<br>There were official gods like Jupiter or Juno who had their own official festivities , the Games began by being part of the public religious ceremonial of the Roman people. However, by the time of Martial and of Juvenal, the crowds who thronged the streets, the theaters and the circuses had very little knowledge of or interest in any ceremonial meaning there might have once been behind the Games ; nevertheless the ancient traditions inspiring them were kept alive. Many of the Romans themselves were ignorant of this early religious aspect of their apparently mundane, secular games and festivals. So it came about that games staged at first to gratify the gods and to do them honor, soon descended to the very low level of gratifying the baser passions of the hungry, ignorant, lazy and idle mob (Handbook To Life In Ancient Greece). <br>
<br>By the end of the Republic and in the early days of the Roman Empire very few educated Romans seemed to have retained any genuine belief in the existence of the gods. The poet Ovid is a suitable sample, they thought it was a good idea to keep the popular beliefs alive, "It's useful that there should be god", he said, " so let's believe there are, and let incense and wine be brought to their ancient shrines." Mithra was the friend and champion of the poor. Like Christianity, Mithraism began as the religion of the poor and degraded servile classes. Christianity showed some similarities with the Mithras cult. It was influenced by the Mithras cult indeed. Like Jesus, Mithras had definite features of a savior. Moreover the Mithras cult had aspects of messianism, including some kind of heaven and hell. In its liturgy bread and wine were taken, although transubstantiation was not considered to occur (Roman religion). The Mithras cult and Christianity were fierce competitors for a long time. When Christianity finally won, it took over the 'Mithraeum' on more than one occasion. The 'Mithraeum' was the place where the Mithras followers professed their faith, and the Christians made it their prayer room. <br>
<br>Modern day religion , Christianity especially with its teaching of mercy, gentleness, loving kindness and charity towards others, even towards enemies ; with is spurning of the world and worldly satisfactions ; with its gospel of self restraint , discipline and sobriety; with its care for the poor ; with its belief in the evil of sin and the faith in one God , the Savior of mankind controls the masses (Handbook To Life In Ancient Greece). I can't help but have the crushing impression that the masses of today's ' youth are intentionally being deceived through lies; although it is just an impression. Mistrust of every kind of authority can grew out of this experience of deceit, a skeptical attitude toward the convictions that are alive in any specific social environment an attitude that can never again leave them. It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of youth, which is soon lost, is an attempt to free from the chains of the "merely personal," from an existence dominated by wishes, hopes, and primitive feelings. I also think the pulpit has lost its position. It speaks no longer with authority. The pews determine what shall be preached. They pay only for that which they wish to buy -- for that which they wish to hear. Of course in every church there is an advance guard and a conservative party, and nearly every minister is obliged to preach a little for both (Crumbling Creeds). He now and then says a radical thing for one part of his congregation, and takes it mostly back on the next Sabbath, for the sake of the others. I think in the world today it all basically comes down to, people want immortality now and during the Romans' time they were quite content just "knowing" they were being protected during their life time. <br>
<br>There is this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. The mental grasp of this extra-personal world within the frame of our capabilities presented itself to our minds, half consciously, half unconsciously, as a supreme goal that is never quite achievable. (Becoming a Freethinker and a Scientist). <br>
<br><li>Einstein, Albert .Becoming a Freethinker and a Scientist. 12 Jan. 2001. <<a href="http://www.stcloud.msus.edu/~lesikar/einstein/freethink.html">http://www.stcloud.msus.edu/~lesikar/einstein/freethink.html</a>> <br><li>Gellert. Home Work Help : History.<<a href="http://live.looksmart.com/cgi-bin/view_a_question.cgi??qptr=qa_2000-06-19.dat:000016753">http://live.looksmart.com/cgi-bin/view_a_question.cgi??qptr=qa_2000-06-19.dat:000016753</a>> <br><li>Ingersoll, Robert Green. Crumbling Creeds. 17 Jan. 2001.