“The study of Pompeii and Herculaneum provides us with a wealth of sources – However we are faced with issues regarding their limitations, reliability and evaluation.”
This report will assess the truth of the above statement referring to religious practices in Pompeii and Herculeuim such as local, state, household and foreign religion.
Though the abundance of sources in Pompeii and Herculaneum archaeologists and researchers can gather and evaluate the importance of religion in these two regions, however there may be issues with reliability.
Both the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were influenced by foreign customs and religions, due to links with other cities through commerce and trade. Worship of Greek Deities was not uncommon before the eruption many gods such as Dionysus (roman name Bacchus) and Hercules were worshiped through temples and, frescos and statues; most Roman deities were based on the 12 major Greek gods for example The patron Goddess of Pompeii , Venus was based on the Greek goddess Aphrodite. There are many primary sources and evidence from the town of Herculaneum a fresco (primary source) named “Hercules and Omphale” were found in the Villa Of Mysteries, this is a confirmation of Greek influence on Roman religion.
Other foreign cults in Pompeii are under scrutiny such as the Temple of Isis, when did the people of Pompeii become exposed to this Egyptian based cult? The cult of Isis was one of the most successful and influential foreign based cults in the Campania region, there is a wealth of evidence of this cult with over twenty Lalaria with images of Isis and statuettes, there is much less evidence of The cult of Isis’s presence in Herculaneum, a temple has not yet been discovered however a large statue of Isis has been found
There are minimal sources and primary evidence of foreign cults such as Judaism and Sabazius in Pompeii and Herculaneum though cult objects were found that