What does archaeological/written evidence reveal about the role/importance of household gods and temples in Roman life during the first century AD?
Archaeological and written evidence has revealed to us many great revelations about the past, in this case, the past concerning household gods in Roman life during the first century AD. These revelations help us understand both their role and importance.
Roman household religion was associated with the family unit, the traditional institution ruled over by the paterfamilias. These gods would be treated as members of the family and invited to join in meals, or be given offerings of food and drink. From this, it is obvious household gods held a great importance, and archaeological evidence provides a principal source of detail about Greek mythology, with gods and heroes featured prominently in the decoration of many artifacts, such as numerous statues.
There were numerous household gods in Roman life, the main ones being identified as Lares and Penates, and others also included Janus and Vesta, all holding great power. In Roman mythology, Lares and Penates were groups of deities who protected the family and the Roman state, and although …show more content…
Vesta's presence was symbolized by the sacred fire that burned at her hearth and temples. She was the goddess of the hearth, and as the hearth was of practical importance for cooking, and of spiritual significance such as sacrifices, it is quite understandable that Vesta was seen to be of great importance to a Roman's home. Every day prayers would be said to Vesta, once again stating written evidence, and even during meals, some food might be set aside and passed into the fire as an offering to this goddess. Just like all of the other household gods, Vesta also has many statues of her, also made in bronze, just like this one shown, now located in the Vatican Museum, in