By Antony Alcock (auth.)
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Additional resources for A Short History of Europe: From the Greeks and Romans to the Present Day
It was this attitude that caused a British monk, Pelagius, to preach the doctrine that people could achieve a state of grace by their own efforts, such as being charitable and doing good works. Pelagius equated grace with conscience, and said that people could distinguish between good and evil, and with free will, could choose. For this he was condemned as a heretic through the influence of St. Augustine, who held that Man was from the beginning utterly and hopelessly sinful, and that the only way one could be saved was through the Grace of God.
It was only in 118Bc that the Romans established themselves solidly in southern France, annexing today's Provence and Languedoc in order to ensure communications with Spain. Taking advantage of requests from some Gaulish tribes for help against the invading Helvetii, he marched north into Gaul and in 58-52Bc conquered today's France and Belgium, setting the frontiers of the Roman state on the Rhine. Crassus was defeated and killed at Carrhae by the Parthians in 53Bc, and the following year Pompey was elected sole consul.
And in the eastern part of the Empire, as well as in the educated sections of society in the west, there was the common language- Greek- the language in which the New Testament was originally written. In its organisation in the first three centuries, Christian communities, usually in towns, would elect Bishops as their spiritual leaders, and these Bishops had the power to choose priests and ordain them, could admit and expel members. Initiation into a community was through baptism and the symbol of participation in the community was Holy Communion.
A Short History of Europe: From the Greeks and Romans to the Present Day by Antony Alcock (auth.)