30 Facts About Roman religion


Presence of Greeks on the Italian peninsula from the beginning of the historical period influenced Roman religion culture, introducing some religious practices that became fundamental, such as the cultus of Apollo.

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Etruscan Roman religion was a major influence, particularly on the practice of augury, used by the stateto seek the will of the gods.

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Roman religion was practical and contractual, based on the principle of do ut des, "I give that you might give".

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The Roman religion triumph was at its core a religious procession in which the victorious general displayed his piety and his willingness to serve the public good by dedicating a portion of his spoils to the gods, especially Jupiter, who embodied just rule.

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Ultimately, Roman polytheism was brought to an end with the adoption of Christianity as the official religion of the empire.

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Roman religion gave birth to twins, who were duly exposed by order of the king but saved through a series of miraculous events.

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Rome offers no native creation myth, and little mythography to explain the character of its deities, their mutual relationships or their interactions with the human world, but Roman religion theology acknowledged that di immortales ruled all realms of the heavens and earth.

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Political, cultural and religious coherence of an emergent Roman religion super-state required a broad, inclusive and flexible network of lawful cults.

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The triumph of a Roman religion general was celebrated as the fulfillment of religious vows, though these tended to be overshadowed by the political and social significance of the event.

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Public religious ceremonies of the official Roman religion took place outdoors, and not within the temple building.

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Roman religion had priestly duties to his lares, domestic penates, ancestral Genius and any other deities with whom he or his family held an interdependent relationship.

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Roman religion's wife was responsible for the household's cult to Vesta.

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Public Roman religion took place within a sacred precinct that had been marked out ritually by an augur.

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Traditional Roman religion practice spurned the corpse as a ritual pollution; inscriptions noted the day of birth and duration of life.

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Roman religion commanders offered vows to be fulfilled after success in battle or siege; and further vows to expiate their failures.

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Roman religion camps followed a standard pattern for defense and religious ritual; in effect they were Rome in miniature.

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Roman religion was defeated, and on being bidden by the Senate to appoint a dictator, he appointed his messenger Glycias, as if again making a jest of his country's peril.

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Roman religion women were present at most festivals and cult observances.

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Roman religion was based on knowledge rather than faith, but superstitio was viewed as an "inappropriate desire for knowledge"; in effect, an abuse of religio.

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Rome's government, politics and Roman religion were dominated by an educated, male, landowning military aristocracy.

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Roman religion acquired or was granted an unprecedented number of Rome's major priesthoods, including that of pontifex maximus; as he invented none, he could claim them as traditional honours.

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Roman religion's reforms were represented as adaptive, restorative and regulatory, rather than innovative; most notably his elevation of the ancient Arvales, his timely promotion of the plebeian Compitalia shortly before his election and his patronage of the Vestals as a visible restoration of Roman morality.

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Roman religion Empire expanded to include different peoples and cultures; in principle, Rome followed the same inclusionist policies that had recognised Latin, Etruscan and other Italian peoples, cults and deities as Roman religion.

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Major cult centres to "non-Roman religion" deities continued to prosper: notable examples include the magnificent Alexandrian Serapium, the temple of Aesculapeus at Pergamum and Apollo's sacred wood at Antioch.

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Roman religion's cult had further precedents: popular, unofficial cult offered to powerful benefactors in Rome: the kingly, god-like honours granted a Roman general on the day of his triumph; and in the divine honours paid to Roman magnates in the Greek East from at least 195 BC.

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Roman religion was not a living divus but father of his country, its pontifex maximus and at least notionally, its leading Republican.

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Roman religion passed laws to protect Christians from persecution; he funded the building of churches, including Saint Peter's basilica.

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Roman religion summoned Christian bishops to a meeting, later known as the First Council of Nicaea, at which some 318 bishops debated and decided what was orthodox, and what was heresy.

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Roman religion proposed the rebuilding of Jerusalem's temple as an Imperial project and argued against the "irrational impieties" of Christian doctrine.

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Theodosius I briefly re-united the Empire: in 391 he officially adopted Nicene Christianity as the Imperial Roman religion and ended official support for all other creeds and cults.

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