=Mars.= We have seen reason to believe that in the earlier stages of Roman religion Mars was a numen of vegetation, but though the Ambarvalia was duly taken over into the state-cult and attained a very high degree of importance, yet there can be no doubt that in the state-religion Mars was pre-eminently associated with war.
In later times the flamines still retain their original character, the pontifices and especially the pontifex maximus are responsible for the whole organisation of the state-religion and are the guardians and interpreters of religious lore. In the state-cult then the priests play a very important part, but their relation to the worship of the individual was very small indeed.
Barbarous tribes, now and then, venerating the superiority of our knowledge, adopt our religion: so have Pagan nations in Africa voluntarily become Mussulmans. But neither we nor they can appeal to any case, where an old State-religion has yielded without warlike compulsion to the force of heavenly truth, "charm we never so wisely."
Industrial types of society developed; and a state-religion overshadowed the ancient and exclusive local cults. But society in Japan never, till within the present era, became one coherent body, never developed beyond the clan-stage.
As a matter of course, it fell more and more into disfavour with all those who preserved their freedom of judgment. Towards the state-religion indeed public opinion maintained an attitude essentially indifferent; it was on all sides recognized as an institution of political convenience, and no one specially troubled himself about it with the exception of political and antiquarian literati.
Unquestioning obedience to the mikado was the primary religious duty. It was a state-religion. Buddhism, brought into the country in 552 A.D., spread, and became prevalent. The Japanese are a mixed race. Kioto and the adjacent provinces are said to have been occupied by the conquerors. Prior to 660 B.C. we have no trustworthy history of the island.
Its practical results can hardly be estimated as much more than that, as we have said, two or three families of rank ate poor fare to please the Stoa. State-Religion
The Romano-Hellenic state-religion and the Stoic state-philosophy inseparably combined with it were for every government oligarchy, democracy or monarchy not merely a convenient instrument, but quite indispensable for the very reason that it was just as impossible to construct the state wholly without religious elements as to discover any new state-religion fitted to take the place of the old.
The scholastic formality of system, which thenceforth prevails at least externally in these professional sciences and is especially associated with a fanciful, charade-like, insipid method of etymologizing, descends from the Stoa. But infinitely more important was the new state-philosophy and state-religion, which emanated from the blending of the Stoic philosophy and the Roman religion.
Yet a great fact is here implied; viz., that Christianity was adopted as a state-religion, because of the great political power accruing from the organization of the churches and the devotion of Christians to their ecclesiastical citizenship.