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Old December 4th, 2012, 05:33 AM   #1

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Last account of Roman Paganism


So I was just wondering, we all know that after Christianity took hold of the Roman Empire, Roman paganism still continued to be practised, thought it's adherents number ever reducing.

I remember seeing accounts of it until the early years after past the fall of the Western Roman Empire, so mostly out of curiosity, does anyone know when was the final account of people still practising the traditional Roman religion?
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Old December 7th, 2012, 03:41 PM   #2

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Theodosius I outlawed the practice of pagan worship. It would be rather dim-witted to write down that one was practising it. That's not to say it wasn't still being practised, just that people were not writing about doing it.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 08:38 PM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caracalla View Post
Theodosius I outlawed the practice of pagan worship. It would be rather dim-witted to write down that one was practising it. That's not to say it wasn't still being practised, just that people were not writing about doing it.
People wrote about it all the time. Check some of the ecclesiastical writings - they complain incessantly about the beliefs of the common people and entertainments practiced in the cities.

As for the OP, define "Roman paganism". The evidence for widespread continuing pagan "superstition" (to use the term chauvinistically applied by the late Roman Christians themselves) is vast, but specific references to cults of Zeus in, say, the seventh century are much more rare.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 03:43 AM   #4

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Last recording of cults that aren't a part of some sort of revival as far as I know are in the 9th century in southern Greece.

As far as pagan ritual and beliefs from the Roman Empire, some of that stuff exists into modern day, some of it has been supplanted with Christian forms. For example, Christmas is a Roman born festival which replaced Saturnalia, but retained many of the traditions of Saturnalia.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 03:56 AM   #5

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Last recording of cults that aren't a part of some sort of revival as far as I know are in the 9th century in southern Greece.
Do you have some reference?
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Old December 8th, 2012, 07:20 AM   #6

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The Hellenes in Laconia Greece survived through the 9th century, there were numerous attempts to convert them, there is also a report of violent conversion of Hellenes in Laconia to Christianity in the late 10th century.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 08:14 AM   #7

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The Hellenes in Laconia Greece survived through the 9th century, there were numerous attempts to convert them, there is also a report of violent conversion of Hellenes in Laconia to Christianity in the late 10th century.
Was it a Roman paganism or a Greek paganism?
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Old December 8th, 2012, 09:02 AM   #8

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Do you have some reference?
As I said above, the sources are terrible. You can find reference to pagans in the city of Maina. C.P. (DAI, 50) refers to them as Hellenes of the Roman fashion, which doesn't tell us much other than that they were not Christians, since Hellene is a general term in Byzantine Greek for pagan. They were supposedly converted until Basil I.

You will also find evidence of ancient paganism in Harran. Some of the folk from the Athenian academy ended up there after Justinian closed it and there are mentions of paganism into the Islamic period.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 12:16 PM   #9

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Thanks for your inputs, the last account of the Paganism being practise that I remember was the one Theodoric referred in Greece, I was wondering if there were later account.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirialax View Post

As for the OP, define "Roman paganism". The evidence for widespread continuing pagan "superstition" (to use the term chauvinistically applied by the late Roman Christians themselves) is vast, but specific references to cults of Zeus in, say, the seventh century are much more rare.
By that I mean the worship of the traditional polytheistic pantheons.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 01:52 AM   #10
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You will also find evidence of ancient paganism in Harran.
Could anybody tell me more about ancient beliefs in medieval Harran? I've heard that last pagan cults were destroyed there by Salah ad-Din.
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