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January 28    Scripture



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Bible Cities: Rome
Ancient Rome in the Bible

Map of Ancient Rome

ROME, the famous capital of the ancient world, is situated on the river Tiber, at a distance of fifteen miles from its mouth. The seven hills which formed the nucleus of the ancient city stand on the left bank. Rome is mentioned in the books of Maccabees and in the Hebrew Scriptures. It is also mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistle to the Romans, and the Second Epistle to Timothy. The conquests of Pompey seem to have given rise to the first settlements of the Jews at Rome. The Jewish King Aristobulus and his son formed a notable part of Pompey's triumphal procession, and many Jewish captives and emigrants were brought to Rome at that time. Many of these Jews were made freedmen. Julius Caesar showed them some kindness, and they were favored also by Augustus. Claudius, on the contrary, commanded all Jews to depart from Rome, on account of tumults connected, possibly, with the preaching of Christianity at Rome. This banishment cannot have been of long duration, for we find Jews residing at Rome apparently in considerable numbers at the time of St. Paul's visit. It is chiefly in connection with St. Paul's visit that Rome comes before us in the Bible. The Rome of the apostle's day was a large and irregular mass, of buildings unprotected by an outer wall; for it will be remembered that St. Paul's visit lies between two important epochs, viz.: its restoration by Augustus, and its restoration by Nero. The streets were generally narrow and winding, flanked by densely crowded lodging-houses of great height. St. Paul's first visit to Rome took place before the Neronian conflagration; but even after the restoration of the city, which followed upon that event, many of the old evils continued. The population of the city has been variously estimated at from half a million to over eight millions. Probably Gibbon's estimate of one million two hundred thousand is nearest the truth. One-half of the population consisted, in all probability, of slaves. The larger part of the remainder consisted of pauper-citizens, supported in idleness by the miserable system of public gratuities. There appears to have been no middle class, and no free industrial population. Side by side with the wretched classes just mentioned was the comparatively small body of the wealthy nobility, of whose luxury and profligacy we hear so much in the heathen writers of the time. Such was the population St. Paul found at Rome at the time of his visit. - Ancient Geography

Rome in Easton's Bible Dictionary the most celebrated city in the world at the time of Christ. It is said to have been founded B.C. 753. When the New Testament was written, Rome was enriched and adorned with the spoils of the world, and contained a population estimated at 1,200,000, of which the half were slaves, and including representatives of nearly every nation then known. It was distinguished for its wealth and luxury and profligacy. The empire of which it was the capital had then reached its greatest prosperity. On the day of Pentecost there were in Jerusalem "strangers from Rome," who doubtless carried with them back to Rome tidings of that great day, and were instrumental in founding the church there. Paul was brought to this city a prisoner, where he remained for two years (Acts 28:30, 31) "in his own hired house." While here, Paul wrote his epistles to the Philippians, to the Ephesians, to the Colossians, to Philemon, and probably also to the Hebrews. He had during these years for companions Luke and Aristarchus (Acts 27:2), Timothy (Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:1), Tychicus (Eph. 6: 21), Epaphroditus (Phil. 4:18), and John Mark (Col. 4:10). (See PAUL -T0002871.) Beneath this city are extensive galleries, called "catacombs," which were used from about the time of the apostles (one of the inscriptions found in them bears the date A.D. 71) for some three hundred years as places of refuge in the time of persecution, and also of worship and burial. About four thousand inscriptions have been found in the catacombs. These give an interesting insight into the history of the church at Rome down to the time of Constantine.

