Roman State Religion

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  • The Romans respected a variaty of beings whilst promoting the worship of Jupiter and other main gods: Juno, Mars, Veus, Ceres, Apollo, Diana and Minerva.
  • The ceremonies and rituals were organised by colleges of priests and other religious officials, many of them senators, and the festivals and sacrifices were carried out on behalf of the state.
  • Emperors always held teh position of Pontifex Maximus (Chief Priest).
  • Whilst watching a ceremony, everyone had to stand still/silent; if a single word wasn't pronounced correctly the ceremony had to start again.
  • Noises and cries were thought to be unlucky for rituals so pipe-players were employed to drown it out.
  • People kept little statues in honour of their gods.
  • The Pontifex Maximus would carry out sacrifices.
  • The religious community and the Roman community were connected.
  • In the family, the paterfamilias (the man of the house) regularly prayed to their favourite god/goddess.
  • The Roman Forum was as much a religious place as a social place.
  • Laraium - shrine to household gods.
  • If you were a wealthy, deceased, citizen you would be carried throughout the city/town, as a funeral rite.
  • At the west end of the Forum was a temple for Jupiter Optimus Maximus - where the Emperor prayed to the gods for Rome's continuity and Consuls took their oaths.
  • Inside the Temple of Vesta was the Sacred Fire and the Vestal Virgins - selected from a young age, looked after it.
  • The Temple of Vesta was close to the centre of Rome because it represented unity within the community.
  • The Temple of Julius Caesar; emperors were worshipped after death so that people respected the imperial role.
  • To sympolise a temple was the home of a god, a 'cult statue' of…


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