The Death of the Gods
The Death of the Gods (1895) is a novel by Dmitriy Merezhkovsky. Having turned from his work in poetry to a new, spiritually charged interest in fiction, Merezhkovsky sought to develop his theory of the Third Testament, an apocalyptic vision of Christianity’s fulfillment in twentieth century humanity. The Death of the Gods the first work in the trilogy, is followed by Resurrection of the Gods (1900) and Peter and Alexis (1904). Well received internationally, The Christ and Antichrist Trilogy was largely ignored by Russian critics at the time of its publication, but has since been recognized as his most original and vital literary work. “‘Julian!’ a voice cried; ‘Julian, Julian! Where in the world is he? Eutropius is looking for you to go to church with him.’ The boy shivered, and nimbly hid his handiwork inside the altar of Pan. He smoothed his hair, shook his clothes, and when he came out of the grotto had resumed an expression of impenetrable Christian hypocrisy.” In The Death of the Gods, Emperor Julian, recognizing the increasing popularity of Christianity among the Roman people, makes a final attempt to plant the Olympian Gods at the center of spiritual life. Opposed to the asceticism of early Christians, Julian views the emerging religion as a sacrifice of worldly existence and human connection in favor of a metaphysical ideal. Despite his idealism, the inexorable current of history dooms him from the beginning. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Dmitriy Merezhkovsky’s The Death of the Gods is a classic of Russian literature reimagined for modern readers.