Jesus Christ Prison Ministry

Proof of the Bible, part 2


“ALEXANDER THE GREAT, Philip’s son and successor, continued his father’s plans. Aided by a battle-hardened Macedonian army that possessed the cavalry necessary for a campaign against the Persians, Alexander conquered the entire Persian Empire in ten years (334-325). He created an empire stretching from Macedonia to the Indus River, a magnificent achievement that had even more important, far-reaching effects.”*
 
“He defeated the small force defending Anatolia, proclaimed freedom for the Greek cities there while keeping them under tight control, and, after a campaign through the Anatolian highlands (to impress the tribesmen), met and defeated the Persian army under DARIUS III at Issus (near modern Iskenderun, Turkey). He occupied Syria and—after a long siege of Tyre—Phoenicia, then entered Egypt, where he was accepted as pharaoh. From there he visited the famous Libyan oracle of Amon (or Ammon, identified by the Greeks with Zeus). The oracle certainly hailed him as Amon’s son (two Greek oracles confirmed him as son of Zeus) and probably promised him that he would become a god. His faith in Amon kept increasing, and after his death he was portrayed with the god’s horns.”*
“After organizing Egypt and founding Alexandria, Alexander crossed the Eastern Desert and the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, and in the autumn of 331 defeated Darius’ grand army at Gaugamela (near modern Irbil, Iraq). Darius fled to the mountain residence of Ecbatana, while Alexander occupied Babylon, the imperial capital Susa, and Persepolis. Henceforth, Alexander acted as legitimate king of Persia, and to win the support of the Iranian aristocracy he appointed mainly Iranians as provincial governors.”* 


The fourth empire was to be as strong as iron.  Even today some history books and encyclopedias call Rome the “Iron Empire”.  “Ancient Rome grew from a small prehistoric settlement on the Tiber River in Latium in central Italy into an empire that encompassed the entire Mediterranean world. The Romans developed a civilization that formed the basis for modern Western civilization. The history of Rome comprises three major epochs: the kingship from the legendary foundation of Rome to 509 BC; the republic from 509 BC to 31 BC; and the empire, which survived until Rome finally fell to the German chieftain Odoacer in AD 476.”* 


“The Macedonian king PERSEUS, the son of Philip V, also tried his luck against Rome (Third Macedonian War, 171-168).  His army was slaughtered (168) at Pydna in Greece.  After an uprising Macedonia was annexed (148) as a Roman province; in 146 the Achaean League was crushed and Corinth was destroyed. The entire Greek world was under Roman hegemony.”* 


“Caesar conducted a series of campaigns, winning victories at Zela (modern Zile) in Anatolia (47), at Thapsus in North Africa (46), and at Munda in Spain (45). Back in Rome, he was now firmly in control of the government. He set about reforming the laws and reorganizing the administration of the colonies. Under Caesar, Rome controlled all of Italy, Gaul, Spain, Numidia, Macedonia, Greece, Palestine, Egypt, and virtually all of the Mediterranean islands. Greek art and philosophy had permeated Roman culture, and Rome perceived itself as the civilizer of the barbarians.”* 


“Octavian, assuming (27 BC) the title and name Imperator Caesar Augustus, carried forth many of the reforms of Julius Caesar. He established his government in 27 BC, rebuilt the city of Rome, and became a great patron of the arts. During his reign the Roman Empire was at its height; it had no rivals—thus began the 200 years of peace known as the Pax Romana. The system of ROMAN ROADS and a sophisticated postal system helped unify the empire. Commerce and trade boomed among the far-flung possessions. Augustus reformed the Senate, made the system of taxation more equitable, and revived the census. He died in AD 14 and was succeeded by his stepson Tiberius.”* 

“Hadrian’s Wall is an ancient fortified wall that crosses northern England at its narrowest point, between the River Tyne and the Solway Firth. Built by order of the Roman emperor HADRIAN, it reflects his conservative policy of consolidating Rome’s imperial acquisitions. The Roman attempt to subjugate Scotland was abandoned, and construction of the wall as a permanent northern boundary for Roman-held territory was begun about AD 121 or 122. The wall was not meant to serve as an actual line of defense, but rather as a barrier to large-scale, swift movement by hostile forces and as a screen behind which Roman troops could maneuver.”*
 
