This is something that you hear alot about during the holidays.
Christmas and Easter are usually met with claims from our secular friends that these practices and celebrations were lifted from vibrant and bustling pagan traditions.
The reason being that Christians needed to co-opt something already successful in order to sneak in their views and beliefs.
But here’s my problem: how vibrant were those pagan traditions?
I was reading about Julian the Apostate and how he struggled mightily to reinvigorate the pagan customs.
He would see Christians alms giving to destitute pagans and lamented the fact in his writings; essentially saying how great of a failure it is on part of pagans to have Christians tending after poor and sick pagans.
The theme that I’ve gathered, even aside from Emperor Julian’s struggles, is a pagan culture that was nominally practiced among very few elite while being almost completely ignored by the masses.
It just seems to undercut the idea of this pulsating pagan tradition (which ever pagan tradition) that Christianity leeched off of.