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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Religious Spaces and Objects in the Roman World

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CLA310 - Religion in the Roman World Wednesday Oct 3, 2012 Lecture 4 - Religious Spaces and Objects in the Roman World Midterm • 1 hour • Anything from reading and lectures • Sample midterm posted online, rubric to follow • Vocabulary identification, short answer, long answer (choice given), text analysis, image analy- sis (choice given) • 20% of final grade Research Essay • Topic of choice (some suggestions will be posted) • Research proposal due Oct. 31: research question, tentative thesis, 2-3 sentence summary of es- say, 8 items for bibliography (primary and secondary sources) • Final essay: 3,000-3,500 words (10-14 pages) • 10-12 items in bibliography (primary and secondary sources) • Format: 12-point font, double spaced, last name on each page, along with page numbers • Images can count as primary sources • Chicago style - use footnotes (but not picky) Recap • Communication with the gods • Sacrifices • Various kinds of religious performances • Major festivals • Lectestania - statues reclining on couch • “term” - statues on chairs • Bringing gods in your life • Make a meal for them • Take images, sit them down as a Roman would, and feasting them • Ludi (2 types) - Circus chariot race, animal hunts, other athletic events; theatrical events • Saturnalia - merry making, turning over traditional roles • Annual festival, part of calendar • Slaves would be served by masters • Sometimes festivals involve going against the grain • Other rituals: • Parilia - associated with purification • People burn sulfur • Origins from out in the country, asking protection for the sheep • October Horse (Equus October) Holocaust offering - when the whole body is burnt not just specific parts • • In this case it was a horse - unusual as they are not often offered • Horses not seen as food for the Romans • Perhaps thats why they burnt all? Offered to Mars, god of War • • Therefore associated with chthonic deities; associated with killing in slaughter CLA310 - Religion in the Roman World Wednesday Oct 3, 2012 Lecture 4 - Religious Spaces and Objects in the Roman World • Horse plays military role and linked with the deity • If you don’t eat sacrifice, you burnt whole thing Ludi Romani • • Earliest ludi • Ambarvalia • Arval brethren • Dea Dia associated with Ceres, who was honored at this festival • Compitalia • Lares Compitalis were minor deities; counterparts of household gods • They were out at crossroads and neighborhoods - sacrilizing entire areas of city • People might offer flowers • Gods are everywhere; even in rural area • Important to us as Augustus renames all of them - renames them LaresAugusti. Very important - self-promotion • Parentalia and Lemuria Ancestor worship • • The dead join the ancestors • “To the divine shades” • Lemuria associated with darker side of spirits - sometimes the people who die are not benevolent or good people and they will continue on as such • They were more spooky and ghost-like and had to be appeased Prayers • C. Alsfeld’s division of ancient prayers: • 1) Invocation (“calling upon”) - very important to get deities name right. Your prayers is a verbal message and it must reach right deity • Might want to flatter deity to get their attention • Flattering can be a mini offering and may be enough to win your case • 2) Explanation and justification - what are you asking for, and why are you justified? You need to make the deity realized their duty to you • • I.e., in the past I’d done such and such so you should hear me • If you don’t give explanation their help is uncertain • If your prayer is rejected it could be that your sacrifice wasn’t enough 3) Request • • May include praise of deity • May or may not be accompanied by material offering • May be formulaic or spontaneous As prayers are formulaic people could do it on either own - don’t need to constantly consult re- • ligious authority • But if your prayer doesn’t work you can seek religious counsel • Could have rhythm and be accompanied by music Hymns • Problem of distinguishing between hymns and prayers CLA310 - Religion in the Roman World Wednesday Oct 3, 2012 Lecture 4 - Religious Spaces and Objects in the Roman World • Metrical or rhythmic, accompanied by music • Offering of praise or thanks to a deity, but requests may be included Often, praise of god = thanksgiving (cf. Moussy) • • Emphasis on beauty of language and performance - > pleasure to deity • May be sung in procession • Very Greek practice, where procession includes singing accompanied by visual spectacle • Romans later adopted this in response to prodigies • Main difference between hymns and prayers: hymns are an offering in themselves • Why this distinction? • Distinction between secular and sacred language or formula? • Ahymn is for everyone, a poem is more difficult to understand? • Hymn sung by religious professionals, trained musicians, but the audience are not nec- essarily literary or musical and need to understand as they are also joining in worship • Public display, and therefore don’t want something to out there • Hymn might follow a structure somewhat similar to prayer, but without explanation and justifi- cation • May be proceeded by prayer, can’t assume the structure to be the same • Claude Moussy did whole examination of Roman concepts of thanking (either people or deities) • His studies reveal that thanking can be very religious Goes on to say that Romans have been criticized for not thanking the gods enough • • They did not have much of a concept of thanking, but Moussy argued that praise was an ex- pression of thanks • Did this study in relation to african tribes • “You made this possible” Austin: “Performative Utterances” • Some utterances are actions in themselves • Examples: • “I bet you five dollars” - your statement is the bet; you made the bet by forming your words • “Thank you for the book” • “You helped us win this game” (in a speech later) - praising and thanking • Praise can be thanksgiving • Praise is an action; hymns and prayers are a type of religious performance • Important conditions: the persons speaking the utterances must follow conventions of their so- ciety in the appropriate context correct and sincerely • I.e., if your society doesn’t have word for bet, your statement is not correct • I.e., if your society needs a secret handshake to make a bet and you don’t do it, then your words are null • I.e., if you aren’t sincere, then your words are null Captiui 922-927 • Hegio, the senex, rejoices that his son Philopolemus has been found safely: • He spontaneously offers up a prayer to Jupiter, and the other gods CLA310 - Religion in the Roman World Wednesday Oct 3, 2012 Lecture 4 - Religious Spaces and Objects in the Roman World • Lists; very structured even though on spur of the moment • He isn’t requesting anything - so is this a hymn instead? The context is a comedy, should be funny, but ends up more like a soap opera • Everything they say is in some kind of meter • Because it is comedy everything is accompanied by music • Kinds of directing the gods, but not exactly • Has solemn form of prayer • Show us that Roman religion isn’t always strict and formulaic • He isn’t formally offering to the gods • And while he prays he’s addressing other people • People don’t always pray according to strict rules Votive Offerings and Inscriptions • Inscriptions put up on temple for posterity • Image: slave girl votive • Gives words durability • Shows her continual thanks • Verbal offering remembered after long gone • If you read aloud, it repeats act of thankfulness Ludi Saeculares • Celebrated every 100-110 years • Every cyclum, every age • Saecular - centennial • Seem to be records of these games performed in republic, but only in fragments • Some people wonder if they were even called Ludi Saeculares in republic • In Campus Martes (outside Rome) there was an altar that got name tarentum and was dedicated to gods of underworld Hades and Persephone • They received black cattle holocaust • Various myths surround this ritual • Somehow connected with the Valerii family • Connected with the first counsul of rome, and instituted the ritual to save Romans from time of distress • Later sources are so much later that they all differ on the ritual story • This was a story that passed down in the whole clan of the Valerri • Somehow linked to public performance • Gentilian cult went public • First record in 249 when there is a time of distress in Rome The decumvuiri hold the Ludi Tarentini and offer the sacrifice mentioned above, with • games, and some other rituals • How does this relate to Ludi Saeculares? • Oracles say to repeat game in a hundred years • People think this should be repeated in the next hundred years, but it’s not • Augusts decides to hold games CLA310 - Religion in the Roman World Wednesday Oct 3, 2012 Lecture 4 - Religious
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