Roman polytheism was the religion of the Etruscans, Romans, and most of their subjects. Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple Gods (usually assembled in a pantheon) together with associated Mythology and Rituals The Romans originally followed a rural animistic tradition, in which many spirits were each responsible for specific, limited aspects of the cosmos and human activities, such as ploughing. Ancient Rome was a Civilization that grew out of a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 10th century BC Animism (from Latin anima ( Soul, Life) commonly refers to a religious belief that Souls or Spirits exist in Animals The English word " spirit " comes from the Latin " spiritus " (breath
The early Romans referred to these as numina. Numen ("presence" plural numina) is a Latin term for the power of either a deity or a spirit that is present in places and objects in the Another aspect of this animistic belief was ancestor, or genius, worship, with each family honoring their own dead by their own rites. In Roman mythology, every man had a genius and every woman a juno ( Juno was also the name of the queen of the gods Rome had a strong belief in gods. Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2 When they took over Greece, they inherited the Greek gods but fused them with their Roman counterparts.
Based heavily in Greek and Etruscan mythology, Roman religion came to encompass and absorb hundreds of other religions, developing a rich and complex mythology. Interpretatio graeca is a Latin term for the common tendency of Ancient Greek writers to equate foreign divinities to members of their own pantheon Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the ancient Greeks concerning their gods and Heroes the nature of the world and the origins and significance The Etruscans were a people of unknown origin living in Northern Italy, who were eventually integrated into Roman culture and politically became part of the Roman Republic Roman mythology, or more appropriately Latin mythology, refers to the mythological beliefs of the Italic people inhabiting the region of Latium and its In addition, an Imperial cult supplemented the pantheon with Julius Caesar and some of the emperors. The Imperial cult in Ancient Rome was the worship of a few select emperors as gods once they were deceased the only emperor to
Eventually, Christianity came to replace the older pantheon as the state religion of Rome, and the original Roman religion faded, though many aspects of its hierarchy remain ingrained in Christian ritual and in Western traditions. Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or Creed officially The term Western world, the West or the Occident ( Latin: occidens -sunset -west as distinct from the Orient) can have multiple meanings
Under the Empire, religion in Rome evolved in many ways. The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial Numerous foreign cults grew popular, such as the worship of the Egyptian Isis and the Persian Mithras. Isis is a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs and is celebrated in their mythology as the ideal mother and wife patron of nature and magic friend of slaves sinners The Persian Empire was a series of Iranian empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau, the original Persian homeland and beyond in Western Asia The Mithraic Mysteries or Mysteries of Mithras (also Mithraism) was a Roman mystery religion which became popular among the military in the late The importance of the imperial cult grew steadily, reaching its peak during the Crisis of the Third Century. Crisis of the Third Century (or "Military Anarchy" or "Imperial Crisis" was the crumbling and near collapse of the Roman Empire between 235 Also, Christianity began to spread in the Empire, gaining momentum in the second century. Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings Despite persecutions, it steadily gained converts. It became an officially supported religion in the Roman state under Constantine I. Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (27 February ca. 272 &ndash 22 May 337 commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or Saint Constantine All cults except Christianity were prohibited in 391 by an edict of Emperor Theodosius I. Events By Place Roman Empire All non- Christian temples in the Empire are closed as Theodosius establishes Christianity Flavius Theodosius (January 11 347 – January 17 395 also called Theodosius I and Theodosius the Great ( Greek: Θεοδόσιος Α΄ However, even in the fourth and fifth century Roman paganism kept its vitality. Temples were still frequently visited, ancient beliefs and practices continued. Fanum At the temples Romans prayed and made Ritual Worship Offerings of a small gift or Animal sacrifices to their Roman
The divinity of the emperor and the cult surrounding him were a very important part of religion in the Roman Empire. The Imperial cult in Ancient Rome was the worship of a few select emperors as gods once they were deceased the only emperor to The Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period (starting at about 27 BC In an effort to enhance political loyalty among the populace, they called subjects to participate in the cult and revere the emperors as gods. The emperors Augustus, Claudius, Vespasian, and Titus were deified; after the reign of Marcus Cocceius Nerva, few emperors failed to receive this distinction. Augustus ( Latin: IMPERATOR·CAESAR·DIVI·FILIVS·AVGVSTVS September 23 63 BC – August 19 AD 14) born Gaius Octavius Thurinus, was Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus or Claudius I ( August 1, 10 BC &ndash October 13, AD 54 ( Tiberius Claudius Drusus from birth to Titus Flavius Vespasianus, commonly known as Vespasian ( November 17 9 &ndash June 23 79) was a Roman Emperor who Titus Flavius Vespasianus, commonly known as Titus ( December 30 39 &ndash September 13 81) was a Roman Emperor who Marcus Cocceius Nerva was also the name of a Roman emperor NERVA is an acronym for Nuclear Engine for Rocket
The Roman religion in the empire tended more and more to center on the imperial house. Especially in the eastern half of the empire imperial cults grew very popular, and the cult complex became one of the focal points of life in the Roman cities. A polis ( πόλις, pronunciation, in English-- plural poleis ( πόλεις, pronunciation, in English --is a City, a As such it was one of the major agents of romanization. Romanization may also refer to linguistics see Romanization. Romanization was a gradual process of Cultural assimilation, in which The central elements of the cult complex were next to a temple; a theatre or amphitheatre for gladiator displays and other games and a public bath complex. The Roman theatre is a theatre building built by the Romans for watching theatrical performances. An amphitheatre (alternatively amphitheater) is an open-air venue for spectator sports concerts rallies or theatrical performances This page is on buildings used for Roman bathing For the activity in general see Ancient Roman bathing. Sometimes the imperial cult was added to the cults of an existing temple or celebrated in a special hall in the bath complex.
