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WotWotius

Traditional Roman Religion

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I've started to write an essay on the imprtance of traditional Roman relgion and am find it hard.

Do you have any pionters about what i have done so far...

 

 

How useful is the archaeological evidence in assessing the importance of traditional Roman religion in the city during the period 33BC-117AD?

Religion has always played a major role in all of the great civilisations; whether you are looking at a small Roman shrine, or a great Aztec temple, you will always find that religion has great. In this essay I will be looking at just how important traditional Roman religion to her citizens, and whether the remaining Roman religious buildings show this. So, what exactly did the Romans believe in?

Rome

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i spend as much time as I can searching for Roman artefacts, big or small , to record in some way-the one constant occurence throughout my visits to museums and preserved sites is the relentless solemnity of the dedication of altars to presiding deities. The soldiery constantly express themselves in tersely worded altar dedications, to a catholic range of deities, with a historical continuity in remote and obscure sites. These men are drawn from all over the Empire, Illyria, Sarmatia, Africa and Gaul yet the sheer weight of the finds is quite breathtaking to me. One thing that strikes me is that the Auxiliary Regiments are proud to show they are become citizens, yet they are in no way ashamed to honour deities specific to themselves.

 

excellent post WW , I hope this kicks some debate off

Edited by Pertinax

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Good work, though you might think of rearranging the beginning where you say that Roman polytheism was "based" on the Greek pantheon. Perhaps "Similar to" or "Influenced By" would be more appropriate.

 

As Pertinax said, the true scope of how obviously important religion was to the individual is attested in all the civic and domestic finds around the Empire.

 

However, since your essay asked about the city itself, the fact that most civic buildings were some sort of religious sanctuary is of course a dead giveaway.

 

May I suggest this as a wonderful guide if you don't already know of it: Topography of Ancient Rome

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The Pantheon still exists and there are temples around Naples that are mostly intact. Some may have originally been Greek, but the Romans used them. There is a church in Rome, San Clemente, which is situated on the foundation of a temple and still has some of the temple left. This can be seen easily. I am sure that this is the case throughout the empire and all can give clues as to the temples at Rome. I saw an altar to Mithras in an otherwise Roman god's temple. The altar was mostly complete. It may have been in San Clemente.

Then there is the evidence of coins.

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