The Political Structure In Thessalonic C. AD 50

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History Thessalonica ca. AD 50 was a thriving seaport boasting a large population for the time. The political structure in Thessalonica was quite unique for the time considering it boasted the status of a free city and enjoyed a large amount of local autonomy during a time of imperialistic power asserted by the Romans. Particularily the Romans allowed for the Thessalonians to keep intact their three-tiered democracy. The lowest base of government was the citizen assembly, followed by the council, and the highest tier was the politarchs. The politarchs or city officials was the quintessential form of a hellenized political assembly that Paul would have interacted with at the time as seen in Acts 17:6 and 17:8. Religion was at the forefront of daily life among the 1st century Thessalonians. It contained a large Jewish following within a hellenized area. Although much greater than the Jewish following was a religiously pluralistic environment where religious openness thrived. In fact, “Numismatic, inscriptional, and other archaeological evidence reveal that over twenty-five gods, heroes, and personifications of virtues were worshiped in Thessalonica.” (Weima 10). Some of the larger cult followings in the city included the cults of Searapis, Dionysus, Isis, Cabirus, and the…show more content…
In light of the numerous religious deviancy of the city of Thessalonica, it should come as no surprise that the content of Paul’s letters exhort the church to keep from idolatry and reminds them of what they left behind in their previous lives, most likely referring to their cultic

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