Many are surprised to learn that the Roman Empire may still exist - even in your own neighborhood.
If you do a Google search on "collapse of the Roman Empire," you will find nearly a million web sites discussing this often-debated point. What is debated is usually the exactly time, or the specific reason. Many will argue that the Roman Empire collapses for the same reasons other empires collapse. They become too large, the territories too vast to control. Those under their rule become restless and begin to demand more. The politicians become complacent and lose their drive to push their society outward. Something that has happened time and time again throughout history, and will likely to continue.
One thing that is discussed much less frequently is whether or not the Roman Empire actually collapsed. There are some scholars who argue that only the military aspect of the Roman Empire collapsed.Some say that the Roman Empire merely transformed from an empire of military, economic, and political power to one of religious power.
When Emperor Constantine accepted Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire, the changed direction. From conquering other countries with their military might, the Romans began to spread through religious ideas and beliefs.
It wasn't long before Catholicism, with its leader, the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth, whose seat of power remained in Rome, spread its influence all across Europe.
Before, if a territory of Rome was in need of discipline, the Roman government would need to send troops to quell the disturbance. This took time, money, and resources.
Under the new model, and with the Pope, the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church to excommunicate entire countries, this was not required. Now whole countries were in fear of disapproval from the Holy See. The Origins of the Church of England, or better known as the Episcopal Church, with millions of members worldwide, stem from the Excommunication of King Henry VIII by Pope Paul III in 1538.Never before had the Roman Empire had such sweeping power.
To this very day, all Catholic churches in the world remain obedient to the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on Earth. When Constantine saw the cross of the crucifixion in the sun after the battle of Milvian Bridge in 312, converting to Christianity and thereby transforming the Roman Empire into the Roman Catholic Church, he forever changed the course of western society.
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