ACCORDING to the points of view laid down in this entire account of the Roman art, we may repeat and emphasize the following:
(a) A certain general deterioration of taste and style is visible as early as the second century A. D., although the Roman architecture was less visibly affected than other arts by this movement. This deterioration is most apparent in the provincial territories and reacted on the original and native centers. It became more visibly apparent in the third century, which was the last, in general, of a distinctly antique art, although the survival of antique traits and style continued in Christian art long after this time.
(b) The decline and decadence of the antique art resulted partly from its wide diffusion over territories to which it was not originally native and from its transfer to populations which took and used it at secondhand. Partly, and very especially, it resulted from the spirit and influences of the Christian religion and its antagonism to the subjects and ideals of pagan art--for any attack on the basis and foundations of an art necessarily results in sapping its technical powers--practice and patronage being the necessary conditions of perfection. The decline of taste was again partly caused by the rise of the lower orders of society, who were especially attached to the Christian faith, and by the overthrow in power and influence of the higher classes, which had remained attached to paganism.