Saul, the church persecutor, and his conversion on the Damascus road is a memorable New Testament story.
Monthly Archives: July 2011
I’ve got a version of Aesop’s fable “Fox and Grapes” for you today that I’ve abridged slightly. This version introduces a mouse who taunts the fox. You may have already seen the Greek word for ‘fox’ in another post.
A fox seeing a cluster of ripe grapes on a trellis was desiring to eat them, but was unable to find a way to eat as they were at some height. A mouse seeing this laughed aloud saying: “You’ll munch on nothing.” The fox not wanting to give credit to the mouse said: “They are sour grapes.”
Throughout the history of Rome, citizenship was a desirable status to have. Wars were fought over this issue. Even as late as the early part of the first century it seems like it was an uncommon and privileged status in the provinces.
In 212 C.E. citizenship was extended to every free person in the entire empire.
I’ve mentioned the Roman pater familias briefly in another post. This is a technical legal term of art that does not simply mean “father;” for example, to be a pater familias it was unnecessary to be a father in fact. Under Roman law a pater familias was endowed with patria potestas. The patria potestas is the legal power of the father — it was a bundle of rights generally concerning property and the lives of those who were in potestate (under the power of the pater).
In a family consisting of a 80 year old man, his 60 year old son, his 40 year old grandson, his 20 year old great-grandson, and a newborn great-great-grandson, the only pater familias is the 80 year old; he owns all property and has power of life or death over all those under his power.