November 8: A New Religion

November 8: A New Religion

Written by Matthew Mendez, Journalist

October 8, 392 C.E. The Roman emperor, Theodosius I, begins his war on traditional Roman paganism in the name of the new Christian faith. Authorizing the destruction of pagan temples and the persecution of those Romans clinging on to the “old ways”, Theodosius permanently swayed the religious pendulum of the Roman Empire towards Christianity. All forms of divinations, sacrifices, and celebrations were firmly oppressed. Even the Olympics, a tradition dating since the time of the Ancient Greeks, came under much scrutiny, eventually being banned by the emperor. The final blow to paganism within the Roman Empire though, was the defeat of Eugenius and Arbogast, two usurpers of the pagan faith claiming the Imperial throne. With Eugenius and Arbogast dealt with, the separation of paganism from the state became complete. Although many pagans continued to worship in secret, the old gods no longer held any significance in the higher echelons of Roman authority.