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CLA 310 L10.31

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Susan Dunning

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CLA 310 – R ELIGIONROMAN W ORLD S. DUNNING 10/31/12 R ELIGION AMONG“OTHERS” IN THER OMAN W ORLD **Optional ROM tour 1-2pm – send email (RSVP) **Essays Cite material objects or monuments according to where you find the image; if not using an image in your essay, just mention the building by name and make its location clear Cite ancient authors according to out conventions: e.g., Livy 3.5.8-11 / Horace, Odes, 1.3.4-5 Cicero, De Legibus 2 “Let them approach the deities chastely, let them show piety, let them set aside their wealth … Let no one have gods of their own, neither new ones nor from abroad, unless introduced to Rome publicly; let their private worship be for those gods whose worship they have duly received from their fathers … Let them preserve the rituals of their families and of their fathers.” What is normative for Romans (regarding religion)? What is piety? - Opinion on good religious practice - Be respectful, show piety, don’t be materialistic - No personal gods, new or foreign, unless publicly introduced – private worship for gods of ancestors – preserve traditional, domestic ritual - Duoviri should have introduced deities first before one can worship them - Common people still worship foreign deities privately in places outside of Rome (e.g., Pompeii) o Rome’s commoners have a more diverse collection (pantheon) to choose from - Elite view of religion will differ from commoner’s view Magic - Persian ‘magi’ from Greek ‘mageia’ to Latin ‘magia’ (in religious studies) - English term problematic because European scholars contrasted “civilized religion” with “uncivilized magic” - Murmuring and nonsense language, solitary nocturnal performances, invocations of non- normative deities and spirits, attempt to control divine powers, anti-social intentions - Curses, love charms, fortune-telling, etc. - Doctors practicing sketchy medicine, practitioners of sorcery, “foreign” men begging for alms o Greek view of ‘magia’ o For people who acquire extra knowledge to control deities - Latin superstitio – applied to charms, hexes - Excessive attention to religion among its own citizens, Christianity and other foreign cults - Magic against Religion (Antiquity) - As opposed to the usual daytime ritual performance, clear and concise language, etc. of the normative system - Romans ok with divination and auguries - Fortune telling acceptable but later illegal How much is enough? - Pius = having right relationship with gods - Religiosus = paying a bit too much attention to the gods - Superstitiosus = paying overly excessive attention to the gods - But note the nouns: o Religio = right relationship with the gods VS. superstitio = excessive attention to the gods Magic in the twelve Tables: Table 8 - 1a. Whoever enchants by singing an evil incantation (Carmen) … - 1b. …if anyone sings or composes an incantation that dishonours or disgraces another … he shall suffer a capital penalty - 8a. Whoever enchants away crops … - 8bc. …nor shall one lure away another’s grain … - Hekate, associated with deities - Good magic won’t even be called superstitio but bad practice will be deemed magia o E.g., devoting self to the chthonic gods for bread - If practice works, then acceptable, but if it failed , would be an example of what not to do / not reported Defixiones - Type of tablet (lead, wood) - Record name of one they want to bind / control, written in clear, concise language - Tap into divine power – control, not asking for favour – mobilize supernatural power of deities, infernal beings, the dead - Curse tablets / figurines buried in the graves of the newly dead or the new violent / early dead – spirits might be vengeful and is still present – will take your order to the chthonic gods as messengers - Use for love, vengeance / justice, winning in competitions - Found in other locations: water, in target’s house, sanctuaries, stadia - Names are important – can control gods if they get it right Text 11.5 - Conjured / invoked chthonic gods with their proper names, premature dead, newly dead – demons = malevolent dead, malevolent supernatural beings - Asked them to help Antinous, spirit of the dead - Command them to plague every day the woman he loves – prevent her from eating or drinking until she comes to him - Mother’s name of both party mentioned to specify – make sure spirits don’t go after the wrong person with the same name - Binds spirits to him until they do his bidding (make her love him) - Violent imagery – gods as slaves, disrespectful towards them - Anti-social language - Threatened the deities with eternal binding - Curse tablet accompanied by “voodoo doll” of the woman - Apuleius, Cult of Isis - Legal repercussions if curse tablet is found and the conjurer identified – society does not condone magic when made public (must be kept private) Text 11.4 - Love magic involves gruesome ritual process including human sacrifice all for a charm - Physical attempts at controlling gods by getting ritual, ingredients correct VS. getting the spirits to do work for you - Human sacrifice not include in religio o Drastic – if god requires it, something wrong with the god o E.g., Achilles sacrificing Trojans to dead Patroclus (tomb mural) - Gladiatorial games - human sacrifice (Etruscan) o Shedding of blood = sacrifice to the chthonic gods o Adapted by the Romans for entertainment - Human sacrifice deemed barbaric – way to discredit a religious practice / group of people Text 6.6b - Sacrifice of 2 Greeks and 2 Gauls, 3x in Late Republic - Gaul invasion, 2 Vestal Virgin scandals - Done in consultation of the Sibylline books - 2 pairs of Greek-Gaul buried alive under the Forum Boarium - Omen of virgin struck by lightning led to the persecution of 3 Vestal Virgins – buried alive under the Campus Martius with food and drink (sanctus – can't kill them directly, but starvation works) o Such a strange event so more propitiation needed – hence the sacrifice - Not a case of human sacrifice but an offering because no killing or burning involved - Plutarch had no qualms calling them hypocrites Women and Religion - Often connected with worship of goddesses - Important for maintenance of family relations - Goddesses: Vesta, Bona Dea, Juno, Diana, Ceres, Cybele (Mater Magna) - Vestal Virgins, flaminica Dialis, priestesses of Isis and Mater Magna - Matron participated in sellisternia and other types of supplications; maidens in choirs - Minerva – goddess of arts, war, crafts and the state - Juno – marriag
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