Roman Religion

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  • Roman Religion
    • Daily Life
      • Family Life
      • Rites of Passage
        • Birth, coming of age, marriage & death
      • Festivals
        • Regular all year round
    • Differences to Modern Religion
      • Afterlife was no paradise
        • Underworld ruled by Pluto, souls were pale shadows of their former selves. Those that led wicked lives lived in endless torment like Sisyphus and Tantalus, hero’s lived in the Elysian fields. 
        • It was the present day life that mattered.
      • No desire to convert others
        • Natative gods were merged with Roman gods such as  Sulis Minerva Br/Roman goddess of healing.
        • Mainly tolerant attitude to other religions Believed many worshiped the same gods but under a different name. 
          • Judaism & Christianity clashed with Roman Religion because they insisted on their one god.
        • Romans expected everyone in the Empire to worship their gods (& others if they wished) for fear of angering them.
      • No scripture or moral code
        • Follow the right rituals & winning the gods favour to get them on your side. The romans used laws like the 12 tables as behavioural codes or philosophies like the Stoics or Epicureans.
    • Orginis
      • Polytheistic meaning many gods
      • Present everywhere in nature; woods, groves, springs & rivers. 
      • Romans had a close relationships with particular god e.g. farmers with Ceres, sailors with Neptune.
      • Anthropomop-hic, took human forms
      • Romans adopted many of the Etruscan religious practices, some gods (Jupiter, Mars & Minerva} style of temples & the belief of divination or haruspicy (predicting the future).
      • Influenced by the Greeks
    • Relationship between God and Man
      • Gods had to be honoured, 
        • Blood sacrifice – offerings of animal sacrifice.
      • Centre of State/government; politicians & generals would not make a key decision without consulting the gods
      •  Priests were appointed specifically to ensure Rome had the gods favour before going to war.


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