Byzantine Paganism  

   
A Byzantium Novum site restoring the Late Classical
religions of the Byzantine Empire - 325 AD to 1453 AD

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This site is dedicated to restoring the "forgotten religion" of  Late Classical Pagan worship in the Byzantine Empire. It is a little known fact that Pagan religion was still practiced throughout the Byzantine era, yet the Goddesses and Gods of Greece and Rome continued to be honored. Pagan religion survived past the founding of Constantinople as the capital of Rome in 324 AD through to - and even beyond - the fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD.

    This 1,129 year period was more than the "long twilight" of ancient faith. It was a time of transition from public Pagan rites to private prayer, ritual and offering. The Byzantine era was the time of the greatest ancient Pagan piety as pagans continued to honor the ancient Goddesses and Gods even under threat of death. It is a time to honor and build from, not to mourn and ignore.

    Scholars have noted that there was still organized Byzantine Pagan resistance to persecution during the reign of Maurice Tiberius in 602 AD, and that at that time much of the Byzantine population was still Pagan.

John Zonaras, a Byzantine chronicler who held the position of Head Justice under Alexious I Komnenos in 1118 AD  wrote that the religious practices of the Hellenes were still common even in that late time!

 It is known that the Neoplatonist philosopher Gemistus Pletho was openly advocating a return to the ancient faiths in 1450, and that his students were publicly praying to the Pagan deities in the Byzantine city of Mystras  (the "second capital of Byzantium") in 1453 - the year Constantinople fell.

    The lost history of Byzantine Pagan worship is extremely valuable for those who still honor the Ancient Goddesses and Gods today. It is the pagan tradition which continued into the beginning of the modern era, after paganism was supposedly long dead. It is a direct link between the ancient and modern worlds - and a path by which the ancient faiths may be restored today. 

    As a part of working toward becoming a modern Byzantine successor state, Byzantium Novum has made provision for  restoring Byzantine Paganism as a modern religious path. We are working to establish a living spiritual community and Priesthood honoring the ancient deities worldwide, that all
the faiths of the Eastern Roman Empire may be reborn.

    Here, rites to the ancient deities continue and the ancient faiths remain alive. Here the ancient priesthoods are being rebuilt and ancient religious community restored. We invite you to join us in renewing this small spiritual spark into a bright flame once again!

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