Herein is a contrast between Sicily and Sardinia, where, according to a letter from Gregory to the empress Constantina, wife of the emperor Maurice (594-595), praying for a lightening of taxation in both islands, paganism still lingered (C. D.
Mithraism courted the favour of Roman paganism and combined monotheism with polytheism, while Christianity was uncompromising.
Moreover, in the universal unrest and oversetting of all authority, Christianity itself was in danger of perishing, not only as the result of the cultured paganism of the Renaissance, but also through the brutish ignorance of the common folk, deprived now of their traditional religious restraints.
In it he depicts the struggle of Christendom with paganism under the allegory of a struggle between the Christian virtues and the pagan vices.
Although there are some works of this so-called Silver Age of considerable and one at least of supreme interest, from the insight they afford into the experience of a century of organized despotism and its effect on the spiritual life of the ancient world, it cannot be doubted that the steady literary decline which characterized the last centuries of paganism was beginning before the death of Ovid and Livy.
The religious quarrel either accentuated, or was accentuated by, political differences, and the rival chiefs, Athanaric and Frithigern, appeared as champions of Paganism and Christianity respectively.
Such work as that of Diirer, Vischer, Cranach, Schlingauer, Holbein, consummate as it was in technical excellence, did not assume Italian forms of loveliness, did not display the paganism of the Latin races.
But when the Agape on one side and paganism on the other receded into a dim past, owing to the enhanced sacrosanctity of the Eucharist and because of the severe edicts of the emperor Theodosius and his successors, the psychological background fell away, and the Eucharist was left isolated and hanging in the air.
Many, including the Hasidim, thereupon flocked to his standard, and set themselves to revive Jewish rites and to uproot Paganism from the land.
All the art of his ornate and courtly periods cannot disguise the fact that there was nothing now for paganism to say.