The Classical Roots of Modern Paganism
May 15 2016
In the year 1452, a Byzantine philosopher named Plethon died at the age of 97. During his long and controversial life, he had been accused of heresy and even apostasy - the ultimate crime of abandoning the Christian faith and embracing Paganism. One of his students (named Juvenal) had been tried and convicted of heresy and sentenced to death: his tongue was cut out, his ears were cut off, his arms and legs were broken and then he was taken out to sea and thrown overboard alive.
After his death, it was discovered that Plethon had, in fact, been a Pagan. He left behind a kind of Pagan religious manifesto with the title Book of Laws. Plethon wrote in Greek and the word he used for "Laws" was "Nomoi", the plural of "Nomos", which is a cognate of the Sanskrit "Dharma." Plethon meant "Nomoi" not in the sense of laws that are enacted by groups of human beings, but rather cosmic laws that deal, in Plethon's words, with "matters of supreme importance", and, in particular, with matters of religion.
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