The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism

Author: Franz Cumont
Published: 1911
Language: English
Wordcount: 91,470 / 304 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 45
LoC Category: BL
Downloads: 906
Added to site: 2007.08.02
mnybks.net#: 17792
Genres: History, Religion
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Excerpt

was the more piercing, the breastplate of his righteousness was the stronger, and his feet were better shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.

Nor did Christianity stop there. It took from its opponents their own weapons, and used them; the better elements of paganism were transferred to the new religion. "As the religious history of the empire is studied more closely," writes M. Cumont, "the triumph of the church will, in our opinion, appear more and more as the culmination of a long evolution of beliefs. We can understand the Christianity of the fifth century with its greatness and weaknesses, its spiritual exaltation and its puerile superstitions, if we {xii} know the moral antecedents of the world in which it developed."

M. Cumont is therefore a contributor to our appreciation of the continuity of history. Christianity was not a sudden and miraculous transformation, but a composite of slow and laborious growth. Its four centuries of struggle were not a struggle against an entirely

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