Evidence for the importance of the imperial cult include the "Achievements of the Divine Augustus" (Res Gestae Divi Augusti), written upon two large bronze pillars once located in Rome, Roman coins where the Emperor is portrayed with a halo or nimbus, and temple inscriptions such as "Divine Augustus Caesar, son of a god, imperator of land and sea. . . " (Roman Temple Inscription in Myra, Lycia). Myra is an ancient town in Lycia, where the small town of Kale ( Demre) is situated today in present day Antalya Province of Turkey "Sidyma" redirects here For the Moth Genus named thus see Sidyma (moth.
As the Roman Empire expanded, and included people from a variety of cultures, more and more gods were incorporated into the Roman religion. The legions brought home cults originating from Egypt, Britain, Iberia, Germany, India and Persia. The cults of Cybele, Isis, Mithras, and Sol Invictus were particularly important. Originally a Hittite and Phrygian Goddess, Cybele (Κυβέλη was a deification of the Earth Mother and was worshipped in Isis is a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs and is celebrated in their mythology as the ideal mother and wife patron of nature and magic friend of slaves sinners The Mithraic Mysteries or Mysteries of Mithras (also Mithraism) was a Roman mystery religion which became popular among the military in the late Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun" or more fully Deus Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun God" was the late Roman state Sun god. Some of those were initiatory religions of intense personal significance, similar to Christianity in those respects.
St. Peter and St. Paul introduced Christianity to the Romans, after Jesus was believed to have died sometime between c. Paul the apostle (שאול התרסי Šaʾul HaTarsi, meaning " Saul of Tarsus " Σαούλ Saul and Σαῦλος Saulos and 30-33 AD.  Christian missionaries traveled across the empire, steadily winning converts and establishing Christian communities. After the Great Fire of Rome in July 64, Emperor Nero (56-68) accused the Christians as convenient scapegoats who were later persecuted and martyred. According to the historian Tacitus, the Great Fire of Rome started on the night of 18 July in the year AD 64, among the shops clustered around the Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus ( December 15, 37 – June 9, 68) born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, also called The persecution of Christians refers to the Religious persecution of Christians both historically and in the current era From that point on, Roman official policy towards Christianity tended towards persecution. The Roman authorities suspected Christians of disloyalty to the Emperor and of committing various crimes against humanity and nature. Persecution recurred especially at times of civic tensions and reach their worst under Diocletian (284 to 305). Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus ( ca. December 22 244 The modern historian Timothy Barnes takes December 22 as his birthdate Constantine I (324-337) ended the persecutions by establishing religious freedom through the Edict of Milan in 313. Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (27 February ca. 272 &ndash 22 May 337 commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or Saint Constantine Events By Place Roman Empire July 3 — Battle of Adrianople: Constantine I defeats Licinius, forcing him Events By Place Roman Empire September 9 — Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans succeed their The Edict of Milan was a letter signed by emperors Constantine and Licinius, that proclaimed Religious toleration in the Roman Empire. He later convened the historic First Council of Nicaea in 325, a year after ending the civil war of 324 and emerging as the victor in the war of succession. The First Council of Nicaea, held in Nicaea in Bithynia (present-day İznik in Turkey) convoked by the Roman Emperor Constantine This First Council of Nicaea was formed to oppose Arius who had challenged the deity of Jesus Christ. Arius ( AD ca 250 or 256 - 336 was a Christian priest from Alexandria Egypt in the early fourth century whose teachings now called Arianism Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC / BCE —26–36 AD / CE) The result was the branding of Arianism as a heresy. Arianism is the theological teaching of Arius (c AD 250-336 who was ruled a heretic by the Christian church at the Council of Nicea. Christianity, as opposed to other religious groups, became the official state religion of the Roman empire on February 27, 380 through an edict issued by Emperor Theodosius I in Thessalonica and published in Constantinople. Events 1560 - The Treaty of Berwick, which would expel