Note 117
From Chapter 66 of the Decline & Fall

I will select three singular examples of this classic enthusiasm.
1. At the synod of Florence, Gemistus Pletho said, in familiar conversation to George of Trebizond, that in a short time mankind would unanimously renounce the Gospel and the Koran, for a religion similar to that of the Gentiles (Leo Allatius, apud Fabricium, tom. x. p. 751).
2. Paul II. persecuted the Roman academy, which had been founded by Pomponius Laetus; and the principal members were accused of heresy, impiety, and paganism (Tiraboschi, tom. vi. P. i. p. 81, 82).
3. In the next century, some scholars and poets in France celebrated the success of Jodelle's tragedy of Cleopatra, by a festival of Bacchus, and, as it is said, by the sacrifice of a goat (Bayle, Dictionnaire, JODELLE. Fontenelle, tom. iii. p. 56-61).
Yet the spirit of bigotry might often discern a serious impiety in the sportive play of fancy and learning.

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