bradhicks posts a review of a book by the historian Robin Lane Fox, whom I really rate, on the sudden jump of Christianity from about 2% of the population to the exclusive religion of the Empire, in no more than fifty years. It was as if Scientology, or Mormonism, suddenly became obligatory. For example he links the upper class enthusiasm for lay celibacy with the desire of Roman matrons to retain control over their own land and money.
I often wonder what it felt like for people in those days. Did they feel their old culture slipping away? Did they regret that their children wouldn't have the good life they experienced? Were they glad that they didn't have to pay taxes, as the aqueducts fell into disrepair?