Roman Britain was the area of the island of Great Britain, governed by the Roman Empire, from 43 to 410 AD. It comprised the whole of England and Wales and, for a short period, southern Scotland. Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 54 BC as part of his Gallic Wars. According to Caesar, the Britons had been overrun or culturally assimilated by other Celtic tribes during the British Iron Age and had been aiding Caesar's enemies, he received tribute, installed a friendly king over the Trinovantes, returned to Gaul. Planned invasions under Augustus were called off in 34, 27, 25 BC. In 40 AD, Caligula assembled 200,000 men at the Channel on the continent, only to have them gather seashells according to Suetonius as a symbolic gesture to proclaim Caligula's victory over the sea. Three years Claudius directed four legions to invade Britain and restore an exiled king over the Atrebates; the Romans defeated the Catuvellauni, organized their conquests as the Province of Britain. By the year 47, the Romans held the lands southeast of the Fosse Way.
Control over Wales was delayed by reverses and the effects of Boudica's uprising, but the Romans expanded northward. The conquest of Britain continued under command of Gnaeus Julius Agricola, who expanded the Roman Empire as far as Caledonia. In the summer of 84, Agricola faced the armies of the Caledonians, led by Calgacus, at the Battle of Mons Graupius. Battle casualties were estimated by Tacitus to be around the 10,000's on the Caledonian side and about 360 on the Roman side; the bloodbath at Mons Graupius concluded the forty-year conquest of Britain, a period that saw between 100,000 and 250,000 Britons killed. In the context of pre-industrial warfare and of a total population of Britain of c.2 million, these are high figures. Under the 2nd-century emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, two walls were built to defend the Roman province from the Caledonians, whose realms in the Scottish Highlands were never controlled. Around 197, the Severan Reforms divided Britain into two provinces: Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior.
During the Diocletian Reforms, at the end of the 3rd century, Britannia was divided into four provinces under the direction of a vicarius, who administered the Diocese of the Britains. A fifth province, Valentia, is attested in the 4th century. For much of the period of the Roman occupation, Britannia was subject to barbarian invasions and came under the control of imperial usurpers and imperial pretenders; the final Roman withdrawal from Britain occurred around 410. Following the conquest of the Britons, a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged as the Romans introduced improved agriculture, urban planning, industrial production, architecture; the Roman goddess Britannia became the female personification of Britain. After the initial invasions, Roman historians only mention Britain in passing. Thus, most present knowledge derives from archaeological investigations and occasional epigraphic evidence lauding the Britannic achievements of an emperor. Roman citizens settled in Britain from many parts of the Empire.
Britain was known to the Classical world. The Greeks referred to the Cassiterides, or "tin islands", placed them near the west coast of Europe; the Carthaginian sailor Himilco is said to have visited the island in the 5th century BC and the Greek explorer Pytheas in the 4th. It was regarded with some writers refusing to believe it existed at all; the first direct Roman contact was when Julius Caesar undertook two expeditions in 55 and 54 BC, as part of his conquest of Gaul, believing the Britons were helping the Gallic resistance. The first expedition was more a reconnaissance than a full invasion and gained a foothold on the coast of Kent but was unable to advance further because of storm damage to the ships and a lack of cavalry. Despite the military failure it was a political success, with the Roman Senate declaring a 20-day public holiday in Rome to honour the unprecedented achievement of obtaining hostages from Britain and defeating Belgian tribes on returning to the continent; the second invasion involved a larger force and Caesar coerced or invited many of the native Celtic tribes to pay tribute and give hostages in return for peace.
