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A Critical History of Early RomeFrom Prehistory to the First Punic War$
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Gary Forsythe and John Connelly

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520226517

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520226517.001.0001

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Archaic Roman Religion

Archaic Roman Religion

(p.125) Chapter 5 Archaic Roman Religion
A Critical History of Early Rome

Gary Forsythe

University of California Press

This chapter discusses early Roman religion. Rome's religious history can serve as a useful model in suggesting how Rome's cultural development occurred within a larger Italian context. Some important Roman divinities are also presented. Rome's official religious calendar contains festivals of many other divinities, and a survey of the more important ones can further illustrate early Roman beliefs and concerns. The language of sacrifice and prayer provides interesting clues to the way the early Romans viewed the nature of the gods. It is suggested that the early Romans thought sacrifice was essential in order to provide the deities with or to compensate them for the energy necessary to accomplish a petitioner's request. Additional evidence demonstrates that in public rites Roman priests were accustomed to invoke specific attributes of deities.

Keywords:   Roman religion, Rome, Roman divinities, religious calendar, sacrifice, prayer, Roman priests

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