Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: General Books LLC (15 Jan. 2012)
By: William Kenneth Boyd (Author)
This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1905. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER I The Conflict Between Paganism And Christianity, As It Appears In The Code An introduction to the ecclesiastical legislation of the Roman Empire, suggestive of the vast influence which the church acquired in public affairs, is to be found in the attitude of the Christian emperors toward the ancient national religious system, popularly known as paganism. The relation of this system to the Roman government had been primarily political. Since the dawn of Roman history its representatives had received political privileges and exemptions from economic obligations to the state, while in return religion gave a moral support to political institutions. The new career of the church that began with Constantine wrought a vast change in this aspect of Roman civilization. The alliance of paganism and the Empire was dissolved: in its place there developed a union of the Christian church and the state. Yet the ancient religious institutions were so intimately associated with national tradition and custom that the transition from the old order to the new was a gradual one, and in the legislation which discloses it there are three distinct periods. The first of these includes the laws of Constantine and his sons, which reveal all the characteristics of the religious problem. Constantine, by conferring the rights of a corporation on the church, by exempting the clergy from the economic burdens of citizenship and by introducing the episcopal court into the judicial system, made himself the 125 15 subject of praise and reverence in ecclesiastical tradition. But he never withdrew the support which the state had always given to the established religious institutions, and the pagan mould of Roman society was not decisively changed. The exact nature of his religious policy has ...
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