the French from Scotland, is signed by England and the Congregation Flavius Theodosius (January 11 347 – January 17 395 also called Theodosius I and Theodosius the Great ( Greek: Θεοδόσιος Α΄ All cults, save Christianity, were prohibited in 391 by another edict of Theodosius I. Events By Place Roman Empire All non- Christian temples in the Empire are closed as Theodosius establishes Christianity Destruction of temples began immediately. When the Western Roman Empire ended with the abdication of Emperor Romulus Augustus in 476, Christianity survived it, with the Bishop of Rome as the dominant religious figure, but see also Pentarchy. Romulus Augustus (c 461/463 &ndash after 476 sometimes known as Romulus Augustulus ( Little Augustus) was the last Western Roman Emperor reigning from The Bishop of Rome is the bishop of the Holy See, more often referred to in the Catholic tradition as the Pope. Pentarchy is a Greek -derived word meaning "rule by five"
When Constantine became the sole Roman Emperor in 324, Christianity became the leading religion of the empire. As the Roman Republic, and later the Roman empire, expanded it came to include people from a variety of cultures and religions The Hellenistic religion at the time of the Constantinian shift consisted mainly of three main currents Hellenic Polytheism, Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (27 February ca. 272 &ndash 22 May 337 commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or Saint Constantine The Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period (starting at about 27 BC Events By Place Roman Empire July 3 — Battle of Adrianople: Constantine I defeats Licinius, forcing him After the death of Constantine in 337, two of his sons, Constantius II and Constans took over the leadership of the empire. Events By Place Roman Empire September 9 — Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans succeed their Flavius Iulius Constantius, known in English as Constantius II ( 7 August, 317 - November 3, 361) was a Roman Emperor Flavius Julius Constans (320-350 was a Roman Emperor who ruled from 337 to 350 Constans, ruler of the western provinces, was, like his father, a Christian. In 341, he decreed that all pre-Christian Graeco Roman worship and sacrifice should cease; warning those who still persisted in practicing ancient Graeco-Roman polytheism with the threat of the death penalty. Events By Place Roman Empire Emperor Constans bans pagan sacrifices and magic rituals under penalty of death Capital punishment, the death penalty or execution, is the Killing of a person by judicial process as Punishment.
Lay Christians took advantage of new anti-Graeco-Roman polytheism laws by destroying and plundering the temples. Temples that survived were converted into Christian churches: the Pantheon is the most notable example, having once been a temple to all the gods and later becoming a church in honor of all the saints. Many of the buildings in the Roman Forum were similarly converted, preserving the structures if not their original intent.
Later on, the emperor Julian the Apostate attempted to reverse the process of Christianization and bring back the native forms of polytheism, but his death in Persia caused the empire to once again fall under the power of Christian control, this time permanently. Flavius Claudius Julianus, known also as Julian or Julian the Apostate (331 or 332 to 26 June 363) was Roman Emperor (Caesar
The distinctions among philosophy, religion, cult and superstition that would be made by an educated Roman of the 1st century BC can be read in Lucretius, a philosopher following Epicurus. The 1st century BC started the first day of 100 BC and ended the last day of 1 BC. Titus Lucretius Carus (ca 99 BC- ca 55 BC was a Roman Poet and Philosopher. Most educated Romans were Stoic in the outlook on life. Stoicism, a school of Hellenistic philosophy, was founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early third century BC The transference of the anthropomorphic qualities of Greek gods to Roman ones, and perhaps even more, the prevalence of Greek philosophy among well-educated Romans, brought about an increasing neglect of the old rites, and in the 1st century BC the religious importance of the old priestly offices declined rapidly, though their civic importance remained. The 1st century BC started the first day of 100 BC and ended the last day of 1 BC. Many men whose patrician birth called them to these duties had no belief in the rites, except perhaps as a political necessity. Nevertheless, the positions of pontifex maximus and augur remained coveted political posts. Julius Caesar used his election to the position of pontifex maximus to influence the membership of the priestly groups.
