October 17 th
Lecture 6 [lecture 5 notes after midterm in notebook]
Private and Public Religion in Rome
Questions from Last Class
To what extent is “domestic” and “civic” religion separate?
What are the characteristics of religious practices, beliefs, and feelings among the
“common people” of Rome?
What did the Romans believe constituted pietas?
To what extent could Romans exercise choice in their religious practices?
Household Gods at Pompeii
Dioscrurus, Jupiter, Fortuna-Isis
Genius, Dioscurus, Fortuna-Isis
may have lots of different shrines in your house – average statuenumber per house in
Pompeii is 5
Mercury, Hercules, Venus, Minerva, all very common household gods
there were certain times when you honoured one god or another – everyone had certain
relationships with certain gods
[graph] – typical gods (Jupiter, Juno, Minerva), and then more specific gods, but they
weren’t overly popular (Fortuna Isis and Isis)
Household Shrines at Pompeii
two statues found in-situ (rare)
pg 103 in textbook – paintings on back of wall;
House Tombs, Isola Sacra
tombs where there were public festivals for commemoration for the dead
Vestal Virgins mothers of Rome, so they do the public version of the private ritual
St. Augustine quotes Seneca the Younger (BNP #9.5d)
What kinds of religious activities does Seneca record being performed on the Capitoline?
Who is performing them?
performers, lively and public, lots going on
just average people are performing them
What is Seneca’s response to this behaviour? Why does he respond this way?
acknowledges strangeness of actions, but we understand it so it’s okay
offensive behaviour – he thinks they’re crazy, at least they only do it once a year
What do these behaviours reveal about the attitude of “average” Romans towards
What does Augustine conclude about Roman religious practice from Seneca’s account?
Pontifices (pontifex maximus & vestal virgins) Rex sacrorum and flamines
; most have their own stories and