A friendly local king, was installed, his rival, was brought to terms. Hostages were taken, but historians disagree over whether any tribute was paid after Caesar returned to Gaul. Caesar conquered no territory and left no troops behind but he established clients and brought Britain into Rome's sphere of influence. Augustus planned invasions in 34, 27 and 25 BC, but circumstances were never favourable, the relationship between Britain and Rome settled into one of diplomacy and trade. Strabo, writing late in Augustus's reign, claimed that taxes on trade brought in more annual revenue than any conquest could. Archaeology shows. Strabo mentions British kings who sent embassies to Augustus and Augustus's own Res Gestae refers to two British kings he received as refugees; when some of Tiberius's ships were carried to Britain in a storm during his campaigns in Germany in 16 AD, they came back with tales of monsters. Rome appears to have encouraged a balance of power in southern Britain, supporting two powerful kingdoms: the Catuvellauni, ruled by the descendants of Tasciovanus, the Atrebates, ruled by the descendants of Commius.
This policy was followed until 39 or 40
Porthmadog, known locally as "Port", is a small coastal town and community in the Eifionydd area of Gwynedd, in Wales. It has been so spelt since 1974. Before 1972 in the administrative county of Caernarfonshire, it lies 5 miles east of Criccieth, 11 miles south-west of Blaenau Ffestiniog, 25 miles north of Dolgellau and 20 miles south of Caernarfon, it had a population of 4,185. It developed in the 19th century as a port exporting slate to England and elsewhere, but since the decline of the industry it has become a shopping centre and tourist destination, it is the terminus of the Ffestiniog Railway. The 1987 National Eisteddfod was held in Porthmadog; the community includes the nearby villages of Morfa Bychan and Tremadog. Porthmadog came into existence after William Madocks built a sea wall, the Cob, in 1810 to reclaim a large proportion of Traeth Mawr from the sea for agricultural use; the diversion of the Afon Glaslyn caused it to scour out a new natural harbour which had a deep enough draught for small ocean-going sailing ships, the first public wharves were built in 1825.
Individual quarry companies followed, building a series of wharves along the shore as far as Borth-y-Gest, slate was carted from Ffestiniog down to the quays along the Afon Dwyryd boated to Porthmadog for transfer to seagoing vessels. In the second half of the 19th-century Porthmadog was a flourishing port, its population expanding from 885 in 1821 to over 3,000 by 1861; the expanding cities of England needed high quality roofing slate, transported to the new port by tramway from the quarries in Ffestiniog and Llanfrothen. The Ffestiniog Railway opened in 1836, followed by the Croesor Tramway in 1864 and the Gorseddau Tramway in 1856, by 1873 over 116,000 tons were exported through Porthmadog in more than a thousand ships. A number of shipbuilders were active at this time, were well known for the three-masted schooners known as Western Ocean Yachts, the last of, built in 1913. By 1841 the trackway across the reclaimed land had been straightened out and was to be developed as Stryd Fawr, the main commercial street of the town.
Along this street were a range of shops and public houses and a post office, with the open green retained. A mineral railway to Tremadog ran along. To the north was an industrial area where foundries, timber saw mills, slate works, a flour mill, soda-pop plant and gasworks were constructed. Porthmadog's role as a commercial port reduced by the opening of the Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway in 1867, was ended by the First World War, when the lucrative German market for slate disappeared; the 19th-century wharves still survive, but the slate warehouses have been replaced by holiday apartments, the harbour is used by leisure yachts. The earliest documented references to the name "Port Madoc" are in the 1830s, coinciding with the opening of the Ffestiniog Railway and the subsequent growth of the town; the first Ordnance Survey map to use the name was published in 1838. The name derives from the founder William Madocks, though there is a belief that it is named after the folklore character Madog ab Owain Gwynedd who gives his name to "Ynys Fadog".
