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From the "Introduction" (by Irwin Edman?) to "Justin Martyr, Christian" in Marcus Aurelius and His Times. Roslyn, N.Y.: Walter J. Black, Inc. 1945. (Published for the Classics Club)
In the time of Marcus Aurelius Rome had become a great cosmopolitan capital,
where men of many races, languages and customs jostled one another in the streets
and the circus. Many of these foreigners had brought their religions with them and
the shrines and mysteries of the Egyptian goddess Isis and the Persian god Mithras
drew worshipers from every rank of Roman society. As a rule, these religions,
being polytheistic, like the old religion of Rome, were tolerant of one another.
There was room in their heavens for as many gods as one chose to believe in. But
to this rule two monotheistic sects from the East, Judaism and Christianity, were
exceptions. In particular, the Christians aggressively and openly denounced all
pagan divinities as devils and refused to offer the customary sacrifices before the
images of the deified Caesars, which represented the majesty of the Roman state.
To many pagans, therefore, they seemed to be dangerous enemies not only to all
the familiar ancestral faiths but also to the whole established peaceable order of
things and even to the Roman government itself.