What does Augustus Caesar remember
Should Augustus or Christ be the Savior?
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A poem by Virgil that dates back to 40 BC. BC, the Augustan and the Christian turn of the ages seemed to connect with each other. In the fourth eclogue of a compilation of ten shepherds' poems it says: "Be inclined to the birth of the boy with whom the Iron World Year finally closes and the golden one rises up around the world, chaste Diana. [...] Divine life receives the boy and looks at the heroes mixed with the gods and will appear among them himself, King of Peace of the kingdom which the strength of the father has built. "
From the verses spoke the deep longing for peace of the Roman people after decades of civil war. But to this day it is controversial who Virgil meant by the boy. One interpretation refers to a child who was born in the autumn of 40 BC. A marriage between Octavian and Scribonia was to be expected. At that time it was already evident that Octavian, who later received the honorary title Augustus, would become sole ruler. When Scribonia gave birth to a daughter and he divorced a year after the marriage, this was generously passed over.
Christians like the church father Augustine found the birth of Jesus announced in the poem. They saw evidence in the expected transformation of nature: "The grazing cattle never fear the mighty lion [...]. But the snake will die and the poisonous herb will die." In her opinion, Virgil confirmed an old prophecy from the book of Isaiah, where the ideal ruler is described: "He judges the helpless righteously and decides for the poor of the country [...]. Then calf and lion graze together, a little boy can guard them [...]. The baby plays in front of the adder's loophole, the child stretches his hand into the snake's den. "
Since the beginning of the 4th century, Christianity was first tolerated under Emperor Constantine and then became a privileged religion. In the year 380 AD it even became a state religion. The fact that Augustus and Jesus lived at the same time was taken as a sign of the connection between the Roman Empire and the Christian Church. There were humane reforms such as the introduction of Sunday rest and the abolition of gladiator fights. However, the church was now also appropriated for the imperial striving for expansion and an intolerant religious policy.
The dawn of eternal world peace was that Pax Augusta Not. Nevertheless, it is due to the Peace of Augustus that today at Christmas Christians all over the world remember that Augustus and Jesus lived at the same time. The Roman Empire, with its safe seas and highways, promoted not only the exchange of goods, but also of ideas. By the middle of the 2nd century AD, there were already communities in Gaul that had been co-founded by traveling merchants from Syria. They had carried the Christian message across the Roman Empire over 4,000 kilometers. And even in the Germanic provinces, believers were already singing "a song about Christ as their God".
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