Roman Religion

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The History and Evolution of Roman Religion

The History and Evolution of Roman Religion


Beliefs of early Romans do not limit to the idea of a single and powerful god. Rather they have religion of their own which has its roots in the various traditions, rituals, superstitions and omens of the societies that existed at that time (Barrow, 1990).

Due to the impact of a mixture of fragmented and fabricated rituals, which were part of the Roman Religion, the religion has lost its spiritual element. Rather, it has become a contract between the powerful sources which they believe possess the authority to control separate aspects of human lives.

As a result, the spiritual practice has become more of a binding custom on a national level. A state cult used to control the religious activities of the state and managed to have a religious influence on the political and military activities of the state. Not only this, the head of the family was responsible to perform all the rituals in the same way as they are celebrated in public ceremonies.

However, with the passage of time, the perspectives of people changed. As they become more and more educated and informed, many of the people changed their religion in the first century AD. They started following and practicing the cults of East and Greek mysteries.

Evolution of roman religion

The history of Roman religion dates back to 800 BC, when Rome was founded. However, the origin of Roman religion during the Roman Republic and the early Roman Empires dates back to 500 BC. During the initial Period, Roman Republic closely linked with Greek Culture, and they adopted some of the Greek Religious beliefs. Romans believed in the gods that came from Proto-Indo-European pantheon and Greek Religion. However, the most important Gods for them were Jupiter and Mars, which are known as “the King God” and “the God of war”, respectively. On the whole, the religion primarily focused on private and home-based worship only. The houses were the temples of gods in which they made an “altar”, which was used to offer prayer and perform rites. Moreover, they have also used altar to interact with their gods.

Apart from this, Romans did accept many new gods and goddess due to cultural influence into their religion. Religious traditions such as Cynicism and Stoicism were also accepted due to close links with the Greek Colonies of Southern Italy. Some of their gods come ...
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