Before the rise of Christianity in most cults orthopraxy (doing the right things), was more important than orthodoxy (believing the right things). Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical Philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD founded by Orthopraxy is a term derived from Greek (grc ὀρθοπραξις meaning "correct action/activity" and is a religion that places emphasis on conduct both The word orthodox, from Greek orthodoxos "having the right opinion" from orthos ("right true straight" + doxa ("opinion This is the case in Roman religion too. Daily life was impregnated with religious practice.
The Roman religious calendar reflected Rome's hospitality to the cults and deities of conquered territories. The Roman calendar changed its form several times in the time between the foundation of Rome and the fall of the Roman Empire. The Roman calendar changed its form several times in the time between the foundation of Rome and the fall of the Roman Empire. Roman religious festivals known from ancient times were few in number. Roman holidays generally were celebrated to worship and celebrate a certain god or mythological occurrence and consisted of religious observances various festival traditions and usually Some of the oldest, however, survived to the very end of the pagan empire, preserving the memory of the fertility and propitiatory rites of a primitive agricultural people. New festivals were introduced, however, to mark the naturalization of new gods. So many festivals were adopted eventually that the work days on the calendar were outnumbered. Among the more important of the Roman religious festivals were the Saturnalia, the Lupercalia, the Equiria, and the Secular games. Saturnalia is the feast with which the Romans commemorated the dedication of the temple of the god Saturn For the saint by the name 'Lupercus' see Marcellus of Tangier. The Equirria (Festival of Mars - held on February 27, First Equirria and March 14, Second Equirria were holy days with religious and military significance The Secular Games ( Latin Ludi Saeculares, originally Ludi Terentini) were a religious celebration involving Sacrifices and theatrical
Under the empire, the Saturnalia were celebrated for seven days, from December 17 to December 23, during the period in which the winter solstice occurred. Saturnalia is the feast with which the Romans commemorated the dedication of the temple of the god Saturn Events 546 - Gothic War (535–554: The Ostrogoths of King Totila Events 962 - Byzantine-Arab Wars: Under the future Emperor Nicephorus Phocas, Byzantine troops stormed the city All business was suspended, slaves were given temporary freedom, gifts were exchanged, and merriment prevailed. The Lupercalia was an ancient festival originally honoring Lupercus, a pastoral god of the Italians. For the saint by the name 'Lupercus' see Marcellus of Tangier. The festival was celebrated on February 15 at the cave of the Lupercal on the Palatine Hill, where the legendary founders of Rome, the twins Romulus and Remus, were supposed to have been nursed by a wolf. Events 590 - Khosrau II is crowned as king of Persia 1637 - Ferdinand III becomes Holy Roman Emperor The Palatine Hill ( Latin: Collis Palatium or Mons Palatinus) is the centermost of the Seven Hills of Rome Romulus (c 771 BC– c 717 BC and Remus (c 771 BC–c 753 BC are the traditional founders of Rome, appearing in Roman mythology Romulus (c 771 BC– c 717 BC and Remus (c 771 BC–c 753 BC are the traditional founders of Rome, appearing in Roman mythology Among the Roman legends connected with them is that of Faustulus, a shepherd who was supposed to have discovered the twins in the wolf's den and to have taken them to his home, in which they were brought up by his wife, Acca Larentia. See founding of Rome. The founding of Rome is reported by many legends which in recent times are beginning to be supplemented by more scientific reconstructions
The Equiria, a festival in honor of Mars, was celebrated on February 27 and March 14, traditionally the time of year when new military campaigns were prepared. The Equirria (Festival of Mars - held on February 27, First Equirria and March 14, Second Equirria were holy days with religious and military significance Events 1560 - The Treaty of Berwick, which would expel the French from Scotland, is signed by England and the Congregation Events 1489 - The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice. Horse races in the Campus Martius notably marked the celebration.
The Secular games, which included both athletic spectacles and sacrifices, were held at irregular intervals, traditionally once only in about every century, to mark the beginning of a new saeculum, or "era". The Secular Games ( Latin Ludi Saeculares, originally Ludi Terentini) were a religious celebration involving Sacrifices and theatrical They were supposed to be held when the last person who had witnessed the previous Secular games died, marking the beginning of a new era. The tradition, often neglected, was revived as a spectacle by Augustus and honoured by the poet Horace with a series of odes. Augustus ( Latin: IMPERATOR·CAESAR·DIVI·FILIVS·AVGVSTVS September 23 63 BC – August 19 AD 14) born Gaius Octavius Thurinus, was Quintus Horatius Flaccus, ( Venosa, December 8, 65 BC - Rome, November 27, 8 BC known in the English-speaking world as Horace