Honor Roman Culture
Next Previous Index Tellout Home

Traditional Pre-industrial Society180

Ancient Mediterranean World

Saint Paul Wayne A. Meeks in "The First Urban Christians - The Social World of the Apostle Paul" writes, "One cannot read far in the letters of Paul and his disciples without discovering that it was concern about the internal life, the honor and shame in the Roman culture of the Christian groups in each city that prompted most of the correspondence." "The letters also reveal that these groups enjoyed an unusual degree of intimacy, a high level of interaction between members, a very strong sense of internal cohesion and of distinction both from outsiders and from the world."

Honor in Roman Culture

Honor and ShameCarolyn Osiek and David L. Balch in "Families in the New Testament World - Households and House Churches" assert, "The ancient Mediterranean world is classified as a traditional pre-industrial society. In such a system, politics, religion, and economics are included under military and kinship structures as belonging to it, which sustain and support the balance of power and the social honor and shame of its members." "There is a close economic relationship between the city as market center and the agricultural territory that it controls and protects, and which in turn supports it with food production."

The Ruling Elites

Roman SlavesMost of the land, the most precious commodity, is concentrated in the hands of "ruling elites." For these elites the combination of supervising agricultural work on their rural estates from their country houses and participating in leadership in the urban political system is the idealized life.

"Honor Roman Culture"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

^Top Page Next Previous