Rome in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Paul's first visit was between the restoration by Augustus, whose boast was "he had found the city of brick and left it of marble" (Suet., Aug. 28), and that by Nero after its conflagration. His residence was near the "barrack" (praetorium) attached to the imperial palace on the Palatine (Philemon 1:13). (See PALACE.) Modern Rome lies N. of ancient Rome, covering the Campus Martius, or "plain" to the N. of the seven hills; the latter (Revelation 17:9), the nucleus of the old city, stand on the left bank. On the opposite side of the Tiber is the higher ridge, Janiculum, also the Vatican. The Mamertine prison where legend makes Peter and Paul to have been fellow prisoners for nine months is still under the church of Giuseppe dei Falegnani; but see 2 Timothy 4:11. (See PETER.) The chapel on the Ostian road marks the legendary site of the two parting for martyrdom. The church of Paolo alle Tre Fontane on the Ostian road is the alleged site of Paul's martyrdom. The church of Pietro in Montorio on the Janiculum is that of Peter's martyrdom. The chapel "Domine quo Vadis?" on the Appian road marks where Peter in the legend met the Lord, as he was fleeing from martyrdom. (See PETER.) The bodies of the two apostles first lay in the catacombs ("cemeteries" or sleeping places: Eusebius, H. E. ii. 25); then Paul's body was buried by the Ostian road, Peter's beneath the dome of the famous basilica called after him (Caius, in Eusebius, H. E. ii. 25). All this is mere tradition. Real sites are the Colosseum and Nero's gardens in the Vatican near to Peter's; in them Christians wrapped in beasts' skins were torn by dogs, or clothed in inflammable stuffs were burnt as torches during the midnight games! Others were crucified (Tacitus, Annals xv. 44). The catacombs, "subterranean galleries" (whether sand pits or excavations originally is uncertain), from eight to ten feet, high, and four to six wide extending for miles, near the Appian and Nomentane ways, were used by the early Christians as places of refuge, worship, and burial. The oldest inscription is A.D. 71; thence to A.D. 300 less than thirty Christian inscriptions are known bearing dates, 4,000 undated are considered anterior to Constantine.

Rome in Hitchcock's Bible Names strength; power

Rome in Naves Topical Bible (The capital of the Roman Empire) -Jews excluded from, by Claudius Caesar Ac 18:2 -Paul's visit to See PAUL -Visited by Onesiphorus 2Ti 1:16,17 -Paul desires to preach in Ro 1:15 -Abominations in Ro 1:18-32 -Christians in Ro 16:5-17; Php 1:12-18; 4:22; 2Ti 4:21 -Paul's letter to the Christians in Ro 1:7 -Paul testifies the gospel of Christ to them Ro 1:16 -The condemnation of the Gentiles Ro 1:18 -The condemnation of the Jews Ro 2 -God's judgment against all sin Ro 2:6; 3 -Justification by faith in Jesus Christ Ro 3:24; 4; 5 -The faith of Abraham Ro 4 -The fruits of faith Ro 5:7 -The works of the flesh and the Spirit Ro 8 -God's supreme power over everyone Ro 9; 11 -The righteousness the law and of faith Ro 10 -Exhorted humility, love, and good works Ro 12 -To obey magistrates Ro 13 -For mutual forbearance Ro 14:15 -Requested to greet various brethren Ro 16

Rome in Smiths Bible Dictionary the famous capital of the ancient world, is situated on the Tiber at a distance of about 15 miles from its mouth. The "seven hills," Re 17:9 which formed the nucleus of the ancient city stand on the left bank. On the opposite side of the river rises the far higher side of the Janiculum. Here from very early times was a fortress with a suburb beneath it extending to the river. Modern Rome lies to the north of the ancient city, covering with its principal portion the plain to the north of the seven hills, once known as the Campus Martius, and on the opposite bank extending over the low ground beneath the Vatican to the north of the ancient Janiculum. Rome is not mentioned in the Bible except in the books of Maccabees and in three books of the New Testament, viz., the Acts, the Epistle to the Romans and the Second Epistle to Timothy. 1. Jewish inhabitants. the conquests of Pompey seem to have given rise to the first settlement of Jews at Rome. The Jewish king Aristobulus and his son formed part of Pompey's triumph, and many Jewish captives and immigrants were brought to Rome at that time. A special district was assigned to them, not on the site of the modern Ghetto, between the Capitol and the island of the Tiber, but across the Tiber. Many of these Jews were made freedmen. Julius Caesar showed them some kindness; they were favored also by Augustus, and by Tiberius during the latter part of his reign. It is chiefly in connection with St. Paul's history that Rome comes before us in the Bible. In illustration of that history it may be useful to give some account of Rome in the time of Nero, the "Caesar" to whom St. Paul appealed, and in whose reign he suffered martyrdom. 2. The city in Paul's time. --The city at that time must be imagined as a large and irregular mass of buildings unprotected by an outer wall. It had long outgrown the old Servian wall; but the limits of the suburbs cannot be exactly defined. Neither the nature of the buildings nor the configuration of the ground was such as to give a striking appearance to the city viewed from without. "Ancient Rome had neither cupola nor camyanile," and the hills, never lofty or imposing, would present, when covered with the buildings and streets of a huge city, a confused appearance like the hills of modern London, to which they have sometimes been compared. The visit of St. Paul lies between two famous epochs in the history of the city, viz, its restoration by Augustus and its restoration by Nero. The boast of Augustus is well known, "that he found the city of brick, and left it of marble." Some parts of the city, especially the Forum and Campus Martius, must have presented a magnificent appearance, of which Niebur's "Lectures on Roman History," ii. 177, will give a general idea; but many of the principal buildings which attract the attention of modern travellers in ancient Rome were not yet built. The streets were generally narrow and winding, flanked by densely crowded lodging-houses (insulae) of enormous height. Augustus found it necessary to limit their height to 70 feet. St, Paul's first visit to Rome took place before the Neronian conflagration but even after the restoration of the city which followed upon that event, many of the old evils continued. The population of the city has been variously estimated. Probably Gibbon's estimate of 1,200,000 is nearest to the truth. One half of the population consisted, in all probability, of slaves. The larger part of the remainder consisted of pauper citizens supported in idleness by the miserable system of public gratuities. There appears to have been no middle class, and no free industrial population. Side by side with the wretched classes just mentioned...

