Romans - Encyclopedia


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ROMANS, a town of south-eastern France, in the department of Drome, 122 m. N.E. of Valence on the railway to Grenoble. Pop. (1906) town, 13,304; commune, 17,622.17,622. Romans stands on an eminence on the right bank of the Isere, a fine stone result will be the inclusion of all Israel in the heritage of the messianic kingdom of Christ. The prospect of this consummation stirs him to an outburst of adoration, with which the whole section ends (xi. 33-36).' Applying the thought of God's mercy to the obligations of believing men (xii. 1-2), Paul proceeds now to sketch the ethical duties of Christians in the church (xii. 3-21), in society, and in the state (xiii. 1-7); love is the supreme law (xiii. 8-10), and the nearness of the end the supreme motive to morality (xiii. 11-14). These considerations are still before Paul's mind as he descends from general counsels to a special problem of practical ethics, raised by the varying attitude of Christians at Rome towards food offered to idols (xiv. I f.). After laying down the principle of individual responsibility, he appeals for charity and mutual consideration (xiv. 13 - xv. 6), and for Christian forbearance.' Finally, he exhorts all, Gentile and Jewish Christians alike (xv. 8-13), to unite in thanksgiving for God's mercy to them in Christ.

In a brief epilogue, the apostle justifies himself for having thus addressed the Roman Christians. He alleges (xv. 14 f.) his apostolic vocation and informs them of his future movements. With an appeal for their prayers and a brief benediction, the epistle then closes (xv. 30-33). It ends as it began (i. 8 f.) with the apostle's hope and plan of visiting Rome on a subsequent missionary tour.5 Rom. xvi. contains a separate note (1-23), together with a doxology (25-27). The former came from Paul's pen, but it did not belong originally to this epistle. 10 In all likelihood it is a letter of commendation for bridge uniting it with Bourg-de-Pekge (pop. 4668) on the other side of the river. Both towns owe their prosperity to their situation in the most fertile part of the valley of the Isere. The present parish church belonged to an abbey founded in 837 by St Bernard, bishop of Vienne. The principal portal is a fine specimen of 12th-century Romanesque, and the lower part of the nave is of the same period; the choir and the transept are striking examples of the style of the 13th century.

Romans has a tribunal of commerce and a communal college. Its industries include tanning, leather-dressing and shoe-making, silk-spinning, hat-making, absinthe-distilling and oil-refining. There is trade in walnuts, walnut-oil, silk, cattle, &c.

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