The town was called "Portmadoc" until 1974, when it was renamed with the Welsh spelling. Ynyscynhaiarn was a civil parish in the cantref of Eifionydd. In 1858 a local board of health was established under the provisions of the Public Health Act 1848, from 1889 this formed a second tier of local government in Caernarfonshire. Under the Local Government Act 1894 the local board became an urban district, which by 1902 had changed its name to Portmadoc. In 1934 part of the area was transferred to Dolbenmaen, a smaller area was taken in from Treflys, abolished. Porthmadog Urban District was abolished in 1974, the town became part of Dwyfor District in the new county of Gwynedd, though it retained limited powers as a community. Dwyfor itself was abolished when Gwynedd became a unitary authority in 1996; the town now forms three electoral divisions of each electing one councillor. In 2012 Jason Humphreys, representing Llais Gwynedd, was elected in Porthmadog East. Selwyn Griffiths of Plaid Cymru, retained his seat in Porthmadog West, unelected.
Tremadog is included in the Porthmadog-Tremadog division, which includes Beddgelert and part of Dolbenmaen. In 2012 Alwyn Gruffydd, for Llais Gwynedd, retained the seat. Porthmadog Town Council has 16 elected members. In the 2008 elections 12 councillors were elected unopposed: seven Independents, four for Plaid Cymru and one representing Llais Gwynedd. There were four unfilled seats; the town is divided into six wards: Gest, Morfa Bychan, Porthmadog East, Porthmadog West and Ynys Galch. Since 1950 Porthmadog has been part of Caernarfon parliamentary constituency, has been represented by Hywel Williams of Plaid Cymru since 2001. In the National Assembly for Wales it has since 2007 formed part of Dwyfor-Meirionnydd constituency, represented by Dafydd Elis-Thomas, the Presiding Officer of the assembly, from Plaid Cymru; the constituency forms part of the electoral region of West Wales. Porthmadog is located in Eifionydd on the estuary of the Afon Glaslyn where it runs into Tremadog Bay; the estuary, filled with sediment, deposited by rivers emptying from the melting glaciers at the end of the last ice age, is a haven for migrating birds.
Oystercatchers and curlews are common and, in summer, there are flocks of sandwich terns. To the west looms Moel y Gest, which rises 863 feet above the town
Trawsfynydd is a linear village in Gwynedd, adjacent to the A470 north of Bronaber and Dolgellau near Blaenau Ffestiniog. The total community area is 12,830 hectares with a population of only 973 in the 2011 Census – the area is sparsely populated with each hectare inhabited by an average 0.07 persons. The village is typical of many Welsh villages. There is one grocery shop, one public house, a newsagent, a chemist, petrol service station, a branch of a large agricultural merchants. During the Second World War, the War Office used a site near Trawsfynydd for training exercises, its continued use for training exercises following the war was the subject of protest by Plaid Cymru, which challenged the UK government's continued military conscription in peace time. Trawsfynydd used to be served by a section of the Great Western Railway branch line, which ran from Bala to Blaenau Ffestiniog. To the north of the station, the army built its own station to serve the large camp nearby. Today Trawsfynydd railway station is a private home..
The line closed to all traffic in 1961, the trackbed at the Bala end was subsequently severed by the Llyn Celyn reservoir, but the section between Blaenau and Trawsfynydd Power Station reopened in 1964 for nuclear flask traffic. Access from the Bala end being no longer possible, a new section of track – the so-called "Trawsfynydd Link" – was constructed to link the separate ex-GWR and ex-LNWR stations in Blaenau Ffestiniog, it closed in 1998, although the track remains in situ. The village has a high proportion of Welsh language speakers, is accordingly in the top five Welsh-speaking communities in Gwynedd. An electoral ward in the same name exists; this ward includes the community of Maentwrog and Gellilydan and has a total population of 1,604. The village is close to Llyn Trawsfynydd, a large man-made reservoir, built between 1924 and 1928 to supply water for Maentwrog hydro-electric power station; the original flooding of the area in the 1920s to create the lake involved the drowning of some two dozen properties, some of historical significance, but there was little objection at the time.
