By Sandi Rog
When I think of ancient Rome, I think: yawn, stretch, borrrring. I’d much rather write about something romantic, like knights in shining armor, castles, and maidens in distress. But no. I chose to write about ancient Rome. Why? Well, because it’s really very similar to where we’re at today.
Writing about this time period puts my work in the “Biblical Fiction” slot. It’s called Biblical Fiction because it takes place during Bible/Roman times. What interests me most about this era is the fact that most people don’t feel the Bible applies to them today because “times have changed.”
I wonder where these folks think roads and bridges came from? Don’t they realize Romans also invented mile-markers? How do they think we learned about gutters and sidewalks? Sewers and water fountains?
How dependent are we on plumbing? I guess they don’t realize that the Romans invented indoor plumbing as well. And what about when these people went to their last football game? Didn’t they realize that the amphitheater was invented by the Romans?
Nearly every major city in ancient Rome had a coliseum. The most well-known is the Colosseum in Rome itself. Now, where do folks usually like to spend their free time today? Football stadiums, baseball games, hockey, soccer and I don’t know what else. Keeping up with the “games” is a big deal to folks. Well, it was a big deal to ancient Romans as well.
The Romans also invented “dry-cleaners.” They were called “fullers.” It was there that the citizens would bring in their tunics, expecting them to be pressed and cleaned. And I won’t tell you what they used to whiten these tunics. Just think: vinegar. I won’t disgust you with how they got it.
Oh, and let’s not forget our government and their buildings. I guess folks who think the Bible is outdated don’t realize the first Senate was invented by the Romans. Not to mention the beautiful buildings with their columns and magnificent archways. And consider the toilets you sit on. Bet you can’t guess where those came from. Toilets and politics in the same paragraph? No pun intended.
How many of us like to eat out? I love going to restaurants, I love sinking my teeth into a big juicy hamburger. Well, the Romans usually had restaurants which were very similar to European cafes and American fast-food restaurants. These eateries were usually found below the apartments—yes, the Romans also invented apartments—where they served big juicy hamburgers (what they referred to as meat between bread). Hmm, I used to think the Americans were the inventors of the hamburger. Guess I was wrong.
We’ve covered only a fraction of the physical aspects of the similarities between us today and the Romans. Don’t you think they also dealt with the same struggles? Adultery and divorce was quite common back then, not to mention, abortion. Yep. ABORTION. Fornication (that’s when you have sex outside of marriage) was also a practiced pleasure, one of the reasons they had abortions. Folks tend to think homosexuality is something “new.” Nope. It was also quite common in Bible/Roman times. Do any of these issues sound familiar?
Next time someone tells you that the Bible doesn’t apply to us today because “times have changed,” simply remind them of these historical facts.
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