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Ancient Roman Religion

Shannon Reid, Ashleigh Taranto, Bridget Hetherington: Religion in Ancient Rome

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Transcript of Ancient Roman Religion

Ancient Rome Religion in Beliefs in Deities and Spirits The Religion In ancient roman religion, there were 2 areas of worship: Public and Private.

Public: Public worship involved the formal state religion and the cult of the emperor. It ensured economic prosperity and success in war. The emperor was worshipped because he stood for the authority of Rome; loyalty to the Emperor meant loyalty to Rome

Private: Private worship took part within the home. The family gave offerings to:

- Janus, who guarded the entrance of the home against unwelcome intruders

- Vesta, who protected the hearth; a symbol of health and long life for all the family.

- The Lares, who guarded the family possessions, especially any land owned by the family.

- The Penetes, guardians of the food stores Early Roman religion was based on spirits. The Romans did not build great mythologies like the Greeks, rather they believed everything had a spirit. These spirits were thought to influence for good or evil, daily life. The Romans therefore had to keep them happy through worship and sacrifice. If the rituals and sacrifices were performed properly the Romans believed the gods would be happy and help them. Romans believed each God had a specific "field" of expertise. There was a god of the sun, Apollo, a god of the sea, a god of the sky and many others. As Roman life had many different aspects there were many different Gods. If a Roman wanted a good crop he would pray to Ceres, the goddess of agriculture. The most important of all the spirits was Vesta the goddess of the hearth and home and the center of Roman family life. Each household had a small shrine dedicated to the household spirits. The Romans were great copiers. They borrowed many of their gods from the Greeks, but unlike Greek gods, theirs did not have the same definitely conceived personality, they were more cold and formal. The Romans lived under the gods and constantly tried to please them. By Bridget Ashleigh & Shannon Myths and legends The ancient Romans used mythology as a combination of religion and stories and fables. For each significant event in their lives, a prayer or sacrifice was made to a specific god or goddess depending on the event. These events included birth, death, and the harvest, among others. There were religious rituals and festivals held throughout the year that often, but not always, had to do with the gods. For some people the festivals themselves were more important than the worshipping of the Olympian gods. Roman myths were not neccesarily regarded as fact, but more as stories with messages to live by. Charon and the River of Styx The River Styx is the entrance to the Underworld. The ferryman Charon transported the souls of the dead there. Admitttance to the Underworld depended on whether the person had received proper burial. In most cases a family member would shut the deceased's eyes while saying their name. The body would be washed and a coin placed underneath their tongue. This was to pay Charon who would let the soul get into his boat to cross the River Styx to the underworld. If a coin was not placed under the tongue, the dead would remain at the shores of the River Styx for 100 years.

Charon was always portrayed in paintings and pictures as an iratable and eerie old man with fiery red eyes. He was seen as the symbol of death, much like the grim reaper Pagan religions believed in many gods and generally worshipped the earth, sea, sun, sky and various other elements of nature. The Romans were polytheistic and much of their lives were spent in a fervent effort to please their gods. This was because ancient Romans believed that their gods had great influence over their daily lives and fates. In order to placate the gods, the Romans believed that certain rituals and rites must be performed in appreciation of the gods works. As the religion progressed, so too did the rituals, this made it necessary to form priesthood’s with specific rituals and traditions. In keeping with the Pagan tradition the Romans had a deep respect for the earth and her cycles. The ancient Roman religion is one of the better known pagan religions. The ancient Roman religion is one of the most well known pagan religions. It was worshipped not only by the Romans, but by the various communities which were absorbed into the Roman empire. These communities added to the state religion with their own specific beliefs until it was a truly diverse and all encompassing religion. Throughout the modern world, the ancient roman religion is known as one of the world’s first and most famous pagan religions. It is the Roman and the Greek religions which are the basic from modern pagans take their beliefs. Cupid and Psyche Here is a short video explaining the story of Cupid and Psyche. This story is a well known legend in Rome. a short video of
Homer at the River Styx Festivals Ludi

"Ludi Florales," began in April, it was really an ancient May Day celebration. Flora, the Roman goddess in whose honor the festival was held, was a goddess of flowers, which generally begin to bloom in the spring. The holiday for Flora (as officially determined by Julius Caesar when he fixed the Roman calendar) ran from April 27 to May 3. The Floralia festival
The Floralia festival began in Rome in 238 B.C., to please the goddess Flora into protecting the blossoms. The Ludi Florales included theatrical events, including mimes, naked actresses and prostitutes. In the Renaissance, some writers thought that Flora had been a human prostitute who was turned into a goddess. The celebration in honor of Flora included Florida wreaths worn in the hair much like modern participants in May Day celebrations. After the theatrical performances. The Saturnalia
Saturnalia is the feast at which the Romans commemorated the dedication of the temple of the god Saturn, which took place on December 17. Over the years, it expanded to encompass the whole week, up to December 24. The Saturnalia was a large and important public festival in Rome. It involved the conventional sacrifices, a couch set out in front of the temple of Saturn and the untying of the ropes that bound the statue of Saturn during the rest of the year Symbols Janus- the protector of the house Vesta
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