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  • #16
    I beleive it would be entirely possible, with a Jesus figure, to bring about a neo-pagan movement, where the core of Greco-Roman beleifs and Gods were codified and rationalized. I say this because without 'prophets' the Greeks (and I'd assume Romans) depended on poets to enlighten them about the various aspects of the Gods. Not the best system, but one that could work. And when I say Jesus figure I do not mean a Christ figure, I mean a wise, pithy, rabblerouser, who's takes on everything about the Gods would be taken absolutely. This new paganism would be at odds with the olf paganism, but the old paganism would go anyway, in one form or another. It was by Augustus' day a large tent filled with too many local Gods to be rationaly explained.[/QUOTE]


    So, what happens in Europe when the Roman Empire collapses? Can your new paganism assume the reigns of overall authority as the Roman Church did? If not, can anything prevent Europe from decending into internecene warfare and tribalism? And if not, what prevents Europe from being carved up into parcels among the Huns, Mongols and Moors? How is Islamic expansion prevented from swollowing Europe whole?

    I think the common religious tradition of the Roman Church was needed to unify Europe against the Muslim expansion (just barely). I think without it Europe falls to the Muslims and becomes incorporated into a kind of Greater Ottoman Empire, but with fewer benefits of technological advancement. The thing is, the Ottomans are doomed to collapse under their own weight sooner or later, leaving a Muslim remnant in Europe with no western traditions. Does Europe fall back into paganism, or does it stagnate in Islamism, as the Middle-Eastern countries have done?

    It seems to point to a completely different course of history for Europe and the west. I think it pretty much cedes leadership in exploration and exploitation of the western hemisphere to the Orient.

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    • #17
      Not that the Orient would do anything.

      What defended Europe from Islam was not the Roman Church, but the Frankish army of Charles Martel (which would exsist regardless) and then greed of Iberian Christians in gaining more land. This assumes that there is an Islam.

      Islam was karma and scourge for the various evils of the Roman and Orthodox curches (as they were untied at it's emergence). It was probably what kept Christianity from becoming a Triunine Islam. A hard smack on the mouth.

      Plus the Roman church did NOTHING to stop the Dark Ages. The most that can be said is they copied a lot of books so in the distant future people other than crap for brains monks would read them and put them to good use.

      A neopagan movement would be more successful there because the learnings of Greco-Roman literature would consitute both the Bible and Apocyrpha of what they beleived.

      Remeber Byzantium DID fall, but not because it was not Catholic, but because it's nobles were corrupt, arrogant and always stabbing for the throne, at any cost. Had Byzantium been Catholic it would have fallen just the same. History would not be a lot different until the Humanism of the Renaisance. Latin Humanism and the Christian Humanism of the 1500s, very different. Pagans have harsher outlooks than Christians, usually.
      How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
      275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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      • #18
        Paganism was dead man walking by the later Roman Empire era. Other dynamic candidates to replace it would have included
        Gnosticism is considered as another Hellenistic mystery cult, it blended the Hellenistic notion of divine emanation, mystery religion notions about salvation, and Jewish notions of sin and redemption.
        Manicheanism which started by Mani 216-276 A.D. , he blended Zoroaster, Buddhism, and Christianity.
        And of course, traditional Judaism would have had considerable appeal (as I believe it did for some time in the Mediterranean) although, as in Christianity, some rituals and practices would have needed to be removed or emended for wider attraction.

        The need of a consoling religion in the times of troubles of the later Roman Empire would seem to have caused some dynamic and consoling religion to begin to dominate, long before Islam could begin to make its impact felt (Late 7th to early 8th century). The realistic Franks would have just gone along with whichever seemed to be most attractive, and useful to them.

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