On October 1 the first and only Legislative Assembly elected under the new constitution began deliberations. No one faction commanded a majority in the new Assembly, though the Center had the most seats. Since they occupied the lowest seats in the assembly hall, the deputies of the center received the derogatory nickname of the Plain or Marsh.
Deacons, priests, bishops, archbishops all serve the laity and are called secular clergy. Early in the history of the church, however, another kind of devotee to Christianity appeared in Syria and Egypt—the monk, a man who felt that he must become an ascetic. The New Testament extolled the merits of abstaining from sexual relations if possible, and from all other fleshly indulgence.
Roman architecture used the Greek column, usually Corinthian, and the round arch, originated by the Etruscans; from this developed the barrel vault, a continuous series of arches like the top of the tunnel that could be used to roof large areas. The Romans introduced the dome, and a splendid one surmounts the Pantheon at Rome. Roman structures emphasized bigness: the Colosseum seated forty-five thousand spectators; the Baths of the emperor Caracalla accommodated thousands of bathers.
In eastern Europe, the new first secretary to the Soviet Communist party, Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971), sought to heal the breach with Tito. In May 1955 he went in person to Belgrade and publicly apologized for the quarrel.
Relations between Tito and Moscow improved, although the Yugoslays never abandoned their ties to the West. Khrushchev even went so far as to declare that many prominent victims of the Titoist purges had been executed wrongly. But in making these admissions Khrushchev opened the door to new troubles.
By introducing these quasi-democratic innovations while retaining aristocratic election of the rich to magistracies and the oligarchic power of the few in the Council of the Areopagus, Solon had introduced a radical set of compromises “I stood holding my stout shield over both parties [the poor and the rich];” he wrote. “I did not allow either party to prevail unjustly. justice Solon meant what we might call social justice. However, factional strife soon began again. Athenians seem to have taken sides in accordance with both region and class.
But the economic depression had begun to knock the foundations out from under prosperity and moderation. An economic depression is a sharp and deep decline in trade and general prosperity.
In the worldwide depression of 1873 to 1896, prices had fallen, agricultural distress had intensified—made worse in Europe by bad harvests followed by wet summers and by competition from Argentine and Australian meat and Canadian and American grain—and banks had collapsed, especially in Austria and France.
Machiavelli blamed the Italians’ loss of civic spirit on the church, attacked the temporal interests of the papacy for preventing Italian unity, and questioned the values of Christianity itself. Machiavelli evidently believed that the purpose of government was less to prepare people for the City of God than to make them upstanding citizens of this world—ready to fight, work, and die for their earthly country.
Religion governed Byzantine life from birth to death. The church governed marriage and family relations and filled leisure time. Religion also dominated the arts and literature, economics and politics, and intellectual life.
Scholars refer to “the Russian question” as a means in invoking several historical concerns. What forces were at work to generate a Russian expansionism and consolidation of outlying territories? For how long would an enlarged or enlarging Russia remain stable? Would individual nationalities and languages reassert themselves despite Russian conquest?
In 1156 Frederick married the heiress to Burgundy, which had slipped out of imperial control during the Investiture Controversy. He made Switzerland the strategic center of his policy, for it controlled the Alpine passes into Italy. In Swabia he tried to build a compact, well-run royal domain, but he needed the loyalty of cooperative great vassals. And in Lombardy he also needed an alliance with the communes in the towns.