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Lecture

CLA 310 L10.24

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Department
Classics
Course
CLA160H1
Professor
Susan Dunning
Semester
Fall

Description
CLA 310 Religion of Rome S. Dunning 10/24/12 **Essay proposal – due NEXT WEEK! - Not annotated bibliography - Topics can be changed before essay due date **Nov. 6, 1-2 pm – Museum trip **Wed., Dec. 19 7-10pm – F INALEXAM *Calendars may differ in minor details but in general they are all quite the same Gods and Humans in Roman Religion Group work - Readings - What do these passages reveal about what characterizes Roman gods, dei? - What do gods look like? What are their characters like? How do they act? what are their responsibilities? What makes them different from humans? How should humans act towards them? Where do they come from? 2.1 - Supernatural, i.e., not human - Human-like but animal like features sometimes present o Can transform (according to regional beliefs) o Similar to humans in appearance and personality - P.29, Christians ridiculing Roman deities about their appearances (forms and features) – looks down on them o To Romans, particular power, status s ymbolized by their forms and features – deemed as beauty - Gods take their orders from Jupiter – humans should too o Hierarchy in heaven and earth - Come from obscure origins – Aphrodite from sea foam 2.2 - Lares holds sacrificial items – no personal individuality (no personality) main purpose is protection o Human duty to worship - Augustine mocking pagan religion – superstitious people making show of worshipping deities of the moment (Augenblickgötter – gods of a blink of an eye) - Gender unknown but might still be ascribed personalities 2.8 - Humans  gods? - Livy used legendary, not historical sources o Debate - Skepticism about Romulus being deified so story of him being torn to pieces by senators circulated o Countered by mythical story of him being taken up by clouds to the gods  Taken by clouds favoured by gods  should be deified (justification) o Mythical story more popular because lower citizens have a small chance of hearing about the other story (illiteracy) o Message of deification changes according to who you are - Association with deified mortals – Commodus and Hercules o In literature, this kind of thing always ends badly for the imitator - Emulation of deities not equated with deification but it still depends on who’s looking o Emulating = being? / emulation vs. deification  E.g., if statue of mortal emulating a deity is found in temple, it would be viewed as a god – lesser deities in temple niches – emperor can put his statue beside them o Deification/ divine prestige by association? 2.7 - Magna Mater – different depictions - Black meteorite vs. woman in lion chariot o Romans wanted to show her in human form - Romans consulted the Sibylline books and the oracle at Delphi about bringing the foreign goddess to Rome - Failure to bring her in physically would mean that the goddess doesn’t want to move into Rome and is disappointed of their treatment – not death of the goddess - Meteorite = symbol of goddess’ presence o Refer to it as the goddess’ present o Romans not limited by physical boundaries of rock in their devotion to the goddess - Mater Magna put up with Victory in her temple because “personalities” will not clash – Victory an abstract goddess, will not compete with MM - Attis, MM’s consort, castration o Non-Greek tradition – priests of MM castrated - MM proved a Vestal Virgin Claudia’s chastity – saved goddess’ boat - MM as the Earth Deities: - Anthropomorphic, but more than humans - Concerned with justice, virtue – not subject to human laws (can break it) o I.e., they have their own brand of justice, their own laws - Distinct personalities VS abstract - Changeable, unpredictable moods – why auguries, auspices necessary - Interested with communication with people – but not bound to respond - Philosopher’s view = deities were once mortals with great achievements – worshipped by lesser people o Euhemeus (?) - Gods and kings in the Ancient Mediterranean o Divinely ordained monarchy o 3 c., AD, Sassanid Empire, Artaxerxes, receiving crown from the god Ahuramazda  Depicted as equals in stone reliefs – “god king” o Descendants of the sun-god o Alex the Great assimilated the Persian traditions when he conquered their territory  Intermarriages, Persian children raised as Macedonians, wearing regalia of Persian king, etc.  Hellenistic period = Persian influence on Greek traditions, customs o Hellenistic, Seleucid Empire, kings  Antiochus IV Epiphanes (epiphany– appearance of gods among humans; god- manifest)  Coin, king’s image on it (never been done before – used to be religious symbols or images of deities)  Bearer of Victory, god manifest – close communication with gods because he is one of them  Face on coin = hubris (according to Greek beliefs) o Cult of Hercules – Romans exposed to this early on (Greek origins)  Hercules killing Kakos (lit., bad guy) – deified after death (cremated) because he is favoured by the gods - Jupiter Indiges – deified Aeneas o Or Pater Indiges – Native Jupiter/Father o Coin minted by JCaesar o Aeneas died in a skirmish, body just disappears – deified? - Vedovius – deified Iulius o Little Jupiter / Anti Jupiter (?) o Minor cult o Tied with a particular clan (gens Iulii) o Ancestor of JCaes
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