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Ancient Rome: Religion, Death and Burial

Ancient Roman religion, death and burial.

Jeanette Lloyd

on 26 August 2010

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Transcript of Ancient Rome: Religion, Death and Burial

Patron god of mischief, theives,
merchant, travellers
and roman diety of wind.
Jupiter asks him to deliver dreams or take
care of certain humans.
Escorted souls to Pluto and as that character he was named Psychopompus.
Also believed to have been mischevious
to gods.
Depicted often wearing sheppards coat, winged hat and winged shoes.

God of SUN and PROPHECY.
Also light,Music, Archery, Healing (taught men medicine), Truth (never lied).
Job: Harness his chariot with four horses and drive sun across sky daily.
Goddess of Agriculture, grain, corn, crops, initiation, civilisation, lawgiver and love mother has for child.
Eternal mother, sorrow mother, grain mother. (Artemis)
Goddess of MOON and HUNTING.
Also fertility, nature, childbirth, wildwood, forests, animals, mountains, woods and women.
She was a triple goddess, lunar virgin-mother of creatures and the huntress/destroyer.
Represented as huntress with bow, arrow and dog or stag. (Hera)
Queen of gods, Jupiters wife, goddess of finance.
Job: protector of Roman state, guardian of Empire's finances and considered patron goddess of all Rome. Protector and gurardian spirit of females. (Zeus)
Refered to as Jupiter Optimus Maximus (Jupiter Greatest and best)
Ruler of all gods.
God of sky, lightning and thunder. Patron god of Rome.
Job:Protector of Roman state and its laws.
God of WAR.
Also spring, growth in nature, agriculture, terror, anger, revenge, courage and fertility.
Job: Protector of cattle.
Father of Rome, due to being father to Romulus and Remus (founder of Rome).
Regarded as important. (Athena)
Goddess of WISDOM- learning, arts, science, medicine, dyeing, trade, poetry, warriors and war. Inventor of music.
Job: Protector of industry, education and commerce.
Depicted wearing coat of mail, helmet and holding a spear. (Poseidon)
God of SEA and freshwater. Patron god of horses and horse racing, known as Neptune Equester.
Trident is his attribute. PLUTO (Hades)
God of UNDERWORLD. Originally Plutus god of giver gold, silver and subterranean substances. Associated with mining-physical underworldthen then spirtiual underworld and death.
NOT evil.
VESTA (Hestia)
Goddess of HEARTH-fire and home.
Very popular in Rome, due to the fact that the hearth was one of the most important places in the home. Flame stayed alight at all times. Very spiritual.
Job: Protector of bakers.
God of forge -fire, blacksmiths, craftsmanship and volcanoes. Created weapons and armor for gods and hereos.
His forge is located beneath mt Etna.
Goddess of LOVE and BEAUTY. Originally of vegetation, gardens and vineyards. (Dionysus)
God of WINE and inspired madness. Patron god of agriculture and theatre. Represents intoxicating power of wine and its social and beneficial influences.
Known as Liberator, freeing people from themselves through madness, wine or ectasy.
Influenced theatre.
Promised rebirth to followers.
Job: To bring end to care and worry. The GODS and GODDESSES. After Death ~ UNDERWORLD - -Spirit left body and joins the rest of the spirits known as 'manes'
-Met by Mercury and taken to river Styx, that flowed nine times around underworld.
-Paid Charon fee to cross river.
-Met by Minos, Aenaeus and Rhadymanthas to be Judged.
-No eternal damnation.
-Either Fields Elysium-warriors or hero, or plain of Asphodel-ordinary citizen. If commtted crime - Tartarus where tortured by furies until debt paid in full to society.
-All areas of underworld ruled by Pluto -Greek influence, as well as many other cultures.
-Polytheistic: worshiped many gods.
-Gods/goddesses controlled every
aspect of life. Large amount of time spend worshipping and pleasing the gods.
-Roman dieties considered superhuman and immortal.
-Each god had day, holiday day. They were worshiped at their temple and offered animal sacrifices.
-Gods can curse.

Temples -Temples buildings triangular roofs, supported by great pillars. Steps led to door way behind pillars. Statue of god in a room called a 'cella'. Altar where priest and priestesses made offerings to the gods.
-Admission fee had to be paid
-Home of Gods. Each god had their own temple., where people would make offerings and ask for help.
-Priests selected by public.

-Influenced by Greece 12 main gods/goddesses.
-Depicted in human form STATE GODS -Some emperors were thought of as gods after their death and were worshipped.
-Other gods/godesses such as Isis (egyptian) were also worshiped. -Early deaths common:
Disease, due to poor diets, lack medical care and hard living conditions.
-Death a big issue.
-Believed in close connection with dead and living. If a fit burial wasnt taken out, the person's spirit would haunt the family.
-Believed in afterlife.
-Preferred by many, until inhumation was practiced.
-Body was burnt on its pyre ( a pile of which the body is laid on) at the family burial spot.
-Close family member lit the torch and offerings of garmets and spices were thrown on the pyre.
-Ashes were then cooled with wine, gathered and placed in an urn, which was then placed in a tomb.
Pantheon 43.3 metres diameter. Largest until 20th century. Home of ALL gods.
Family gods/spirits ~ LARES & PENATES -Lares , considered spirits of the dead, protect family's house and farmland. Blessed household and made the crops fertile. Each household had own guardian known as Lar familiaris, to protect household and make sure family line didnt die out.
-Lares placed in atrium (main room) or the peryistylium ( a small open court of the house).
-Lare familiaris (guardian of family), Lar Domestici (guardian of house).
-Each morning, family made offerings to an image of Lar Familiaris.
-Both worshipped in small sanctuaies or shrines known as lararium.
-Christianity & Judaism from Palestine in 1ST Century and banned.
-Persecuted because they refused to worship emperor and Roman gods. Believed in only one god, going against belief of Roman government.
-Rumours of sexual depravity, cannibalism, child sacrifice etc had influenced the executions.
-Colosseum, and possibly circuses, held Christian executions and martyrdoms
-Thousands forced to fight against wild animals in amphitheatres,
'being covered in animal skins and torn to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses and set alight when evening came'. -TACITUS
-Continued for 2 centuries
-Christians continued practicing their religion underground secretly in the 'Catacombs'.