The new power station was regarded as a good thing, indeed on its completion was capable of supplying the whole of North Wales' electricity needs. However, there was certain objection to the loss of rights of way across the former land, necessitating long detours round the new lake. In response to this, a small road was built along its western shore, a footbridge across the narrowest part of the lake; the lake was subsequently supplied cooling water to the twin reactor Trawsfynydd nuclear power station used for the commercial generation of electricity for the UK national grid. Four dams were built to create the lake, one of these being subsequently rebuilt after construction of the nuclear power plant. Whereas the Maentwrog power station had access to all of the water in the lake, the needs of the nuclear plant dictated that from on, the hydro plant should only use the top five feet of water. Trawsfynydd was the home of the Welsh bard Hedd Wyn who died during the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, six weeks before his poem won the Bard's Chair at that year's National Eisteddfod.
It was sent to his parents in the village draped in a black cloth. Y Gadair Ddu is now on display at his home farm Yr Ysgwrn. A statue of him by L. S. Merrifield, unveiled in 1924, stands in the main street of Trawsfynydd. Hedd Wyn is buried with others from his regiment, the Royal Welch Fusiliers, at Artillery Wood Cemetery, Boezinge in Flanders; the church is dedicated to St Madryn, was burned down in 1978 and re-opened in 1981. The parish of Trawsfynydd was home to Saint John Roberts, one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, canonised in 1970: he was baptised in the church. Descended from Welsh saints and princes, he gained great respect helping the plague sufferers in London, but was found guilty of high treason and hanged and quartered on 10 December 1610. In 1976 the Children's Film Foundation production One Hour to Zero was filmed in the village and at the nearby power station; the film First Knight had scenes filmed around Lake Trawsfynydd. The film Hedd Wyn was filmed around Trawsfynydd.
Margaret Davies and poetry collector, was born near Trawsfynydd. Morgan Lloyd, Liberal politician and MP, was born in the parish of Trawsfynydd. Dewi Prysor and poet, was raised in the parish of Trawsfynydd. Iwan Roberts, actor and singer, was raised in the village. Saint John Roberts, Benedictine monk and missionary priest, was born in the parish of Trawsfynydd. John Rowlands and academic, was born in the parish of Trawsfynydd. Hedd Wyn, was born in the village. Elfed Wyn Jones, known for his week-long hunger strike for broadcasting devolution in Wales. Elfed was one of the six youngsters who repainted the "Cofiwch Dryweryn" mural in Llanrhystud, Ceredigion after it was defaced with an “Elvis” graffiti in early February, 2019. Article published by WalesHome.org on the power station, October 2009 Village website Site with a lot of historical information 1851 Census information Trawsfynydd population www.geograph.co.uk: photos of Trawsfynydd and surrounding area Historical background Map sources for Trawsfynydd
Harlech is a seaside resort and community in Gwynedd within the historic boundaries of Merionethshire in north-west Wales. It lies within the Snowdonia National Park. Of a population of 1,447, 51 per cent habitually speak the Welsh language, its best-known landmark, Harlech Castle, was begun in 1283 by Edward I of England, captured by Owain Glyndŵr, served as a stronghold for Henry Tudor. It was built next to the sea, but coastline changes mean it now lies on a cliff face, about half a mile inland; the town has developed housing estates in the low town area and hillside housing in the high town around the shopping street and castle. The two are linked by a steep, winding road called "Twtil"; the exact derivation of the name "Harlech" is unclear. Some older sources claim that it derives from Arddlech, i.e. ardd + llech, referring to the prominent crag on which the castle stands. More recent sources tend to go for a simpler derivation from the two Welsh words llech; as late as the 19th century some texts referred to "Harddlech" and "Harddlech Castle".
This name appears in the mid-19th century translation of the Mabinogion: "And one afternoon he was at Harddlech in Ardudwy, at a court of his. And they were seated upon the rock of Harddlech overlooking the sea." Contemporary documents from the time of the Mabinogion do not mention Harlech, referring only to Llywelyn building his castle "at Ardudwy". An electoral ward in the same name exists; this stretches to include Talsarnau Community. The population of the ward taken at the 2011 census was 1,997; the town's railway station is served by the Cambrian Coast Line. It contains Ffordd Pen Llech, a street which descends the rock spur to the north of the castle, has the steepest signed gradient on a public road in the United Kingdom. Ysgol Ardudwy is the county secondary school for children between the ages of 11–16. Ysgol Tanycastell is the town's primary school for children aged 3–11; the town was until 2017 the home of Wales's only long-term adult residential college, Coleg Harlech known as the "college of second chance".
