Remembering Rome and reading the Bible
Between its foundation in the eighth century bce and the first centuries of Common Era, Rome expanded from a small city state to a world empire covering much of the Mediterranean and Asia Minor and stretching as far as what is today France, England and Belgium in the west and Egypt, Syria and Turkey in the east. Important as it was, legal scholarship and practice constituted only one of the sources of Roman influence on nineteenth-century Europe. The same peoples whose legal codes were collected and systematised on Emperor Justinian's orders were described in the Bible. The Old Testament, containing the sacred scriptures of Jewish faith, was written by a number of different authors. The New Testament books were written by Christians in the first century ce. The personal characteristics of the faithful have also come under scrutiny, with a number of pro-feminist men contributing to attempts to come up with non-patriarchal forms of inclusive church leadership and masculine spirituality.