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Tuesday, April 4 2017
The Roman Republic
"Senatus Populusque Romanus"
The Roman Empire that existed from the time of the Messiah (the first Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, is recorded in the Bible for declaring the famous census that resulted in the Messiah's birth in Bethlehem; see A Biography Of Jesus Christ: How Long In Bethlehem?) grew (some say metastasized) from the Roman Republic that existed before it, from about 509 to 27 BC. Despite its ancient existence, the immorality and the corrupt, buffoonery politics of the Roman Republic would be immediately familiar to most people of today.
Many of today's English-language political terms originated from the Latin of the Roman Republic.
The English-language word "monarch" originated from a compound Latin word, monos, meaning alone, and arche, meaning rule. Literally, but never in real life, a "monarch" is a "mono-ruler." In politics, a male monarch is often called a king ("king" originated from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning kin, or race), while a female monarch is a queen (from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning wife).
The English word "republic" originated from a compound French word, re, meaning of, and public, meaning the public, or the people. A republic is usually headed by a "president," from a compound Latin word meaning one who temporarily sits in charge of others i.e. a system where, in theory, practically anyone can become president (and sometimes does, to the eventual detriment of the nation) for a specified period of time.
While most nations have established definitions of monarchs and presidents, and monarchies and republics, there is no definition that fits all - historically, or in the present day. Some monarchs simply succeed a royal parent, while other monarchs have been appointed, or even elected, by the people (although all monarchs are democratic in that they must have sufficient support of the people to remain as their monarch). Some presidents are elected, while others seize power and remain as long as they are able to do so. Some presidents behave like monarchs, while some monarchs behave like presidents. Both systems are as subject to Godly humility as they are vulnerable to Satanic arrogance.
Monarchs and presidents are both interested in maintaining their, and their nation's, sovereignty. "Sovereign" is from a compound Latin word that means super over, as in self rule. The opposite is "foreign," from a Latin word meaning far rule, as in being ruled by those who are far away.
Nations can be transformed from a monarchy (a "sole ruler") to a republic ("ruled by the public"), however the result of what form the republic takes can be as extreme as the perceived differences between a monarchy and a republic. A republic can take the form of "people rule" through dog-eat-dog capitalism (where socialists are called "liberals"), or "people rule" through socialism (where capitalists are called "liberals"). As well, some nations politically oscillate from monarchy to republic, republic to monarchy - as happened to ancient Rome.
The ancient Roman republic is generally regarded to have begun around 500 BC, replacing the in-effect monarchy that existed by the conquering founders. The government was democratic, term-limited and based upon a principle that no individual or area of government could rule absolutely (a term that some have come to call "checks and balances").
Various offices of government were established by and for the Roman republic. Some examples:
A consul was a magistrate of the highest rank. A praetor was a civil law administrator who could also command local or provincial armed forces. A censor conducted the census of the people, and was in charge of the Senate membership. A tribune represented specific tribes of people; it was also a term used for a high-ranking military officer. A plebeian was a term used for a representative of the "common" people. A dictator was appointed with near-absolute power, for a limited time, to deal with specific national threats or emergencies. Julius Caesar (at a time when "Caesar" was merely a family name) became such a "dictator" during Rome's wars.
It was Julius Caesar's role of "dictator" that resulted in his assassination in 44 BC. The murder took place in the Roman Senate, by Roman senators, led by Marcus Brutus and Gaius Cassius, who resented that Caesar had taken their "democratic" authority from them - in effect, making himself a king. The irony of Caesar's assassination, in supposed defense of the republic, was that it marked the end of the Roman republic and the establishment (or re-establishment if one goes back to 500 BC) of a Roman monarchy - Roman kings who, as the military power of Rome grew, became emperors. "Imperialism" is from the Latin word which means empire-ism.
The first such Roman Emperor was Octavian, the adopted son and great-nephew of Julius Caesar. Octavian was later known as Caesar Augustus ("Caesar" was by then morphing from a family name to a political title). He is recorded in the Holy Bible for his calling the census that resulted in Jesus Christ fulfilling the prophecy of His being born in Bethlehem (see also Why Did The Magi Come?).
"2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
Caesar Augustus reigned during about the first half of the human lifetime of Jesus Christ. Tiberius Caesar ruled for the other half (see the Fact Finder question to see what eventually happened to both of them).
"3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; 3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying,
Fact Finder: God does not use man-made political terms or behavior for His Kingdom. Why is the Kingdom of God rightly called the Kingdom of God?
This Day In History, April 4
527: In Constantinople (named after Emperor Constantine; see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy), a gravely-ill Justin crowned his nephew Justinian as co-emperor.
1284: Alfonso X, king of Castile and Leon, died at age 63. His reign was dominated by a costly and unpopular attempt to become German king, and thereby the Holy Roman emperor (the official title of which was "the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation"; see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation). Although he was actually elected German king in 1257, the Pope refused to accept the election, and Alfonso spent years fruitlessly pursuing the matter (see Emperors and Popes).
1460: The University of Basle in Switzerland was established.
1507: Future Protestant reformer Martin Luther, age 21, was ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. Although Luther later rejected the leadership of the Papacy (because of the immoral behavior of the pope at the time), he nevertheless kept practically all of the Church of Rome's antichrist doctrines, as do most of the "Protestant" churches to this day (e.g. see Why Observe The True Sabbath?).
1541: Ignatius of Loyola became the first superior-general of the Jesuits.
1581: English explorer and naval commander Frances Drake and his crew completed their circumnavigation of the world.
1687: James II ordered his Declaration of Indulgence read in church, allowing for full liberty of worship in England. It allowed peaceable meetings of nonconformists and forgave all penalties for ecclesiastical offenses.
1721: Sir Robert Walpole became the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, under King George I.
1812: In his belligerent provocations that led to his declaring the start of the War of 1812-1814 (in which his publicly-stated goal was to obliterate Canada as a nation and annex the Canadian people and territory into the U.S. by conquest), U.S. President James Madison enacted a ninety-day embargo on trade with Britain.
1905: An earthquake in Kangra India, killed 375,000 people.
1918: During the First World War (1914-1918), the Battle of The Somme ended.
1939: Faisal II became King of Iraq.
1944: During the Second World War, British troops captured Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
1949: 12 nations - the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Portugal - founded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). West Germany, Greece, Turkey and Spain joined later.
1968: Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 39.
1975: Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
1973: The World Trade Center in New York was officially dedicated.
1975: A U.S. Air Force C-5A Galaxy, transporting orphans out of the war zone that the U.S. created, crashed near Saigon, South Vietnam shortly after takeoff; 172 of the children died.
1983 The first launch of the space shuttle Challenger. It was in service for less than 3 years before exploding on January 28 1986 while attempting its tenth launch.
1984: U.S. President Ronald Reagan called for an international ban on chemical weapons (while declaring the U.S. exempt of any ban for reasons of "national security").
2002: The government of Angola signed an agreement with rebels to end the Angolan Civil War.