-Emperor chief priest 'Pontifex Maximus' - chief bridge builder
-Personal sacrifice Hostia or Victimia
-How much depends on favour
-Animal depends on god/goddess
-Offerings ~ from coins, brooches, silver statues, food, drinks and burned incense.
- Public crier shouting ''hoc age'' would lead public from work to ritual
-Cheif priest/individual funding the service would lead, dressed in pure white.
-Animal dressed ~ gold on horns (if any), frill colar and crown of leaves from tree/plant associated with diety.
-Officer of procession shouts ''favite linguis'' to inform everyone to be silent.
-Piper plays throughtout ceremony, to drown out negative noise
-Priest places hand on altar and prays to god in question
-'Immolatio' ceremonial killing of beast begins.

-Cemeteries located outside Rome's city-limits, beyond the Pomerium, due to hygiene. Rich families had their burials closer to the gate into the city.
-Was duty of family, particularl head of household to organise funeral.
-Believed in close connection with dead and living. If a burial wasnt taken out properly, then the person's spirit would haunt the family.
-Required offerings for the afterlife.
-Coin was placed in the mouth of the dead, so they could pay the charon to cross the river Styx. (This custom came from Greece) Other important gods include: PENATES
-Guardian gods of family's storehouse, protected welfare of household. Evolved into household dieties. Taken out at meal time and placed on the table. People burnt food, incent and candles before statuettes.
-Each household had their own god. Kept household intact.
-Shrines within the home were used to worship Lares and Penates, lead by paterfamilias. Statuettes and pictures represented them. LARES -When someone was close to death, they was laid on the bare earth and his last breath was caught with a kiss by a close relative.
-The body's eyes would be closed and the family would mourn the death with wailing and lamentations (dramatic way of expressing grief).
-Conclamation, the practice od loudly calling the name of the dead man by name to recall the dead or reawaken the body's powers, then took place. When there was no response, the body would be called 'conclamation', meaning 'beyond recall'. -Body then prepared for burial, some taken out by the 'libitinarii'.
-The body was: Washed with warm water, anointed with oils, embalmed and dressed with the finest clothing according to their rank. For example, a man wgi help a job in public office would be dressed in a toga praetexta. -Body then placed on funeral couch in the atrium, with feet facing the door. Lamps and candles were burnt around the corpse, which was covered with garlands (string of flowers) and wreaths of flowers.
-The fire in the hearth was then put out, and a bough of cypress or pine was hung above the door to represent mourning as well as impurity.
-The length of time that a corpse was put on display depended on their social statues. If they were an emperor, they were displayed for 7 days, before being buried.
-Famous men were given a state funeral, known as a 'pompa'.
-Poor people and children were buried quickly at night-time, at Esquiline Hill. They were put in pits and didnt have a ceremony. -Some men of the same profession joined funeral clubs, known as 'collegia funeraticia' to ensure that their members recieved a decent burial. -Dancers, clowns and mummers, who mimicked and made fun of the dead, were hired.
-Those who held public office were entitled to have their funeral passed through the Forum abd halt at the Rostra, where a speech or panegyric was delivered by a close friend or family member. This was known as the 'laudatio funebris'. - Large stone sarcophagi replaced urns.
-On tombs, the name of the person, their career and achievements were written on the tombs. Age of death, and if a soldier -their ranking, was also listed on the tombs walls.
-Tombs were decorated with statues, effifigies and reliefs.
-Tombs might be made for whole families, the remains placed in seperate urns and placed in holes in the walls called niches. -Family remained in a state of impurity, until the burial had taken place. Sacrifices to the lares were made to purify the house.
-The period of mourning finished after 9 days and ended with offerings of food and wine in the tomb. SIBYLLINE BOOKS -A collection of oracles, believed to have been brought to Rome in the time of the kings.
-A group consisting of 15 priests, known as the 'quindecemviri, had the responsibility of looking after them.
-The senate would consalt these books for guidance if something bad or unusual happened. -Sprinkle cereal, scents mixed with salt on animal. Priest sips wine from cup and gives it to everyone - libatio. Last of wine is poured between animal's horns. Hairs taken and casted into sacred fire. Line is traced from head to tail on animal and is handed over to ''victimarii'' to be killed.
-Animal killed, skinned, opened up and washed so Aruspices could make predicitions. Then butchered, parts preserved for gods, rest cooked and eaten by attendants.
-Law was passed in the first BCE that prohibited human sacrifices.
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