A Companion to Roman Religion by Jörg Rüpke

By Jörg Rüpke

A finished remedy of the numerous symbols and associations of Roman faith, this spouse locations a number of the spiritual symbols, discourses, and practices, together with Judaism and Christianity, right into a better framework to bare the sprawling panorama of the Roman faith.

  • An cutting edge creation to Roman faith
  • Approaches the sector with a spotlight at the human-figures rather than the gods
  • Analyzes spiritual alterations from the 8th century BC to the fourth century advert
  • Offers the 1st historical past of spiritual motifs on cash and household/everyday utensils
  • Presents Roman faith inside of its cultural, social, and historic contexts

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ACTC01 24/04/2007 04:48PM Page 2 2 Jörg Rüpke “Rome,” the name of the city, finally, is merely a cipher for the Roman empire. In the long process of its expansion and working, the religious practices of the center were exported, in particular the cult of the living or dead emperors and the cult of the dominating institutions, the “goddess Rome” (dea Roma) or the “Genius of the senate” (Genius senatus). This was part of the representation of Roman power to its subjects (see chapter 22), but at the same time it offered space for the activities of non-Roman local elites to get in touch with the provincial and central authorities and to distinguish themselves from their fellow-citizens (chapter 23).

These are helpful as appealing to common sense, but ahistorical if applied as a system. What is described as “Roman religion” in this book is of an astonishing variety. Various are the phenomena, from Mithraic caves to hilltop Capitolia, from the offering of paid services by divinatory specialists (harioli) to colleges of freedmen whose members met on a monthly basis. Various are the social functions, from the pater familias who led the sacrifice to his own Genius, and thus underlined his position as head of the family, to neo-Pythagorean convictions that informed the preparation of one’s own burial and offered the prospect of a post-mortal existence.

Thus Roman Catholic rituals, relying on ritual efficacy (ex opere operato), became meaningless. 8). ” But the way was clear for a further development, which reached an apex in the early eighteenth century (J. Smith 1990) and actually led to an interest in Roman religion per se. Conyers Middleton produced in 1729 a treatise which went off at least like a firecracker if not a bombshell: A Letter from Rome, Shewing an Exact Conformity between Popery and Paganism; Or, The Religion of the Present Romans derived from that of their Heathen Ancestors.

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