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Old December 20th, 2017, 11:01 AM   #1

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New thinking on Christian treatment of pagan temples


Interesting article. What do you all think?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/drsarah.../#653cef404f9f
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Old December 21st, 2017, 01:40 AM   #2

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Makes sense to me.

During the struggles between Arianism and Catholicism it just seemed to be a matter of making sure the clergy were of the right Ilk and re-arranging the decor a bit. EG Conversion of the Visigoths to Catholicism under Recaredo.

Also there are still examples to be seen in Spain today - I've been to 3 that I know of - of churches which were orginally built by the Visigoths, then converted to mosques, then re-converted to churches. Let alone the Mezquita de Cordoba itself.

Seems a matter of practicality especially when people/lands involved in war and conquest were usually broke, lacking in money and time to be building brand new buildings!!
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Old December 21st, 2017, 05:22 AM   #3

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BTW--I need to give credit to Mr. Higson for the link from the thread "Frisians in the Great Heathen Army" under European History. I knew I'd gotten it from somebody on Historum but couldn't find the source yesterday. So thanks, Mr. Higson
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Old December 29th, 2017, 12:06 AM   #4

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I'm ploughing through a 2nd of the novels Toti Martinez de Lezea dealing with the heathen peoples of the mountains of Navarra / this time at the time of the milennium and Sancho the Great. The last one I read was about the Agotes around the time of the Albigensian Crusade.

The other subjects she deals with like treatment and conversion of the jews, society in the later middle ages in these regions, the Comuneros etc are all accurate and very well researched.

So I've no reason to doubt here research on the Pagans in the high mountains of Navarra. Its something I need to look for a good history book on
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Old April 10th, 2018, 03:52 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Vagamundo View Post
Interesting article. What do you all think?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/drsarah.../#653cef404f9f
I still think that Constantine between 325-337 CE smashed the "Tall Poppy" network of pagan temples and shrines to Asclepius. At the same time his minister for communications Eusebius attacked the figure of Apollonius of Tyana, a former priest of Asclepius.

Asclepius in the 4th century was perhaps the most high profile god in a massive milieu of gods being worshipped in the Roman empire, and thus was foremost in direct competition with Constantine's new god Jesus Christ.
Eusebius VC 56: Destruction of the Temple of Aesculapius at Aegae.

- FOR since a wide-spread error of these pretenders to wisdom concerned the demon worshiped in Cilicia, whom thousands regarded with reverence as the possessor of saving and healing power, who sometimes appeared to those who passed the night in his temple, sometimes restored the diseased to health, though on the contrary he was a destroyer of souls, who drew his easily deluded worshipers from the true Saviour to involve them in impious error, the emperor, consistently with his practice, and desire to advance the worship of him who is at once a jealous God and the true Saviour, gave directions that this temple also should be razed to the ground. In prompt obedience to this command, a band of soldiers laid this building, the admiration of noble philosophers, prostrate in the dust, together with its unseen inmate, neither demon nor god, but rather a deceiver of souls, who had seduced mankind for so long a time through various ages. And thus he who had promised to others deliverance from misfortune and distress, could find no means for his own security, any more than when, as is told in myth, he was scorched by the lightning's stroke. (2) Our emperor's pious deeds, however, had in them nothing fabulous or feigned; but by virtue of the manifested power of his Saviour, this temple as well as others was so utterly overthrown, that not a vestige of the former follies was left behind

Eusebius VC 57: How the Gentiles abandoned Idol Worship, and turned to the Knowledge of God.

HENCE it was that, of those who had been the slaves of superstition, when they saw with their own eyes the exposure of their delusion, and beheld the actual ruin of the temples and images in every place, some applied themselves to the saving doctrine of Christ; while others, though they declined to take this step, yet reprobated the folly which they had received from their fathers, and laughed to scorn what they had so long been accustomed to regard as gods. Indeed, what other feelings could possess their minds, when they witnessed the thorough uncleanness concealed beneath the fair exterior of the objects of their worship? Beneath this were found either the bones of dead men or dry skulls, fraudulently adorned by the arts of magicians, (1) or filthy rags full of abominable impurity, or a bundle of hay or stubble. On seeing all these things heaped together within their lifeless images, they denounced their fathers' extreme folly and their own, especially when neither in the secret recesses of the temples nor in the statues themselves could any inmate be found; neither demon, nor utterer of oracles, neither god nor prophet, as they had heretofore supposed: nay, not even a dim and shadowy phantom could be seen. Accordingly, every gloomy cavern, every hidden recess, afforded easy access to the emperor's emissaries: the inaccessible and secret chambers, the innermost shrines of the temples, were trampled by the soldiers' feet; and thus the mental blindness which had prevailed for so many ages over the gentile world became clearly apparent to the eyes of all.

Eusebius VC 58: How he destroyed the Temple of Venus at Heliopolis, and built the First Church in that City.

SUCH actions as I have described may well be reckoned among the emperor's noblest achievements, as also the wise arrangements which he made respecting each particular province. We may instance the Phoenician city Heliopolis, in which those who dignify licentious pleasure with a distinguishing title of honor, had permitted their wives and daughters to commit shameless fornication. But now a new statute, breathing the very spirit of modesty, proceeded from the emperor, which peremptorily forbade the continuance of former practices. And besides this he sent them also written exhortations, as though he had been especially ordained by God for this end, that he might instruct all men in the principles of chastity. Hence, he disdained not to communicate by letter even with these persons, urging them to seek diligently the knowledge of God. At the same time he followed up his words by corresponding deeds, and erected even in this city a church of great size and magnificence: so that an event unheard of before in any age, now for the first time came to pass, namely, that a city which had hitherto been wholly given up to superstition now obtained the privilege of a church of God, with presbyters and deacons, and its people were placed under the presiding care of a bishop consecrated to the service of the supreme God. And further, the emperor, being anxious that here also as many as possible might be won to the truth, bestowed abundant provision for the necessities of the poor, desiring even thus to invite them to seek the doctrines of salvation, as though he were almost adopting the words of him who said, "Whether in pretense, or in truth, let Christ be preached." (1)
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Old April 10th, 2018, 04:56 AM   #6

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Not really new

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spolia
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Old April 10th, 2018, 05:06 AM   #7

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Minister of Communications?

Those damn servers need replacing every five minutes!
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Old April 11th, 2018, 11:48 AM   #8

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Both took place:

*An early iconoclastic phase, of massive destruction of temples and pagan idols (late 4th early 5th centuries). This is well attested not just by authors of the 18th century, but by Roman authors (both, pagan and christian)

*A conversion of pagan temples into Christian ones
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Old April 11th, 2018, 11:49 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kookaburra Jack View Post
I still think that Constantine between 325-337 CE smashed the "Tall Poppy" network of pagan temples and shrines to Asclepius. At the same time his minister for communications Eusebius attacked the figure of Apollonius of Tyana, a former priest of Asclepius.

Asclepius in the 4th century was perhaps the most high profile god in a massive milieu of gods being worshipped in the Roman empire, and thus was foremost in direct competition with Constantine's new god Jesus Christ. . . .

You got a problem with that? (Tongue firmly in cheek)
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Old April 24th, 2018, 05:26 AM   #10

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Minister of Communications?

Those damn servers need replacing every five minutes!
In the 4th century the new technology was the codex. Constantine's new god Jesus Christ dwelt in the high technology of the codex, and his sacred Greek name was encrypted.

The foremost of the pagan gods dwelt in the most ancient and highly revered temples in the Eastern Empire 325 CE. It would seem to me that Constantine treated these with disdain.
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