There were also a good many crypto-pagans among the educated population of the capital.
It is impossible to prove that either of the documents actually refers to Christians: they may have been given to pagans who had been accused and had cleared themselves, or to former Christians who had apostatized.
The Hausa, whose conversion to Mahommedanism began in the 12th century, were still in the 18th century partly pagans, though their rulers were followers of the Prophet.
As regards the former the Church adopted a course midway between metaphysical explanations and historical traditions, and reconciled the more extreme theories; while with the admission of pagans a great deal of paganism itself was introduced.
Owing to these controversies the real work of the early Irish missionaries in converting the pagans of Britain and central Europe, and sowing the seeds of culture there, is apt to be overlooked.