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christianity rome "Edict of Milan"
   64" x 41"    oil on panel
OCCIDENT- The countries of the West, especially Europe and the Americas. The first time I saw the word Occident I was reading Iris Murdoch or maybe Camille Paglia. I came to understand the word 'Occident' not as geographic but as 'the cultures of the world that have their roots in the Greco-Roman world, better yet just, cultures descended from Rome. I spent ten days in Rome and like many tourist I felt connected to the ancient city. In the 2000 year old Colosseum I felt Yankee stadium and understood the drama and spectacle that must have played out there. Clearly ancient Rome was a carnal passionate place no different from NY, Paris or Berlin. The western world is built on the Roman blueprint. Rome is also the birth place of Christianity. A religion born out of conflict with civil authority. As the military power of the empire reached it limits and began to break apart, a new kind of moral authority was used to help hold the empire together, the Occident is Christian as a result