Roman Religion: A Short Introduction to Religion and Spirituality at Home and in the State from Roman Republic to Roman Empire, First Century BCE-CE

By Judy K. Deuling.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Although Rome was covered with marble temples by the end of the first century CE, temples were used for a range of activities beyond religious practice and cult, such as meetings of the Senate, for example. At home, however, the private household gods, the Lares and Penates, were paramount; they were included at every meal and revered at the beginning and end of each day. Under the emperor Augustus private cult became codified unofficially at state level as the emperor served as the Father of the Nation and Head of State. Moreover, after Augustus only the emperor and members of his family were allowed to lead armies, conduct sacrifices on behalf of the state and to hold a Triumph. The names ‘Caesar’ and ‘Augustus’ were titles and became part of the royal hierarchy of western Europe. Finally, slightly modified forms of Roman cult practices constituted the service in both the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches.

Keywords: Roman Religion, Lares and Penates, Caesar, Augustus, Roman Catholic, Anglican

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.195-204. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 724.157KB).

Dr. Judy K. Deuling

Senior Lecturer, Classics , School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

I teach and research Bronze Age Aegean Art and Archaeology as well as Etruscan and Roman Art and Architecture, along with Latin language and literature and occasionally Greek. I have delivered papers at conferences in New Zealand, Australia, North America and Europe, and have been involved for the January 2000 excavation season at the site of Ein Gedi in Israel. Additionally, I curate a small collection of Greek and Roman antiquities at Victoria University of Wellington, and I have curated small exhibitions at various points in my career, whether leather-bound books or Greek pottery. Currently I am working on several papers on the poetry of Catullus, invective in Cicero’s second Phillipic oration, and book publishing in the poets Martial and Catullus (for publication) as well as a book-length project on Vergil’s AENEID and the Monuments of Rome.