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CLA 310 L11.28

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University of Toronto St. George
Susan Dunning

CLA310 – Religion in the Roman World S. Dunning 11/28/12 R ELIGION THROUGLITERATURE ANDPHILOSOPHY Con’t of HRISTIANITlecture - Christian catacombs o Christianity – undercover, superstitious religion until it became official o Private context – initial gathering places  No equivalent of synagogues or temples o Place of worship? catacombs (burial grounds) o Located outside of pomerium o Columbarium – crematorium (places for cremated people) o Done by Jews since before Empire – copied by Christians  Sarcophagus – multiple stacked up in one niche for a family / community  Varying quality and design o Jewish catacombs has Jewish symbols o Christian catacombs has holy people – bible figures in murals especially Jews, saints, Old/New Testaments o Serve as places of worship – secret - 3 c. AD – persecution o Catacombs used as a last resort places during persecution – times of crisis - Relics o Great emphasis on bodies - give respect o Extreme funeral arrangements taken along the Mediterranean cultures - Christian belief of bodily resurrection, holiness of life embodied – touching lets transference to occur - Christian retain individuality after death – can ask holy aid from these individuals (saints) - Houses can be made into Churches o Baptismal fonts (Duras Europus) o Christian community prominent enough to warrant renovation of house to accommodate worship - Christian basilicas o Permanent buildings for large gatherings for the Eucharist o Architecture taken from the Roman public buildings – basilica – secular building for Rome  Public space, not considered sanctus o Why? No associations with anything pagan (e.g., Roman temple) - Santa Sedina – one of the oldest basilicas (6 c.) - Hagia Sophia , Byzantium – Constantine o Was a church, then now a mosque o Christian frescoes painted over by the Muslims o Rounded arches derived from basilicas architecture, vaulted ceilings as well – basilica Christianized o Closest Roman association – Pantheon Literary and Philosophy sources - Express elite views, attitudes and experiences - Emphasis on theories and abstract concepts – fate, fortune, evil, virtue - Sense of disillusionment with religion because they are educated OR they want to really make sense of it o Create coherent, rational system to deal with religious aspects - Kinds of question – critique theories, abstract concepts – what are they? How do they relate to our experience - Criticize the public experience of religion o Pity ignorance of masses o Or advocate change to way things done / foreign cults o Uphold or reject traditional religion - Allegorizing might be present o Labelling of atheists – simply those who don’t worship god(s) o Be careful in usage / reading o People spiteful for being labelled thus - Questions, criticize practices of the “masses” Allegory - Traditional story have hidden meaning - characters, objects have symbolic meanings, are symbols - Often attempt to present a coherent or rationalized picture of religious beliefs and practices, and their histories - Plato’s allegory of the cave o Create their own allegory or use old stories - Shouldn’t read everything – or be aware – of reading at face value o Determine whether the author meant the story to be read as is or as a stand-in for a special meaning - Vergil, Georgics – reading o Lots of inferences from so little material o G. Martin (1938) “The Roman Hymn”  Vergil never identified the rude banter as Fescennines  Used carmina lacta as a subgenre of hymns • Not Roman notion (no evidence it is so)  Method of transmittance through ages (oral) and the method of communication (meter – free trochaic rhythm) not mentioned by Vergil and not proven by Martin - Vergil, Aeneid o Arrival in Italy by the Trojans, meet up with Evander, king of the Latins o What this ritual is, find other rituals, practices  Ritual feast for Hercules – salvation from Cacus, a monster who stole cattle from the Latin people, accorded honours by the Pinarian house - altar, libation, prayers, dressed in pelts with torches, hair wreaths  Sound like the Bacchanalia – nocturnal festivities o Salii, dancing priests o Echoes Homer’s epics – Odyssey – Polyphemus as well as Minotaur story (?) - Hercules killed the local monster Cacus o Awarded with local cult - Hero cult praising his deeds not his personal godliness o Deified mortal – but the cult established while he was alive - Hercules prominent local deity – August refurbished temple of Hercules (F. Boarium) o Oldest standing temple in Rome o Gentilician priesthood – Pinarii, Potitii (Livy) o Man killed, censor blinded when they tried to privatized the public cult of Hercules - Tries to make sense of conflicting ideas o Hercules cult public in Vergil’s time, private before? - Other religious practices o Libations, songs, dance, procession, feast, wreaths and garlands o Salii take part, hymn carmen saliare – very antiquated o However in the story, king is Greek  Version where the giant is killed is Geryon (cattle herder) – done near Italy (island) o Cacus = lit., bad guy o Root the cult of Hercules in Rome  Place is important for Romans – religious performances connected to the area o Make it clear that Hercules came there  Romanized though Greek in origin - Being comfortable with foreign origins of their Roman religion (aspects of it) – heavily influenced o Reconcile notion that their religion is “borrowed” - Augustus’ imperial cult – subtle metaphor (hero cult) o Also J. Caesar having flamines - Bacchic lots of drinking, nocturnal festivities, dancing - No women – ok with mixing of ages, classes as long as it’s all men – what made this acceptable to the Romans, Hercules cult - Clarify with Aeneas that cult not superstitio Ovid - Mater Magna, Vestal Virgin Claudia Quinta led ship of Mater Magna to the shore, believed she was favoured and thus chaste – has not broken vow of chastity (was suspected before the boat incident) – relate
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