Rome in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE rom: I. DEVELOPMENT OF THE REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTION 1. Original Roman State 2. The Struggle between Patricians and Plebeians 3. The Senate and Magistrates 4. Underlying Principles II. EXTENSION OF ROMAN SOVEREIGNTY III. THE IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT 1. Imperial Authority 2. Three Classes of Citizens IV. ROMAN RELIGION 1. Deities 2. Religious Decay V. ROME AND THE JEWS 1. Judea under Roman Procurators and Governors 2. Jewish Proselytism VI. ROME AND THE CHRISTIANS 1. Introduction of Christianity 2. Tolerance and Proscription 3. Persecution LITERATURE Rome (Latin and Italian, Roma; Rhome): The capital of the Roman republic and empire, later the center of Lot Christendom, and since 1871 capital of the kingdom of Italy, is situated mainly on the left bank of the Tiber about 15 miles from the Mediterranean Sea in 41 degrees 53' 54 inches North latitude and 12 degrees 0' 12 inches longitude East of Greenwich. It would be impossible in the limited space assigned to this article to give even a comprehensive outline of the ancient history of the Eternal City. It will suit the general purpose of the work to consider the relations of the Roman government and society with the Jews and Christians, and, in addition, to present a rapid survey of the earlier development of Roman institutions and power, so as to provide the necessary historical setting for the appreciation of the more essential subjects. I. Development of the Republican Constitution. 1. Original Roman State: The traditional chronology for the earliest period of Roman history is altogether unreliable, partly because the Gauls, in ravaging the city in 390 BC, destroyed the monuments which might have offered faithful testimony of the earlier period (Livy vi.1). It is known that there was a settlement on the site of Rome before the traditional date of the founding (753 BC). The original Roman state was the product of the coalition of a number of adjacent clan-communities, whose names were perpetuated in the Roman genres, or groups of imaginary kindred, a historical survival which had lost all significance in the period of authentic history. The chieftains of the associated clans composed the primitive senate or council of elders, which exercised sovereign authority. But as is customary in the development of human society a military or monarchical regime succeeded the looser patriarchal or sacerdotal organs of authority. This second stage may be identified with the legendary rule of the Tarquins, which was probably a period of Etruscan domination. The confederacy of clans was welded...

Rome Scripture - 2 Timothy 1:17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found [me].

Rome Scripture - 2 Timothy 4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ [be] with thy spirit. Grace [be] with you. Amen. <[The second [epistle] unto Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second time.]>

Rome Scripture - Acts 18:2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them

Rome Scripture - Acts 19:21 After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

Rome Scripture - Acts 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

Rome Scripture - Acts 28:14 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.

Rome Scripture - Acts 28:16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.

Rome Scripture - Acts 2:10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

Rome Scripture - Colossians 4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace [be] with you. Amen. <[Written from Rome to Colossians by Tychicus and Onesimus.]>

Rome Scripture - Galatians 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit. Amen. <[To [the] Galatians written from Rome.]>

Rome Scripture - Philemon 1:25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit. Amen. <[Written from Rome to Philemon, by Onesimus a servant.]>

Rome Scripture - Philippians 4:23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen. <[To [the] Philippians written from Rome, by Epaphroditus.]>

Rome Scripture - Romans 1:15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

Rome Scripture - Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called [to be] saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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