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            Page after page I am reminded how little human nature has changed throughout the centuries. The quest for "greatness", wealth, and spiritual fulfillment still plagues present day earth as it did thousands of years ago.
             The fall of the Roman Empire had many contributing factors. The most harmful toxin perhaps, being the lack of productivity among the city dwellers. The plebeians, or farmer peasants, were the hardest workers and the least rewarded. They produced the welfare food for the Romans and paid higher taxes, which, in turn, caused much resentment or even abandonment of the land. Farmers were not well protected from barbarians. Sometimes they appeared to be relieved when raided because the looters did not tax. Disease was another wrecking ball in the Empires wall. Malaria and small pox spread rapidly through the country devouring lives and hopes. People seemed to be lazy and self absorbed, yet worried about the future.
             Jesus Christ was a prophet who brought hope and mental peace for all. He encouraged people to love their neighbors unconditionally, forgive all trespasses, and be content. He had two principal commandments: above all love God with all ones heart, soul, and mind and love all people as oneself. Eternal life in paradise was the reward to those who believed Jesus was the Son of God and followed his commandments. .
             The Emperor Constantine was a cornerstone in the construction of the early Churches. He granted tolerance of Christianity and the freedom to practice any religion after conquering the emperor Maxentius and becoming ruler. Legend has it, he had a dream the night before his victory of a flaming cross, and heard the sentence, "In this sign you will conquer." The next morning he painted the first two letters of Jesus Christ's name on his men's armor, shields, and flags. He also convened the first councils concerned with matters of faith. This helped to pave the road to the development of the conventional statement of Christian belief and the declaration of Christianity as the state religion.

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