See also:heathen, one who worships a false
See also:god or false gods, or one who belongs to a
See also:race or nation which practises idolatrous
See also:rites and professes polytheism . In its early application paganus was applied by the Christian
See also:Church to those who refused to believe in the one true God, and still followed the Greek,
See also:Roman and other
See also:ancient faiths . It thus of course excluded Jews . In the
See also:middle ages, at the
See also:time of the
See also:crusades and later, "
See also:pagan " and' " paynim " (O . Fr. paenime,
See also:Lat. paganismus, heathenism or heathen lands) were particularly applied to Mahommedans, and sometimes to Jews . A
See also:special significance attaches to the word when applied to one who adopts that attitude of cultured indifference to, or negation of, the various theistic systems of religion which was taken by so many of the educated and aristocratic classes in the ancient Hellenic and Roman
See also:world . It has long been accepted that the application of the name paganus, villager, to non-Christians was due to the fact that it was in the rural districts that the old faiths lingered . This explanation assumes that the use of paganus in this sense arose after the
See also:establishment of
See also:Christianity as the religion generally accepted in the urban as opposed to the rural districts, and it is usually stated that an edict of the emperor Valentinian of 368 dealing with the religio paganorum (
See also:Cod . Theod. xvi . 2) contains the first documentary use of the word in this secondary sense . It has now been shown that the use can be traced much earlier .
See also:Tertullian (c .
See also:corona militis, xi.), says " Apud
See also:hunt (Christum)
See also:miles est paganus fidelis quam paganus est miles infidelis." This gives the
See also:clue to the true explanation . In classical Latin paganus is frequently found in contradistinction to miles or armatus (cf. especially Tac . Hist . 53; ii . 14, 88; iii . 24, 43, 77), where the opposition is between a
See also:regular enrolled soldier and the raw
See also:half-armed rustics who sometimes formed a
See also:rude militia in Roman
See also:wars, or, more widely, between a soldier and a civilian . Thus the Christians who prided them-selves on being " soldiers of Christ " (milites) could rightly
See also:term XX . 15the non-Christians pagani . See also Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman
See also:Empire (ed . Bury, 1896), ch. xxi. note ad fin .
NICOLO PAGANINI (1784-1840)
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