Religion is a major subfield of ancient history and classical studies, and Roman religion in particular is usually studied today by experts in two rather distinct halves: the religion of the Roman Republic, covering the fifth through first centuries B.C.; and the religious diversity of the Roman Empire, spanning the first four centuries of our era. In Time in Roman Religion, author Gary Forsythe examines both the religious history of the Republic and the religious history of the Empire. These six studies are unified by the important role played by various concepts of time in Roman religious thought and practice. Previous modern studies of early Roman religion in Republican times have discussed how the placement of religious ceremonies in the calendar was determined by their relevance to agricultural or military patterns of early Roman life, but modern scholars have failed to recognize that many aspects of Roman religious thought and behavior in later times were also preconditioned or even substantially influenced by concepts of time basic to earlier Roman religious history. This book is not a comprehensive survey of all major aspects of Roman religious history spanning one thousand years. Rather, it is a collection of six studies that are bound together by a single analytical theme: namely, time. Yet, in the process of delving into these six different topics the study surveys a large portion of Roman religious history in a representative fashion, from earliest times to the end of the ancient world and the triumph of Christianity.
This book provides a definitive account of the history of the Roman calendar, offering new reconstructions of its development that demand serious revisions to previous accounts. Examines the critical stages of the technical, political, and religious history of the Roman calendar Provides a comprehensive historical and social contextualization of ancient calendars and chronicles Highlights the unique characteristics which are still visible in the most dominant modern global calendar
Written by one of the world's leading scholars of the Roman world, An Introduction to Roman Religion offers students a complete portrait of religion in Rome during the late republic and early empire. It draws on the latest findings in archaeology and history to explain the meanings of rituals, rites, auspices, and oracles, to describe the uses of temples and sacred ground, and to evoke the daily patterns of religious life and observance within the city of Rome and its environs. The text is usefully organized around major themes, such as the origins of Roman religion, the importance of the religious calendar, the structure of religious space, the forms of religious services and rituals, and the gods, priests, and core theologies that shaped religious observance. In addition to its clear and accessible presentation, Roman Religion includes quotations from primary sources, a chronology of religious and historical events from 750 B.C. to A.D. 494, a full glossary, and an annotated guide to further reading.
This is a survey of the religious attitudes reflected in Latin literature from the late Republic to the time of Constantine. Its main theme is the development of the Roman public religion in that period. Within this theme the most pervasive issue is the relationship between Roman religion andmorality. Though the link between the two is shown to be closer than is often supposed, it was also the case that the rise of such systems as Stoicism and Christianity contributed to a sense of morality more detached from traditional conceptions of the collective well-being of the Roman state.Nevertheless, the old religion continued to flourish and to contribute in numerous ways to the working of Roman society until it was fatally weakened by the political and social crisis of the third century. This crisis, and the tendency of the Roman Empire to depend upon and encourage new sources ofsupport, prepared the way for the emergence of Christianity, first as the religion of the Emperor, and then, after a period in which Christians and pagans were able to co-operate by emphasizing their common beliefs, as the official religion of the Empire.
Clifford Ando introduces the reader to the complex and foreign world of Roman religion and to the major trends in its study. He presents 14 papers on central topics in Roman religion and their implications for Roman literature, history and culture.
A comprehensive treatment of the significant symbols and institutions of Roman religion, this companion places the various religious symbols, discourses, and practices, including Judaism and Christianity, into a larger framework to reveal the sprawling landscape of the Roman religion. An innovative introduction to Roman religion Approaches the field with a focus on the human-figures instead of the gods Analyzes religious changes from the eighth century BC to the fourth century AD Offers the first history of religious motifs on coins and household/everyday utensils Presents Roman religion within its cultural, social, and historical contexts
The gods were the true heroes of Rome. In this major new contribution to our understanding of ancient history, Jörg Rüpke guides the reader through the fascinating world of Roman religion, describing its unique characteristics and bringing its peculiarities into stark relief. Rüpke gives a thorough and engaging account of the multiplicity of cults worshipped by peasant and aristocrat alike, the many varied rites and rituals daily observed, and the sacrifices and offerings regularly brought to these immortals by the population of Ancient Rome and its imperial colonies. This important study provides the perfect introduction to Roman religion for students of Ancient Rome and Classical Civilization.
