The Roman Empire had the emperor at the top and citizens at the bottom, with several ranks in between

The Roman Empire had the emperor at the top and citizens at the bottom, with several ranks in between

As Christianity became large and powerful it organized itself around the only power structure that it knew, namely the political hierarchy of the Roman Empire and medieval Europe. Being a subject of the emperor did not mean having direct access to the emperor and following direct orders. Rather, citizens were governed by local authorities who acted on behalf of higher ranking officials , all the way up to the emperor. In our society it is conceivable (if not efficient) that you might write a letter to the president of the United States about a burned out street light, or to the president of the University about not enough recycling bins. In the Roman Empire you would not dream of such arrogance. Continue reading