September 2008 thru June 2009
Roman roads transformed the power structure of Europe and the development of the Western thought. Highly trained, very disciplined legions could sweep down the roads, and with a relatively small number of troops hit hard at their enemies. Thus a thousand-mile-wide empire could be policed and controlled. The roads were not only secure, with military posts at frequent intervals and armed patrols, but open to civilians as well, who, too, could move fast, carrying – letters. Suddenly controversies and even startling new religions could be carried by letter writers. Administrators in our group suspect that Paul and his team of writers produced reams of boilerplate and teaching material. A few fragments survive, in which personal greetings, local advice, and sweeping, oft-repeated theological set-pieces were endearingly mixed. From Alexandria to Rome, people spoke and understood a common language – Koine Greek. A writer in Jerusalem could write to colleagues in Rome, in Greek, and assume he would be understood.