Roman Religion

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Contents
The development of Roman religion
* Why Roman religion developed….pg 2
* Why Roman religion took the form it did………………………………………….pg 3

The Deities
* Deities reference chart…………..pg4-5

Common Practices
* How to participate in the practices of prayer, sacrifice and divination.pg6-8 * Description of major priesthoods, festivals and domestic rituals..pg9-12

The Importance of Outside Religions
* Stoicism and epicureanism….pg13
* Mystery religions…………………pg. 14

Bibliography…………………………….pg15

The Development of Roman Religion

Why did Roman religion develop?
Numina were spirits who existed in the air, the hills, the forests, the hills, the valleys and even in your home. These Numina were sometimes helpful and sometimes harmful; they caused all events to occur. The Romans believed that they were neutral towards people. They believed that the numina assisted those that were respectful and harmful to those that were neglectful. The sole purpose of Roman religion was to avoid insulting and gain the support of the numina.

The numina were limited to a specific loyalty and power within that area. People worshipped the numina at small alters at home and outdoors. They didn’t worship the numina at temples or churches. The numina had no definite gender or form.

Sacrificium was a legal exchange from a person to a specific numina, which was meant to certify that the numina kept their end of the deal. Early Roman religion was more of a business matter than a religious matter.

There were countless things that influenced early Roman religion, one of these was the second King of Rome made certain numina important by making them protectors of the state (Mars, Juno and Jupiter). They also setup priesthoods to look after their worship. The Romans also adapted plenty of ideas from the Greeks, Hellenistic Greeks and the Etruscans. Ideas such as to worship their Gods in temples, Believed that Gods were human shaped and they started to practice forms of divination. 2

Why Roman Religion took the Form it did

There were many things that influenced early Roman religion, one of these was the second King of Rome made certain numina important by making them protectors of the state (Mars, Juno and Jupiter). They also setup priesthoods to look after their worship. The Romans also adapted plenty of ideas from the Greeks, Hellenistic Greeks and the Etruscans.

The early Greeks definitely influenced the Romans religion as they were more civilised and cultured than the Romans and had a more developed theology. Romans took from them the idea that the Gods had full range of Human characteristics (love, lust, anger, greed…) The Romans adopted a lot of their ideas about their Gods from the Greeks but were more conservative about the behaviours that their Gods displayed.

The Etruscans also had effect on Roman religion; the Etruscans were economically, culturally and militarily stronger than the Romans during 6th C. BCE ruled Rome. The ideas the Romans took from the Etruscans are that the Gods are human shaped, the Romans decided to worship in temples and also practiced divination, such as watching the course of a bird flight.

The Hellenistic Greeks were mostly responsible for new philosophies and encouraged the Romans mystery cults.

3 The Roman Deities
Name(s)| Attributes| Responsibilities|
Jupiter(Zeus)| Lightning bolt and eagle| King of the Gods| Mars(Ares)| Shield and sword| God of war|
Venus(Aphrodite)| Dove and fruit| Goddess of love|
Pluto(Hades)| Cerberus| God of the underworld|
Juno (Hera)| Peacock| Queen of the Gods|
Neptune(Poseidon)| Trident| God of the sea|
Apollo(Apollo)| lyre| God of brightness, music and...
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