- Human beings are made up of two parts: the body and the spirit
- Retain an active interest in society.
- Could be appeased with offerings in order to keep them on 'your side'
- Belief in ancestral spirits provides a strong sense of continuity
Definition (1-2 marks): Worship of dead, may be special to the community
Link to the period (1 mark): Roman – worship of dead ancestors in the family home.
Named site (1 mark): Lararium in the House of Vettii, Pompeii
Specific evidence (1 mark): The lararium in the house of Vettii imitates the form of a temple. Columns support a pediment, and frame a central painting. Two dancing Lares (guardians of the family who protect it from external threats) hold raised drinking horns. They are positioned at either side of the Genius (who represents the spirit of the male head of the household who is dressed in a toga and making a sacrifice. Beneath them is a serpent. Snakes are often depicted in Larariums, and were considered guardian spirits of the family.
- Animals, plants, springs, mountains, other natural features and people may all have their own individual spirits
- Many people who believe in animism regard themselves as part of nature rather than being separated from it.
Definition (1-2 marks): the belief in the spiritual properties of natural phenomena e.g. rocks, rivers etc. - also the presence of a deity
Link to the period (1 mark): Water as part of Roman ritual
Named site (1 mark): Nymphaeum at Carrawburgh
Specific evidence (1 mark): Well is linked to water deities, specifically Coventina. Votive offerings would be made to Coventina who was classed as a guardian of well.
Art & Iconography
- The system of using symbolic pictures, images, or figures to represent a subject or theme
Definition (1-2 marks): Study of meaning behind images - used of images in scared places to communicate elements of faith
Link to the period (1 mark): Roman - depictions of deities and rituals (wide range)
Named site (1 mark): Mithraeum at Carrawburgh
Specific evidence (1 mark): Tauroctony - Mithras slaying the divine bull and releasing light and life into the earth
- Occurs in a number of different chronological stages
- The body is burnt and the spirit is released, then a secondary ceremony takes place where the ash is buried.
Definition (1-2 marks): Ritual burning of a deceased body - funerary/burial ritual
Link to the period (1 mark): Main of burial during the early Roman period
Named site (1 mark): Verulamium cemetery
Specific evidence (1 mark): "Bustum" cremations - pit into which burnt remains fell and the remains of feasts added
- exposing the body for scavengers and the decay process to clean the flesh from the bones.
- knife marks on the bones may suggest that flesh was removed to free the soul to journey to the ancestors or the underworld.
Definition (1-2 marks): Leaving a body to become de-fleshed - either through natural processes or deliberate - an act of purification which allows the soul to escape
Link to the period (1 mark): Long burrows in the neolithic
Named site (1 mark): West Kennet long burrow, Wiltshire
Specific evidence (1 mark): Evidence of rituals in the front of the long burrow - removal of bones - disarticulated remains of 46 individuals. When a person died their body would be left on an altar. When the excarnation was complete and the flesh had rotten away, finger bones and toe bones would fall through the gaps in the woven structure or fall off the side. When a site with lots of small bones are found, it is likely to be the site of excarnation.
Focus of Attention
- building, statue or natural feature which focuses the attention of a worshipper as a place to which to address his/her gaze, prayers or offerings.
Definition (1-2 marks): A feature which worship is directed towards - something that changes the focus of someone's worship
Link to the period (1 mark): Happened all through the Roman period - temple complexes with alters and public worship
Named site (1 mark): Coventina's well
Specific evidence (1 mark): The altars in front of the cella
- Any religious activity that is related to the disposal of the body after death. This may be to do with the physical treatment of the body and its preparation or furnishing it with items for the afterlife or also communal activities involving offerings, song, music and prayers.
Definition (1-2 marks): Acts/rites of passage to mark the life a deceased individual
Link to the period (1 mark): Ancient Egyptian - Mummification
Named site (1 mark): Tutankhamun's tomb
Specific evidence (1 mark): Egyptians believed that when someone died, their bodies had to be preserved so that they could use them in the afterlife. Body was washed and purified, organs were removed and placed in canopic jars (only the heart remained) body filled with stuffing, body dried with natron, wrapped in linen with amulets placed inbetween linen to protect the body in its journey to the underworld. tomb walls painted with images of the dead persons life, grave goods placed in tomb for afterlife journey
- Goods buried with the bodies to take to the afterlife
Definition (1-2 marks): Artefacts deposited into grave with body - symbolic value
Link to the period (1 mark): Part of Roman contractual relationship decline with introduction of Christianity
Named site (1 mark): Lady of Spitalfields
Specific evidence (1 mark): Jet box and glass flasks found in coffin
- deliberate setting of the dead outside the land of the living
- roman inhumations were outside the walls of the fort/town
Definition (1-2 marks): Burial of a body in the ground
Link to the period (1 mark): More common in the late Roman period - Christianity
Named site (1 mark): Lady of Spitalfields
Specific evidence (1 mark): Stone Sarcophagus and lead coffin with scallop shell design (paganistic) but with arms crossed (christian)
- a boundary, space or time which is between two worlds
- between land and water or living and the dead
- dangerous and usually marked by ritual
Definition (1-2 marks): The movement between the scared and the everyday
Link to the period (1 mark): Roman - Temenos wall act as liminal boundary at temples
Named site (1 mark): Temple of Claudius, Colchester
Specific evidence (1 mark): Temenos wall as a boundary zone around the temple
- can be linked to animatism.
- The belief that an individual can alter events via potion, spells or chants.
Definition (1-2 marks): The belief that an individual can alter events via potion, spells or chants.
Link to the period (1 mark): Palaeolithic
Named site (1 mark): Lascaux
Specific evidence (1 mark): cave paintings interpreted as hunting magic (sympathetic magic) , drawn to bring prey to the hunters.
The belief that an individual can alter events via potion, spells or chants.