CLA160H1 Lecture Notes - Lustratio, Lightning, Dea Dia

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Published on 10 Oct 2012
School
UTSG
Department
Classics
Course
CLA160H1
Professor
CLA310 - Religion in the Roman World
Wednesday Sept 12, 2012
Lecture 1 - Religion in the Roman World
How Do We Define Religion?
Class discussion:
Personal vs institutional
Belief
System of ethics
Traditions
Ritual
Founder
Narrative to explain world
Communication to/with deity
Relationships with fellow human beings, not just gods
Belief in higher power that explains unknown
Attempting to explain life after death
Text
Very difficult to bring our ideas of religion and install them on ancient world
Romans did not have an authoritative text (like the Christian bible)
Oracles return the words of the gods to humans
Human relationships critical in Roman religion
In Rome, religion is a determining factor in politics
Religion + politics are inseparable
The place where the senate met was considered a temple
Roman religion has a lot of different stories like a patchwork, and sometimes they clash
Some religion can trace back to a founder, this is not always so in Roman religion
No original founder, but might have founder of rituals, or a narrative of a group or person bring-
ing religion
Senate often passed decrees to allow a cult for the benefits of the polis
Personal, belief and systems of ethics (listed above) is a sticky issue for Roman religion
Sacrifice tied in with communication with gods
Days that were sacred to gods could be days on which there could be no trade; where a good of-
fering to the gods who are untroubled by human conditions, and emotions, could be to take a break
and live in leisure for the day
Non-material offerings
Roman’s borrowed religions from Greeks and Etruscans
Very synchronistic
Myths of Rome
Every single aspect of Roman religion borrowed except for animistic spirits of nature
Traditional Roman religion was austere, static and in public space
Common people had no personal connection and did not believe in their gods - only concerned
with action and turned to ‘Mystery Cults’
Incredibly tolerant of any religion, so long as they worshipped the emperor
These arguments can run counter to the evidence that survives
Where and why were these myths created?
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Document Summary

Some religion can trace back to a founder, this is not always so in roman religion ing religion. Senate often passed decrees to allow a cult for the benefits of the polis. Personal, belief and systems of ethics (listed above) is a sticky issue for roman religion. Into the middle ages people stopped thinking on roman religion. Pattern between sacrifice and gender (female animals for female deities, vice versa) - higher sta- tus, e. g. , pater, allowed for a different sacrifice. Why expiatory rite: communication with dea dia, at the beginning we"re given precise information (date, where, who, brothers are in a grove of dea dia, they make sacrifice because the trees were struck and injured by non-human sources. Lecture 1 - religion in the roman world. Was the iron unclean": lustratio - purify, cleaning, removing stain, etc. Involves people going around perimeter: roman religion very interested in space, redefined a particular area.

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