I do not think that those who read a little about the history of the Roman Empire, both Western and Eastern, after the conversion of Constantine will recognise dartagnan's picture of a kindly and pacifist organisation.
That isn't what I said, and I think you know that. I would simply observe that the Roman Empire expanded by conquest. However, since Christianity became the state religion, the Empire became more of a defender than an aggressor. Its territories were frequently invaded and even overrun. Over time, two thirds of its territories were lost to outside invasions, without the slightest effort to reclaim them - until the crusades.
This is then followed by much interlinear and mostly purely exclamatory rhetoric of the kind that I think many readers of this board will have got into the habit of skipping over ...
Well, you see, what dartagnan originally said was:
The Roman Empire, using Christianity as a symbol, withstood centuries of attacks from invading forces without fighting back, probably because they were a Christian empire. It sat back and watched two thirds of its territory get taken over by invading forces before it finally made an aggressive move with the crusades. Now if the Roman Empire wasn't Christian, would they have waited so long before fighting back? I can't think of any Empire in recorded history that would have sat by and watched that take place. Certainly no atheistic Empire would have done that. But Christianity encouraged pacifism, and it was only in the face of inevitable destruction that the crusades were called.
The new dartagnan post seems as historically odd as the first. Now we are told that "two thirds of [the empire's] territories were lost to outside invasions, without the slightest effort to reclaim them - until the crusades". And apparently this is due to the fact that "Christianity encouraged pacifism". May one mention Justinian in the 6th century, and the great reconquest attempts directed against the Muslims in the 9th and 10th centuries, just as examples? No-one who got in the way of an attack from the armies of the Christian empire would have felt they were dealing with mild-mannered practitioners of the gospel. May we recall that those armies had an early form of napalm at their disposal the so-called 'Greek Fire'? The Christians showed no signs of being less willing to attack their enemies (when they were able) than those enemies were willing to attack them.
I prefer, once more, to leave board readers to make up their own minds about whether dartagan's historical generalisations - or indeed his generalisations about historians - are likely to be reliable, after reading both our posts. I hope he won't mind my doing that.