Gratillonius founds a Mithraeum. Maximus condemns him for founding a temple of Antichrist. Other demands prevent Maximus from immediately recalling Gratillonius as prefect, occupying Ys and extirpating demon worship so instead he requires his prefect to install a new Christian pastor in the city! Ironically, Gratillonius himself had promised the dying pastor that he would find someone to replace him and it is only more pressing obligations that have prevented the prefect/King from keeping this promise until now. The contrast between the Mithraist Gratillonius honoring a promise to find a new Christian pastor and the Christian Maximus denouncing Gratillonius could not be more complete.
Energy that should have gone into the preservation of civilization is instead channeled into the persecution of witches and heretics. While googling for an image to represent "Antichrist," I came across denunciations of the Antichrist spirit in the current President of the United States. Are we here and now experiencing the decline of a civilization?