karmicdragonfly: (Default)
[personal profile] karmicdragonfly
I’m starting a book that I’m excited about because of the subject matter. The book is called the "Final Pagan Generation", and the book’s subject is the last generation of people living in the Roman Empire as the Empire changed into a strictly Christian empire -- a generation who could not imagine a world where the pagan religions were not able to practice publically.

The generation he’s talking about is the older one that was still alive just AFTER Constantine (first Christian emperor) had died.

I’m just on the introduction now, but already I find it interesting how he is comparing the younger generation, who recognized the existential threat to paganism represented by Christianity, and the older generation (the ‘final pagan’ one) who could not even imagine the world order changing so much that paganism could be forbidden.

Here are some excerpts from the intro:
The younger pagan and Christian religious warriors were born into a world in which Christianity was clearly ascendant. They anticipated its destructive and transformative power, and as they matured, they came increasingly to understand that the dawning new religious order threatened the very existence of traditional Roman cults…

Older men did not see the world in this way…They reacted instead as if they could not imagine a world in which traditional religious practices did not have a part…

The “final pagan generation” I will speak about is made up of the last group of elite Romans, both pagan and Christian, who were born into a world in which most people believed the pagan public religious order of the past few millennia would continue indefinitely…

They lived through a time of dramatic change that they could neither anticipate nor fully understand as it was unfolding.

What I find interesting is that I might equate the words “pagan religious order” with "US political order" -- my generation's understanding of the rules and mores of how the US Republic works. I wonder that we might be the ‘last generation’ to think that the political order of "how things have always been" might not be how things might always be in the future.
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karmicdragonfly: (Default)

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"O seguro morreu de velho, mas o desconfiado ainda está vivo." -- "The safe one died of old age, but the suspicious one is still living."