CC 265: ROMAN RELIGIONS
The Romans lived in a world full of gods; religion affected every part of Roman life, from politics to warfare to entertainment. Christianity took shape within this world, and Roman religion, especially the mystery cults, has often been regarded as a model for the early church. Yet the Roman concept of 'religion' has very little in common with modern, Judeo-Christian-influenced notions. In this class we will explore the theory and practice of religion in the ancient Roman world, as reflected in ancient literary texts, as well as in epigraphic and archaeological evidence. Themes include the nature of Roman worship, from state cult to magic and mysteries, the interplay between religion and politics, and the development of Christianity in its pagan context.