The premises remain in use as part of Adult Learning Wales - Addysg Oedolion Cymru. Theatr Harlech is located on the Coleg Harlech campus and stages a varied selection of plays and films throughout the year. Other attractions in Harlech include its beach backed with sand dunes and the famous Royal Saint David's Golf Club, which hosted its fifth British Ladies Amateur in 2009; the Rhinogydd range of mountains rises to the east. A World War II-era fighter aircraft was found on Harlech beach in 2007; the discovery of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning has been described as "one of the most important WWII finds in recent history". The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery is not divulging the precise location of the U. S. Army Air Forces plane, known as the Maid of Harlech, but hope to salvage the wreck. Harlech has a Scout hut. A residential street in Harlech, Ffordd Pen Llech, may be recognized by the Guinness World Records as the steepest residential street in the world. In the second branch of the Mabinogi, Harlech is the seat of Bendigeidfran, Branwen's brother and king of the Isle of the Mighty.
The song Men of Harlech is traditionally said to describe events during the seven-year siege of the castle in 1461–1468. ITV Wales & West was known as HTV/Harlech Television. In birth order: Owain Glyndŵr, Welsh Rebellion leader and the last Welshman to claim the title Prince of Wales Ellis Wynne, Welsh-language author Alfred Perceval Graves, poet and songwriter, he and a large family, including his son the poet Robert Graves, spent summers at a large house, "Erinfa", north-east of Harlech. George Davison, photographer Margaret More, was born here. Elinor Lyon, children's writer, she retired here in 1975 with her schoolteacher husband. David Gwilym Morris Roberts, civil engineer, was born here. Morfa Harlech sand dunes Harlech Castle St. David's Hotel Lord Harlech HTV - Harlech Television Harlech Tourism Association Coleg Harlech Theatr Harlech Royal Saint David's Golf Club Aerial photograph of Harlech geograph.co.uk - photos of Harlech and surrounding area
Black Book of Carmarthen
The Black Book of Carmarthen is thought to be the earliest surviving manuscript written in Welsh. The book dates from the mid-13th century, it is part of the collection of the National Library of Wales, where it is catalogued as NLW Peniarth MS 1. This was one of the collection of manuscripts amassed at the mansion of Hengwrt, near Dolgellau, Gwynedd, by Welsh antiquary Robert Vaughan, it is believed that the manuscript is first recorded when it came into the possession of Sir John Price of Brecon, whose work was to search the monasteries dissolved by Henry VIII. It was given to him by the treasurer of St David's Cathedral. Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin was described by William Forbes Skene as one of the Four Ancient Books of Wales. Written before 1250, the manuscript is a small, vellum codex of 54 folios in eight gatherings. Although the product of a single scribe, inconsistency in the ruling of each folio, in the number of lines per folio, in handwriting size and style, suggest an amateur writing over a long period of time.
The opening folios, written in a large textura on alternating ruled lines, are followed by folios in a much smaller, cramped script. The book contains a small group of triads about the horses of Welsh heroes, but is chiefly a collection of 9th–12th century poetry falling into various categories: religious and secular subjects, odes of praise and of mourning. Of greater interest are the poems which draw on traditions relating to the Welsh heroes associated with the Hen Ogledd, those connected with the legend of Arthur and Myrddin known as Merlin, thus predating the descriptions of Merlin by Geoffrey of Monmouth. One of the poems, The Elegy of Gereint son of Erbin, refers to the "Battle of Llongborth", the location of which can no longer be pinpointed, mentions Arthur's involvement in the battle; the poems Yr Afallennau and Yr Oianau describe the mad Merlin in a forest talking to an apple tree and a pig, prophesying the success or failure of the Welsh army in battles with the Normans in South Wales.
