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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 - Individuals and Religion

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CLA310 - Religion in the Roman World Wednesday Oct 17, 2012 Lecture 6 - Individuals and Religion P.2; Roman Religion in the Public Sphere House Shrines • Household gods give evidence that there are lots of gods - not just the household Lares and the Pantheon • In the same house you may have Lararium and a shrine to a different deities (average number being 5) • Wouldn’t represent the entire pantheon • Sometimes numbers are bigger as you’re a non-Roman worshipping ancestral gods Not all lararium have lares • • Individual families have gods based on their families relationships with the gods, the whole neighborhood would then represent whole pantheon • Certain times you would choose to venerate one god over the other • When the Gauls sacked rome on 90 BC the Romans voluntarily leaved the city so the story is that they take the important things of the city, including their ancestral gods • Shrines can include paintings and statues, or both • The more lavish the shrine doesn’t indicate anything; even the wealthy didn’t alter much • Lararium is a modern term, they would have just called them shrines **GRAPH** • • Much choice of deities • Have typical traditional pantheon who are important in civic sphere, but notice they are not the most important • Hercules, Fortuna-Isis and Isis are popular • Gods come from all over the place House Tombs • Would have public festival celebrating the dead - Vestal Virgins as the mother of Rome do a public version of a private ritual at the tombs • Also have private celebrations - banquets with libations to the dead St.Augustine Quotes Seneca the Younger • What kinds of religious activities does Seneca record being performed on the Capitoline? Who is performing them? Amadman, unless with the purposes of mockery • • Women dressing the statues “hair”, special attendants (e.g., to oil them) performing poetry and the like, hanging around thinking the gods are in love with them, etc • What is Seneca’s responds to this behavior? Why does he respond this way? • Can go mad once a year, but not constantly • “the wise man will observe all these customs as being fixed by law, not as being acceptable to the gods” • The law allows it, but the gods don’t necessarily condone it • What do these behaviors reveal about the attitudes of “Average” Romans toward religion? Thought the gods were personal, and enjoyed human things • • What does St.Augustine conclude about Roman religious practices from Seneca’s account? • Conformity in the action while having no religious commitment CLA310 - Religion in the Roman World Wednesday Oct 17, 2012 Lecture 6 - Individuals and Religion P.2; Roman Religion in the Public Sphere Roman Priesthoods • Pontifices Pontifex maximus • • Leader of the college • The college chooses who gets this role (starting in 3rd century) • NOT like the pope - he is the guy that makes sure everything is running smoothly, more like a department administrator. Not in charge or an authority figure • Augustus took this when the last guy died, but this role does not give him authority to make religious changes • By 16 BC he was appointed to all mahor religious positions in Rome • Vestal Virgins 6 in total, chosen from elite families as young girls • • Make mola salsa • Wore clothing of married women • Free to own properties Don’t serve for life, but most do • • Associated with vestal virgins and rex sacrorum • Experts n pontifical law, which tells you how to appease and keep the gods happy • Supervise calendar creation and burials • Just don’t piss the gods off • Oversee different kinds of family rituals and keep public records (pontifical records) • Rex sacrorum and flamines • Flamines dedicated to specific deity (but can have several diff types of Flamines) • Different taboos • Nobody wants this job • Can’t be away from his bed or wife more than 2 days in a row (can’t travel) • Means you can’t have military career • Can’t be naked under the open sky • Have to live in city of Rome • Born from parents who are married Cum Mado (the woman becomes property of the hus- band) Sinu Mano (remain in family of the father) • The Rex Sacrorum has an interesting history: takes over the duties of the kings If you are the Rex you can’t hold political office as the Romans don’t like the title King • • Early on the Rex would have been the symbolic head of Roman religion but this gets taken over by the Pontifex Maximus (but this is speculated) • Rex Sacrorum has to be married, his wife (Regina Juno who has duties to Juno), if she dies, he has to leave office Augeures • • Advise magistrates on watching signs in the sky from gods • All abou
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