I’ve pretty much accepted Belloc’s premise that the Roman Empire was an act of Providence: By providing a coherent, unified, stable, and cultured environment, news of the Lord’s birth, death, and resurrection could spread and His Church could get established.
Of course, if there were a greater empire in the history of the world, the divine argument for the Roman Empire and its continuation through the Roman Catholic Church would somewhat weaken. Fortunately, I don’t think anyone could argue with any degree of cogency that there was any empire in world history as great as Rome.
At least the people at Listverse seem to agree: Top 10 Greatest Empires In History.
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1. Roman Empire
At first they were ruled by divine kings, then they became a republic (perhaps their greatest period) before finally becoming an empire. How a group of farmers, who started off fending wolves to protect their livestock, eventually became the greatest empire in all history is the stuff of legends. Coupled with an excellent military and administrative system, the Roman Empire, or rather ancient Rome, is also one of the longest-lasting. Counting from its founding to the fall of the Byzantine empire, ancient Rome lasted for a whopping 2,214 years!
Ancient Rome contributed greatly to the development of law, war, art, literature, architecture, technology, religion and language in the Western world. In fact many historians consider the Roman Empire to be a perfect empire – influential, fair, long-lasting, big, well defended and economically advanced. The influence of the Roman Empire is felt to this day, if for no other reason than the influence on the Catholic Church, which took much of its administrative nous and pageantry from it.
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