preview

The Origins of Roman Religion and Its Progress

Powerful Essays
The Origins of Roman Religion and Its Progress

Introduction

============

Throughout the ages, beliefs have changed, advanced, and occasionally

begun. In the time of Ancient Rome, the people began observing one

religion; that which was similar to the Greeks; the pantheon. Through

the Roman Empire, the worship of twelve central deities was observed

carefully. The Romans themselves began all the beliefs contained

within the worship. This was of great importance to the Roman people,

and helped the empire to expand through its strong religious centre.

"The presence of the gods gives the past a certain dignity, and if any

nation deserves to be allowed to claim that its ancestors were gods,

that people is ours."

Livy

As can be seen, the strength of the Roman Empire may have had a great

deal to do with the belief that the emperors became deities once they

had died. This supported them, and strengthened their power, as will

be discussed later. The city of Rome itself was also built under

religious beliefs: Romulus and Remus, the sons of the god Mars and a

mortal (Rhea Silvia), had been suckled by wolves from birth.

Eventually they fought to the death of over who would take the seven

hills on which the foundations of the city were placed. Romulus won,

and built the city in his name. Aeneas, another half-mortal, built

even the predecessor of Rome. These myths supported the Roman religion

well, allowing the Roman citizens to give full beliefs to these gods

and goddesses.

[IMAGE]

It is likely that without the original religion in Rome, it would have

been far more difficult to build such an impressive empire. The n...

... middle of paper ...

...n their worship

for two reasons. One, as mentioned above, to ensure a safe life from

the wrath of the gods, and a healthy after life as well. Secondly,

because they wished to follow the laws of state, which dictated that

they should worship these gods. The majority of citizens would have

worshipped simply to ensure their own survival in an empire that

required its laws to be followed.

[IMAGE]

Mithras with stars beneath his cape

Bibliography

Websites:

· www.clubs.psu.edu/aegsa/rome/romec.html

· www.ghg.net/shetler/rome

· www.lamp.ac.uk/~noy/women.htm

· www.well.com/user/davidu/mithras.html

Books:

· These were the Romans by G. I. F. Tingay and J. Badcock

· Roman Society by David Taylor

· Cambridge Latin Course IIIB

· Religion and the Romans by Ken Dowden
Get Access