Some of the other poems contained are: Ymddiddan Myrddin a Thaliesin Dadl y Corff a'r Enaid Elegy to Madog ap Maredudd The Elegy of Gereint son of Erbin The Verses of the Graves Kyntaw geir There has been a call from the editor of the Carmarthen Journal newspaper to house the Black Book in its native Carmarthen, so that it might be seen by locals and tourists coming into the town. In 2002, it was announced that the Black Book had been scanned, made available online. In 2014 it was suggested an interactive display about the book could be created in Carmarthen's St Peter's Church. In March 2015, University of Cambridge Professor Paul Russell and Ph. D. student Myriah Williams reported that a variety of imaging techniques such as ultraviolet lamps and photo-editing software had revealed content, invisible under normal viewing conditions. Among the unknown material, erased half a millennium ago, were extensive marginal annotations, including an inscription suggesting that the book was gifted by a previous owner to a family member.
Jarman, A. O. H. Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin. Caerdydd: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru. ISBN 0-7083-0629-2. A diplomatic edition of the original text. Pennar, Meirion; the Black Book of Carmarthen. Llanerch Enterprises. ISBN 0947992316. An introduction with translations of some of the poems, accompanied by corresponding reproductions of the J Evans diplomatic text; the Black Book of Carmarthen at the National Library of Wales. Gives access to colour images of Peniarth MS 1; the Black Book of Carmarthen at the Celtic Literature Collective. Uses Skene's incomplete and inaccurate translation from 1848. Full list of poems with translations at the Celtic Literature Collective. Evans, John Gwenogvryn. Ed. Black Book of Carmarthen.. The diplomatic edition of the complete MS
Plas Tan y Bwlch
Plas Tan y Bwlch in Gwynedd, Wales is the Snowdonia National Park environmental studies centre, administered by the National Park Authority. The centre aims to provide courses which are of interest to all lovers of the countryside who would like to know about the Snowdonia National Park and the part of Wales in which it resides. Plas Tan y Bwlch occupies a position overlooking the valley of the River Dwyryd, the village of Maentwrog, with no part of the Park more than an hour’s drive away. Plas Tan y Bwlch was built by the rich Oakeley family during the 19th century, it being rebuilt on the site of a first house built in the early 17th century. Additions designed by the Chester architect John Douglas were made to the house for W. E. Oakley in 1872; the nearby Oakeley Arms Hotel was once part of the estate but was sold off in the early 20th century. The Oakeley family owned a huge slate quarry in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Slates were carried from the quarry to Porthmadog by means of the Ffestiniog Railway which passed through the estate.
Plas Tan y Bwlch is thought to be the first house in North Wales with electric lighting powered from its own hydro-electric station, commissioned in the 1890s. A pipeline from the lake fed water to a Pelton wheel, located in a small power house on the hillside behind the house, it ceased to operate soon after 1928, when the public hydro-electric power station at Maentwrog began supplying the area. In June 2013 a new hydro-scheme, costing £420,000, tapping the water from Llyn Mair, was opened; the water falls 60 metres to the turbine, the scheme is expected to meet most of the Plas' electricity needs. The Tan-y-Bwlch area includes Tan-y-Bwlch railway station. Plas Tan y Bwlch is located 6 miles east of the coastal town of Porthmadog on the A487 set amongst high mountains and wildlife rich woodlands. List of gardens in Wales Slate industry in Wales http://www.plastanybwlch.com/ Plas Tan y Bwlch website http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/northwest/sites/history/pages/plastanybwlch.shtml BBC Plas Tan-y-bwlch page
Paganism, is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism. This was either because they were rural and provincial relative to the Christian population, or because they were not milites Christi. Alternate terms in Christian texts for the same group were hellene and heathen. Ritual sacrifice was an integral part of ancient Graeco-Roman religion and was regarded as an indication of whether a person was pagan or Christian. Paganism was a pejorative and derogatory term for polytheism, implying its inferiority. Paganism has broadly connoted the "religion of the peasantry", During and after the Middle Ages, the term paganism was applied to any non-Abrahamic or unfamiliar religion, the term presumed a belief in false god. Most modern pagan religions existing today - Modern Paganism, or Neopaganism - express a world view, pantheistic, polytheistic or animistic; the origin of the application of the term pagan to polytheism is debated.
