Ancient Roman Religion

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Introduction The ancient Roman Empire was one of the single greatest empires of all time. What made them great was a combination of strategy, discipline, justice and religion. The ancient romans were one of the most sophisticated civilizations and like all other great empires; Rome had a strong belief system. They practised religious beliefs that involved multiple gods when the empire started off and slowly but surely converted to Christianity. Religion is still very important to the world has a whole today and does dictate people’s faith, morals and actions. This project will discuss the religion of the romans before Christianity came into play. The Romans Belief System How it all began It is rather well known that the ancient romans worshipped their own gods like Jupiter, Neptune, and Saturn etc. The romans usually told their historical they told their myths as actual historical facts, no matter the supernatural or unbelievable events that happened in the stories. The stories often dealt with problems or taught lessons. They were also the focus of religious beliefs most of the time. To find the actual roots of Roman religion is rather difficult because it is mostly based off ancient Greek religion and certain stories and beliefs that were circulating around the Italian peninsula at the time. But the Romans were adamant in identifying their own gods and culture, so they adapted the ancient Greek gods to suit their lifestyle slightly better. The very beginning all the roman stories was the tale of Romulus and Remus. They were the direct descendants of Aeneas the son of Venus, but their mother was a Vestal Virgin (a priestess who had to take the oath of chastise), and because it was obvious that she broke her oath when she gave... ... middle of paper ... ...m their religious festivals, sacrificing an animal happened quite often. The sacrifices aimed for the “harmonisation of the earthly divine” when the sacrifice happened during the daylight the animal also had to be the same gender as the god it was sacrificed to. So it was important that the doomed animal should be willing to offer up its life for the greater good of the community and not be fertile. To enable this, the animals was calmed and killed quickly and cleanly. During the day time sacrifices there was usually a grand banquet that followed after the sacrifice. A night time sacrifice was usually for the minor or “below” gods and it was a burnt offering which was normally a fertile animal. Ceres and other underworld goddesses of growth were sacrificed a pregnant animal. After the offering there was no banquet as “the living cannot share a meal with the dead."
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