“Some stretches of the wall were originally constructed of turf, but the entire 118 km (73.5-m) length was later rebuilt in stone. It formed a barrier 2 to 3.5 m (6.6 to 11.5 ft) thick and about 7 m (23 ft) high, protected on either face by a ditch. The route was chosen to take advantage of available high ground. Towers containing gates were built into the wall at intervals of 1 Roman mile (about 1,522 m\1,665 yd), and two smaller turrets were placed at equal distances between each pair of “mile castles.” Its garrisons were housed in large forts constructed across or adjacent to the wall. The wall was temporarily superseded by the ANTONINE WALL, in 142, but was reoccupied in 158 and again became the frontier after abandonment (c. 180) of the Antonine fortifications. It remained the frontier until withdrawal (c.400) of the Roman army from Britain. Substantial sections still stand.”*

“Along with Greek democracy, one of the greatest political achievements of Mediterranean antiquity was the Roman Empire. It was the Romans who inherited the civilization of the Greeks and passed it on to medieval and modern Europe. The boundaries of their state, however, bore no relation to “Europe.” It was a multiracial agglomeration in the tradition of the Persian Empire. Rome conquered the CELTS of western Europe, and some of the more advanced GERMANIC PEOPLES of central Europe, along with the Greek and Hellenistic communities of the eastern and southern Mediterranean and their subject peoples. This was a military and administrative triumph of colossal proportions. The extension of Roman citizenship to all the inhabitants of the empire in the 3d century AD was an equally breathtaking act of wisdom. But Rome’s most important institution was its army. The roads, amphitheaters, temples, and villas that attest to Rome’s greatness, and the establishment of a unified culture reaching from Britain to the eastern frontier of Syria, all depended on the strength of the Roman legions. In the days of the republic, a military career was the basis of a political one. Under the empire, most emperors attained power by military success or by seizing it forcibly. As for Europe, it was the army that conquered it, patrolled it, and civilized it, beginning with Spain and Gaul, north to what is now Scotland, east to the Elbe in Germany, and into central Europe as far north as the Danube, which the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius died defending against the Germans in AD 180. The Alps, the Balkans, and the Carpathians were all incorporated into the empire—at least temporarily. Dacia (modern Romania) was conquered by Trajan in the early 2d century but abandoned by Aurelian at the end of the 3d. Under Rome’s aegis, trade routes were opened up between Vienna and the Baltic.”*

        

“As time went on, however, the Roman Empire became more Asiatic than European. The imperial bureaucracy functioned under an autocratic monarch who in the East was worshiped as a god, as were the Hellenistic kings who preceded him. Egypt supplied both the grain that fed Rome and much of the government’s revenue. Oriental religions became increasingly popular. In the 4th century one of them, Christianity, became the state religion, and the capital was moved east to Byzantium (Constantinople) on the border between Europe and Asia.   That city was to be Europe’s greatest urban center for the next thousand years. Simultaneous with this outward orientalization, however, a combination of Roman law, Christianity, and the tradition of Greek thought was giving rise to the unique European concept of the responsible individual, fearing God and understanding freedom as the willing acceptance of just laws that are the human reflection of divine law.”* 


“Rome brought together under its rule all the richer settled communities of the Mediterranean world. Its characteristic demographic unit was the coastal city, oriented toward sea borne commerce, with self-governing institutions. Many of the cities of the Roman Empire were of Greek or Carthaginian origin and had once been independent. Their wealth and beauty made them the envy of the less developed Celtic and Germanic peoples who lived beyond the Roman frontiers. The tension between a prosperous settled community and poor but resourceful nomads was a recurring theme in the history of the premodern world. In the early days of Rome the Celts of northern Italy were a frequent threat; later, when GAUL had been subdued, it was the German tribes of central Europe that exerted pressure on the borders of the empire. As early as the end of the 2d century BC they broke through and penetrated as far as Milan before being turned back. Later, during the Pax Romana—the period of internal peace that marked the 1st and 2d centuries AD -the Roman armies were strong enough to keep the northern frontier secure.”* 


The interpretation of the vision goes on to say that this empire would not be defeated as much as break apart. This is exactly what happened. As the feet and toes of the image were part of clay and part of iron, so Rome divided into nations that were partly weak and partly strong.