Romans Honor New Religion,
Still Skeptical on Others

The side of an altar to Venus and Mars featuring Romulus, Remus, and several gods that represent Roman topography.
A map of the Ancient Roman Empire

By Genevieve Chiappetta

Ancient Rome, 523 B.C.E - Conquering another enemy, the Romans honor yet another religion. They not only promote the Greek beliefs, but also nod to Egyptian worship.  Despite the newest addition, the Christians and Jews still remain skeptical in the eyes of Rome.  

The Romans were skeptical of worship that seemed to threaten the state.  The Christians, with  secret ceremonies and peculiar preeching, fit this position perfectly.  They were thought to be dangerous and sometimes cannibals.  Forbidden from cemeteries, they were forced to bury their dead in catacombs.   A christian believer said, "For Christians, Romans are very straightforward.  They see something mysterious and immediately categorize it as treacherous.  We are no different than them, we just have our own opinions on the world."  

The Jews were also seen as dangerous and untrustworthy.  The Roman citizens  didn't understand that Judaism forbade worship of other gods.  Despite the tension between Romans, Jews and Christians, the Romans accepted the Greek religion and worship easily.  

Both Roman and Greek gods were very similar, appearing as large human-like figures with unworldly powers.  Roman families tried to make relations with gods or spirits that were most connected with to the family.  All individuals of Rome contributed to the peace and content of the gods.  In the household, the eldest male  was responsible for correct worship rites, but most worshiped at the local temple.  

Overall, proper worship rites and cooperation between beliefs led to big success for Rome.       

For more information on Ancient Roman Religion, visit http://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/empire/religion.html

 

Ask Olympus

A fresco outside Pompeii

My husband recently died and I have no son to carry on my husband's job.  Who will take over the worshiping?

I would switch to worshiping at your local temple during the same times you did before your husband passed away.  If they have no services, join another relative.  If these still don't work, pray to Venus that love will come your way and to Juno for the well being of your family.

My cow hasn't given a drop of milk in days! What am I to do?

Make sure that you are feeding it regularly and switch its water source frequently.  Also make sure its habitat is clean as well.

My vineyards are dying. I have tried everything and they are still wilted!

Consider watering  them less or more (depending on how much you water them) and fertilize them often.  Try praying to Bacchus for healthy grapes and Ceres for rich, plentiful soil.

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