The Political And Religious Cond

The accession of Septimius Severus, A. D. 193, marks a change in the

condition of the Empire. It was becoming more harassed by frontier wars,

not always waged successfully. Barbarians were gradually settling within

the Empire. The emperors themselves were no longer Romans or Italians.

Provincials, some not even of the Latin race, assumed the imperial

dignity. But it was a period in which the Roman law was in its most

ourishing and brilliant stage, under such men as Papinian, Ulpian, and

others second only to these masters. Stoic cosmopolitanism made for wider

conceptions of law and a deeper sense of human solidarity. The Christian

Church, however, profited little by this (§ 34) until, in the religious

syncretism which became fashionable in the highest circles, it was favored

by even the imperial family along with other Oriental religions (§ 35).

The varying fortunes of the emperors necessarily affected the Church (§

36), though, on the whole, there was little suffering, and the Church

spread rapidly, and in many parts of the Empire became a powerful

organization (§ 37), with which the State would soon have to reckon.