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Old 10-14-2017, 05:11 AM   #76
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Default Re: Ron Kangas Message

Regarding crowded, compact living situations in Paul's is a description of Rome.
As elsewhere, whether on a farm or in the city, daily life still centered on the home, and when people arrived in the city, their first concern was to find a place to live. Space was at a premium in a walled metropolis like Rome, and from the beginning little attention was paid to the housing needs of the people who migrated to the city - tenements provided the best answer. The majority of Roman citizens, not all of them poor, lived in these apartment buildings or insulae. As early as 150 BCE, there were over 46,000 insulae throughout the city. Most of these ramshackle tenements were over-crowded and extremely dangerous resulting in residents living in constant fear of fire, collapse, and in some areas there was the susceptibility to the flooding of the Tiber River. Initially, little concern from the city was given to designing straight or even wide streets (streets, often unpaved, could be as narrow as six feet or as wide as fifteen), not allowing for easy access to these buildings if a fire did occur. It would take the great fire under Emperor Nero, to improve this problem when streets were widened and balconies built to provide safety as well as access in time of an emergency. These “flats” were usually five to seven stories in height (over seventy feet); however, because many of these tenements were deemed unsafe, laws were passed under Emperors Augustus and Trajan to keep them from becoming too tall; unfortunately, these laws were rarely enforced.

Overcrowding and very narrow streets lead to very compressed and crowded conditions. The wealthy lived in much better conditions but, as Paul indicated, not many of the saints were of that class.

I am sure that other references can be found. We cannot saw that crowded and compact ancient cities are, as a description, factually incorrect.
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