Thomas R. Martin

Thomas R. Martin is Jeremiah O’Connor Professor in Classics at the College of the Holy Cross. He is the author of Sovereignty and Coinage in Classical Greece and Ancient Greece.

The Ascent of Wealth in the Western Roman Empire

eye of a needle

Not long before Jesus’ death, a rich young man asked him what good thing he should do to have eternal life. Jesus told him to keep the six commandments that Jesus then listed for him. The youth, replying that he had always kept them, then said, “What do I still lack?” Jesus replied, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell whatever you own and give to the poor, and you will have a treasure house in heaven, and come follow me.” Hearing this answer, the youth walked away in sadness, for he owned many possessions. Jesus then commented…

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