In the 19th century, paganism was adopted as a self-descriptor by members of various artistic groups inspired by the ancient world. In the 20th century, it came to be applied as a self-descriptor by practitioners of Modern Paganism, Neopagan movements and Polytheistic reconstructionists. Modern pagan traditions incorporate beliefs or practices, such as nature worship, that are different from those in the largest world religions. Contemporary knowledge of old pagan religions comes from several sources, including anthropological field research records, the evidence of archaeological artifacts, the historical accounts of ancient writers regarding cultures known to Classical antiquity, it is crucial to stress right from the start that until the 20th century, people did not call themselves pagans to describe the religion they practised. The notion of paganism, as it is understood today, was created by the early Christian Church, it was a label that Christians applied to others, one of the antitheses that were central to the process of Christian self-definition.
As such, throughout history it was used in a derogatory sense. The term pagan is derived from Late Latin paganus, revived during the Renaissance. Itself deriving from classical Latin pagus which meant'region delimited by markers', paganus had come to mean'of or relating to the countryside','country dweller','villager', it is related to pangere and comes from Proto-Indo-European *pag-. The adoption of paganus by the Latin Christians as an all-embracing, pejorative term for polytheists represents an unforeseen and singularly long-lasting victory, within a religious group, of a word of Latin slang devoid of religious meaning; the evolution occurred only in the Latin west, in connection with the Latin church. Elsewhere, Hellene or gentile remained the word for pagan. Medieval writers assumed that paganus as a religious term was a result of the conversion patterns during the Christianization of Europe, where people in towns and cities were converted more than those in remote regions, where old ways lingered.
However, this idea has multiple problems. First, the word's usage as a reference to non-Christians pre-dates that period in history. Second, paganism within the Roman Empire centred on cities; the concept of an urban Christianity as opposed to a rural paganism would not have occurred to Romans during Early Christianity. Third, unlike words such as rusticitas, paganus had not yet acquired the meanings used to explain why it would have been applied to pagans. Paganus more acquired its meaning in Christian nomenclature via Roman military jargon. Early Christians saw themselves as Milites Christi. A good example of Christians still using paganus in a military context rather than religious is in Tertullian's De Corona Militis XI. V, where the Christian is referred to as paganus: Paganus acquired its religious connotations by the mid-4th century; as early as the 5th century, paganos was metaphorically used to denote persons outside the bounds of the Christian community. Following the sack of Rome by the Visigoths just over fifteen years after the Christian persecution of paganism under Theodosius I, murmurs began to spread that the old gods had taken greater care of the city than the Christian God.
In response, Augustine of Hippo wrote De Civitate Dei Contra Paganos. In it, he contrasted the fallen "city of Man" to the "city of God" of which all Christians were citizens. Hence, the foreign invaders were "not of the city" or "rural"; the term pagan is not attested in the English language until the 17th century. In addition to infidel and heretic, it was used as one of several pejorative Christian counterparts to gentile as used in Judaism, to kafir and mushrik as in Islam. In the Latin-speaking Western Roman Empire of the newly Christianizing Roman Empire, Koine Greek became associated with the traditional polytheistic religion of Ancient Greece, regarded as a foreign language in the west. By the latter half of the 4th century in the Greek-speaking Eastern Empire, pagans were—paradoxically—most called Hellenes; the word entirely