The origins of Roman religion were considered a family affair with the father, of the household being the priest of the family. Before the growth of Rome when most of the population resided on farms, the families would offer small amounts of grain or wine to the gods. On very special occasions a family may sacrifice an animal.
As the population and size of Rome continued to grow, rural areas declined. The religion developed by the rural communities was adopted and expanded by the Romans, “until every group, club, regiment, profession or organization had its own personal heavenly protector.” (Burrell, 64) Ceremonies developed by families before the expansion of Rome were taken over by the state and enlarged. As Rome became a republic, “kings of Rome were the first high priests, and the leading citizens took over their jobs” (Burrell, 64)
According to The Romans and Their World, the conquest of Italy brought more foreign gods that wer...
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...n benefit. The thing was that they were not killing animals for the gods they always expected something back in return. They were considered immoral because they only thought of themselves never actually sacrificed for the respect of the gods. In religion the point is to have god help you at all times while watching over you, the Romans did not think like that they believed that they should only worship god if they help them out in some way.
1. Adkins, Lesley, and Roy A. Adkins. "Sacrifice, ancient Roman." Dictionary of Roman
Religion. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 1996. Ancient and Medieval History
Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?
ItemID=WE49&iPin=RREL1183&SingleRecord=True (accessed December 9, 2009).
2. Burrell, R. E. C. The Romans and their World. Great Britain: A. Wheaton & Co., 1970.
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