavy though it be, according to God’s will; but never will I consent to conceal my beliefs, nor shall my opinions be at war with my tongue (Synesius, Letter 105, in Reader for HIS 319, p. 16). This considering, shows how the religious aspect is the main point in the texts. It does not elaborate much on the militaristic side of society, rather how important religion was to them.

The texts all have a common thread throughout; religion. Whether it be one religion or another, they all practice religion. Despite their guilt as Christians, and the ruthless punishment it deserved, the victims were pitied. For it was felt that they were being sacrificed to one man’s brutality rather than to the national interest, (Tacitus, in Reader for HIS 319, p. 9). Times changed from hating Christians, making them convert and admit their wrongdoings as well and admitting their God is not real, then easing into society to finally becoming in positions of power, things changed overtime.

In The Life of Daniel, it dives into Christians finally being accepted in the community, and giving a voice in their government after years of discrimination. Daniel in particular, did not dive into the aspect of going to church daily, but rather living his life on a pillar for 33 years of his life until his death, only worshiping God day in and day out. After a year has been fulfilled and the young man by the grace of God was making progress towards the good way of life the holy man sent for him father and gave the son the holy robe, (The Life of Daniel the Stylite, 34, in Reader for HIS 319, p. 66). Daniel was not like anything else in his time nor others and it showed through the texts. The style in which they wrote The Life of Daniel, focused on the religion in the community, because it was so apparent in their everyday life. It affected their social life and the aspect in which this was written reflected the whole as well.

In the texts, most of them have a common theme of complete faith in their God, that he sends down extraordinarily gifted people to help the community. These incredible beings, sent by God to help the people, were a common thought amongst their time. They believed if something incredible happened, it had to be God sending a message. This could have affected them in a negative way, only relying on prayer rather than facts. Then he, too, gave thanks to the Lord Who brings all things to pass according to His will, (The Life of Daniel the Stylite, 24, in Reader for HIS 319, p. 64). Daniel, living his life on a pillar for 33 years, not showering, shaving, keeping basic human hygiene maintained could be looked at as a negative aspect in the time, but he was sent by God so he can do no wrong. And the holy man sent a letter of counsel by them to the Emperor, beseeching him and saying, ‘You yourself need no human aid; for owing your perfect faith in God you have God as your everlasting defender, (The Life of Daniel the Stylite, 61, in Reader for HIS 319, p. 68).

Throughout the second century until the ninth century, it displays common themes of religion in their societies as a whole; in government and politics, in families, and everyday life. Every person in power believed in at least one specific religion, creating a society who all followed the same religion. Earlier on, when people died for their Christianity, it showed the Pagans they truly believed in something special, of they were willing to die for it. I have asked them in person if they are Christians, if they admit it, I repeat the question a second time, and a third time, with a warning of punishment awaiting them. If they persist, I order them to be led away for punishment (Early Roman Attitudes Toward Christians, Tacitus, in Reader for HIS 319, p. 9). Later on, when more and more people started believing in Christianity, it blossomed into what it is today, as well as all of the other forms of Christianity that has sprouted from it. The writing of this has emphasized continuity, by staying consistent with the style of writing through the centuries.

The writing of Late Antiquity solves the problems from the Fall of Rome, by giving more insight to the everyday life of the people and how they lived in a society and practiced religion, but it also has it downfalls. While it focuses on religion, the main aspect of the text is specifically religion; it does not stray and it can be fustraughting for the reader. Talking more about the lives of the people and the militaristic side of society, and excluding religion is impossible, because it was so deep with society. Overall, the writing styles have changed drastically over time, and has become more relevant to today’s world. In the texts, it is stated using updated methods of writing, using Late Antiquity. The differences have changed drastically, coming with some successes and downfalls.

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The Fall of Rome to Late Antiquity. (2019, Nov 13). Retrieved February 9, 2023 , from

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