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Roman Omens

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Libby Tallberg

on 19 October 2012

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Transcript of Roman Omens

Roman Omens Omens and superstitions Roman people were very superstitious when it came to everyday life and experiences. The Romans lives were surrounded by their own fear and they always looked on the darker side of things. To Romans these superstitions were a perfectly natural part in the relationship between gods and men. If something were to happen that day that that seems like the gods were trying to connect with men, people would think twice about it. They would seek to read the future by examining the entrails of sacrificial animals, the liver was very important for that purpose. They would observe lighting and interpret its meanings. And they would try and put meaning to any unusual phenomena which occurred in their daily travels. For example many Romans wore amulets and lucky charms, to avert the 'evil eye' or ward of bad omens. Marriages were planned for certain days and certain months to prevent them from being overshadowed by a bad omen. In 114 BC something happened which was unpredictable to the superstitious Roman society. A vestal virgin was hit by lighting. No doubt it struck fear into the hearts of Romans that such a symbol of Roman spiritual life should be killed by the gods because of that persons actions. Omens were looked at as a deity's attempt to communicate with men; some of the most potent omens in Roman society occurred in the heavens: solar eclipses or comets racing across the night sky. Omens could be categorized as bad or good, it all depended on who was translating it. Bad dreams were considered extremely powerful omens and dreams were said to foretell your future. Omens effected Romans lives and what was thought about the everyday events that took place. Fate and the gods both influenced the lives of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Greeks and Romans believed that the gods could change the course of events that would happen in their lives, but could not change or alter a future event that was fated to happen. Because many things were fated to happen, the Romans placed much store in learning their future from seers and diviners. All of their beliefs derived from omens and superstitions. In Roman religious culture haruspices were people who were trained to use or practice different form of divination. Divination is the act of someone trying to gain insight on a question they had through certain rituals or procedures. Diviners would try to foresee or tell the future by looking at readings or signs or events that unfolded in peoples lives. Work Cited

"Roman Omens Showed the Will of the Gods." Roman Omens. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2012. <http://www.the-romans.eu/society/Roman-omens.php>.

"XXXXXXXXXXXXXX." XXXXXXXXXXXXXX. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2012. <http://www.the-romans.eu/diversen/Conditions.php>.

Zielke, Sheree. "The Role of Omens in Ancient Roman Literature." Helium. Helium, 13 Mar. 2007. Web. 13 Oct. 2012. <http://www.helium.com/items/332689-classical-lit-mythology>.
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