With the moral and ecclesiastical decay of the papacy in the 9th and 10th centuries much of its territorial authority slipped from its grasp; and by the middle of the I ith century its rule was not recognized beyond Rome and the immediate vicinity.
After the overthrow of the dynasty of the Achaemenides a period of decay seems to have set in.
These walls all fell into decay long since; at places they were used as brick quarries, and finally the great reforming governor, (1868-1872), Midhat Pasha, following the example set by many European cities, undertook to destroy them altogether and utilize the free space thus obtained as a public park and esplanade.
After the destruction of Old Winchelsea, New Winchelsea, a walled town, flourished for about a hundred years and provided a large proportion of the ships furnished by the Cinque Ports to the crown; but the ravages of the French destroyed it, its walls were broken down, and the decay of the harbour, owing to the recession of the sea, prevented any later return of its prosperity.
He warned his hearers against the fires of concupiscence, anger, ignorance, birth, death, decay and anxiety; and taking each of the senses in order he compared all human sensations to a burning flame which seems to be something it is not, which produces pleasure and pain, but passes rapidly away, and ends only in destruction.3 Accompanied by his new disciples, the Buddha walked on to Rajagaha, the capital of King Bimbisara, who, not unmindful of their former interview, came out to welcome him.
Then follows the chequered period of the prime of life and middle age, during which the liability of men to industrial accidents, war and other causes of special mortality, irrespective of their greater inclination to emigrate, is generally sufficient to outweigh the dangers of childbirth or premature decay among the women, who tend, accordingly, to predominate in number at this stage.
As the corpse was found generally to disappear and decay in spite of preservative magic, especially in the early ages, various substitutes were resorted to; statues and statuettes were thought efficacious, but, apart from their costliness, even these were subject to decay or destruction by violence, and in the absence of anything more substantial the Egyptians doubtless reflected that magic words alone in the last resort made everything right.
The assumption that the decay of Assyria awoke the national feeling of independence is perhaps justified by those events which made the greatest impression upon the compiler, and an account is given of Josiah's religious reforms, based upon a source apparently identical with that which described the work of Jehoash.
To Assyria, while the reformation in the reign of Josiah (621 B.C.) is conversely associated with the decay of Assyrian power after the death of Assur-bani-pal.
It is also possible that the compiler has himself attempted here and there to harmonize to a certain extent the various Gnostic doctrines, yet in no case is this collection of sources given by Hippolytus to be passed over; it should rather be considered as important evidence for the beginnings of the decay of Gnosticism.