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1. "The ultimate triumph of Christianity was aided by the internal drive within Roman paganism toward some kind of monotheism. By 150 A.D., whatever vitality had once existed in ancient polytheism had mostly declined, and the gods played little or no role in individual lives. The state temples to the old gods became civic centers rather than religious entities."But paganism went about reforming itself. It drew upon the Alexandrian mystical form of Platonism, taught by Plotinus -- what we call Neoplatonism -- to conjure an image of the deity as a single spiritual fountain of life that fructifies the world."This Neoplatonic monotheism became popular in aristocratic circles in fourth-century Rome and gave such renewed vitality to paganism that the triumph of Christianity had to be bolstered by state proscription of this latter-day monotheistic paganism. By 390, Roman paganism was almost as close to monotheism as was Christianity."
Author: Norman F. Cantor

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In our memories the stories of our lives defy chronology, resist transcription: past ambushes present, and future hurries into history."
Author: Anthony Doerr

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