Offers an introduction to the basic beliefs, practices, and major deities of Greek and Roman religions A volume in the Blackwell Ancient Religions, Greek and Roman Religions offers an authoritative overview of the region’s ancient religious practices. The author—a noted expert in the field—explores the presence of divinity in all aspects of ancient life and highlights the origins of myth, religious authority, institutions, beliefs, rituals, sacred texts, and ethics. Comprehensive in scope, the text focuses on myriad aspects that constitute Greco-Roman culture such as economic class, honor and shame, and slavery as well as the religious role of each member of the family. The integration of ethnic and community identity with divine elements are highlighted in descriptions of religious festivals. Greek and Roman Religions presents the evolution of ideas concerning death and the afterlife and the relation of death to concepts of ultimate justice. The author also offers insight into the elements of ancient religions that remain important in our contemporary quest for meaning. This vital text: Offers a comprehensive review of ancient Greek and Roman religions and their institutions, beliefs, rituals, and more Examines how the Roman culture and religions borrowed from the Greek traditions Explores the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean Basin Contains suggestions at the end of each chapter for further reading that include both traditional studies and more recent examinations of topical issues Written for students of ancient religions and religious studies, this important resource provides an overview of the ancient culture and history of the general region as well as the basic background of Greek and Roman civilizations.
Because they list all the public holidays and pagan festivals of the age, calendars provide unique insights into the culture and everyday life of ancient Rome. The Codex-Calendar of 354 miraculously survived the Fall of Rome. Although it was subsequently lost, the copies made in the Renaissance remain invaluable documents of Roman society and religion in the years between Constantine's conversion and the fall of the Western Empire. In this richly illustrated book, Michele Renee Salzman establishes that the traditions of Roman art and literature were still very much alive in the mid-fourth century. Going beyond this analysis of precedents and genre, Salzman also studies the Calendar of 354 as a reflection of the world that produced and used it. Her work reveals the continuing importance of pagan festivals and cults in the Christian era and highlights the rise of a respectable aristocratic Christianity that combined pagan and Christian practices. Salzman stresses the key role of the Christian emperors and imperial institutions in supporting pagan rituals. Such policies of accomodation and assimilation resulted in a gradual and relatively peaceful transformation of Rome from a pagan to a Christian capital.
This second volume of a two-part collection of studies on inconsistencies in Greek and Roman religion focuses on the ambiguities in myth and ritual of transition and reversal.
Examining sites that are familiar to many modern tourists, Valerie Warrior avoids imposing a modern perspective on the topic by using the testimony of the ancient Romans to describe traditional Roman religion. The ancient testimony recreates the social and historical contexts in which Roman religion was practised. It shows, for example, how, when confronted with a foreign cult, official traditional religion accepted the new cult with suitable modifications. Basic difficulties, however, arose with regard to the monotheism of the Jews and Christianity. Carefully integrated with the text are visual representations of divination, prayer, and sacrifice as depicted on monuments, coins, and inscriptions from public buildings and homes throughout the Roman world. Also included are epitaphs and humble votive offerings that illustrate the piety of individuals, and that reveal the prevalence of magic and the occult in the spiritual lives of the ancient Romans.
The study of Old Norse Religion is a truly multidisciplinary and international field of research. The rituals, myths and narratives of pre-Christian Scandinavia are investigated and interpreted by archaeologists, historians, art historians, historians of religion as well as scholars of literature, onomastics and Scandinavian studies. For obvious reasons, these studies belong to the main curricula in Scandinavia but are also carried out at many other universities in Europe, the United States and Australia a fact that is evident to any reader of this book. In order to bring this broad and varied field of research together, an international conference on Old Norse religion was held in Lund in June 2004. About two hundred delegates from more than fifteen countries took part. The intention was to gather researchers to encourage and improve scholarly exchange and dialogue, and Old Norse religion in long-term perspectives presents a selection of the proceedings from that conference. The 75 contributions elucidate topics such as worldview and cosmology, ritual and religious practice, myth and memory as well as the reception and present-day use of Old Norse religion. The main editors of this volume have directed the multidisciplinary research project Roads to Midgard since 2000. The project is based at Lund University and funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation.