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Archaeology of Religion 11.docx

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Mount Allison University
CLAS 2531
Illaria Battiloro

Problems in Approaching Roman Religion  more than other religions, the study of Roman religion has been affected by a variety of influences o myths from Western culture, especially from Germany o it is a logical fallacy to try to find the pure state of Roman religion  Christianity, in particular, has often provided the measure by which it has been judged  the fact that it was under the Roman Empire that Christianity developed seemed to justify the generally disparaging judgment passed on traditional ritualistic polytheism o during the first few centuries CE, the Christians were persecuted (sometimes more than others) o Nero scapegoated the Christians for the great fire of Rome, killed a lot of them o 312- Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, normalized it and did not persecute them anymore  it was argued that Roman religion would have been founded upon an extremely popular piety, that was ready to show itself again as soon as a "true" religion appeared on the scene Roman Religion  does not have revelation or dogma- central requirement is orthopraxy  ritualistic religion, strictly traditionalist
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