Thus Beginning the Pax Romana

The first Roman advance across the Euphrates ended in catastrophe in 53 BCE. The Roman triumvir Crassus sought for himself the same glory that his co-rulers Julius Caesar and Pompey had achieved. Instead, at Carrhae, south of Edessa, Rome suffered one of its most humiliating defeats, and Crassus lost his life. Three decades later Emperor Augustus and King Phraates IV ended a war neither could win and, in 20 BCE, recognized the Euphrates as the border, thus beginning the Pax Romana. The river became the place where East met West – whether in friendship or in rivalry. For the spread of Christianity and for the history of the Church of the East, this border took on a fateful significance. Although Roman armies crossed the river repeatedly in the second and third centuries and conquered Seleucia-Ctesiphon, they had to retreat every time. Politically and culturally, Mesopotamia remained part of Asia.

Baumer, The Church of the East, p.9

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

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