Why were the Romans Praising Caesar?

Grammar Latin

Why were the Romans Praising Caesar? 

“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.  I tell you, the Devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days.  Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10 NIV).

“Cūr Caesarem Rōmānī laudābant?”[1] This was one of the Latin question we were asked to translate in our homework this week.  In addition, we were also asked to write our own responses in Latin to the questions given.  As I began to think about the English translation of this question, “Why were the Romans praising Caesar?”  I came back to my role as the lead learner of a group of students ages 12-13 and the good work of guiding the conversation “as to integrate the major themes and ideas around the central focus of coming to know God and learning how best to make Him known to others.”[2]

So, what response could a lead learner like myself come up with to discuss a “complex issue within a biblical worldview?”[3] Men praising men is a complex issue, I am sure most Christians would agree.  So, how could I best “cultivate a love for wisdom and virtue[4] in my students by making the most of this opportunity to discuss something complex? These are the kind of questions I want to ask myself.  And so, by God’s grace in not so many words, I did.  This is what came to mind: Luke 23:26!

“As the soldiers led [Jesus] away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on His way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus” (NIV).

I was reminded of how the Roman soldiers, under Caesar’s command, praised Caesar by seizing the Christians.  To begin with, Simon from Cyrene, “One that was a bearer, that carried his cross, Simon by name, a Cyrenian, who probably was a friend of Christ, and was known to be so, and this was done to put a reproach upon him; they laid Christ’s cross upon him, that he might bear it after Jesus (v26), lest Jesus should fain under it and die away, and so prevent the further instances of malice they designed.  It was a pity, but a cruel pity, that gave him this ease.[5]  My response then, to the question, “Cūr Caesarem Rōmānī laudābant?” (or “Why were the Romans praising Caesar?”)  became, “Quod Caesar Christianō occupābat.” (or, “Because Caesar was seizing the Christians.”

Through this exercise, students discussed how important it is for us as believers in Christ to “put on the full armor of God” so we too can stand and “bear it after Jesus” when God calls us to suffer persecution for His Name’s sake (Ephesians 6:10-20).  In closing,one student tied it up boldly:

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28 NIV; NLT). 

[1] Henle First Year Latin, Exercise 131, page 116, #3

[2] Classical Conversations, Cultivating the Love of Learning, 2015

[3] CC Connected, Challenge Tier

[4] CC Connected, Challenge Tier

[5] Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible, Luke 23: verses 26-31

Taken from Spring Recap Week 7, Second Semester Challenge “A”-2/24/16


4 thoughts on “Why were the Romans Praising Caesar?

    • Susan E. Marcin says:

      Thank you so much for reading this post. We did have the most amazing discussions this year. Notebooks full of them and then even more than I could record. I am hoping to publish more of them this summer. This was our first year of CC. May is our month to rest and treasure all that God did this past year (which was very good). We are looking so forward to Challenge B (and my youngest Challenge A). Hope you have a magnificent summer restful and sweet. Thank you again for reading and responding.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good, beautiful and true says:

    I have one entering Ch. A as well. It is going to be a fun ride. Following your blog:) Can’t wait to see what you publish!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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