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Comments #9488094:

Asatru 25 5, 8:40pm

Here's the thing: Christianity and especially its ability to maintain dogma pretty much made the later technological and societal development of europe possible in the first place. Without the structures and frameworks it established, without clear lines of communication across borders and ethnic or cultural divisions, without an established stock of educated people with free time on their hands, a common language and a tradition of scholarship, the later advances that the church tried to fight would probably not have taken place at all.

Constantine adopted Christianity for the roman empire he was desperately trying to stabilize because he could see the benefits of having a single, organized religion in charge instead of squabbling priesthoods of who-knows-how-many gods (most graeco-roman deities were syncretistic mixtures of several older deities, and there were huge differences in how each god was viewed between regions). Once the church got itself established, its structures allowed parts of the ancient world to hang on through an unprecedented period of socio-political upheaval. Roman polytheism had already started to fray at the edges and would almost certainly have collapsed under pressure.

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