What's the Deal with the Roman Gods? | Summary and Q&A

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April 29, 2022
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What's the Deal with the Roman Gods?

TL;DR

The Roman religion, influenced by Greek and Etruscan cultures, seamlessly incorporated foreign gods and rituals, resulting in a flexible and multicultural religious system.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did the influence of Greek and Etruscan cultures shape the Roman religion?

Greek and Etruscan cultures exerted a great influence on Roman religion, affecting the choice of gods, rituals, and even myths. Concepts of worship and theology were borrowed from these cultures.

Q: How did the Romans incorporate foreign gods into their religious practices?

The Romans believed in "genius loci," recognizing a god for each place. They accepted local gods and incorporated them into their pantheon, adapting their worship and rituals accordingly.

Q: Were foreign gods always seamlessly incorporated into the Roman religion?

While most foreign gods were accepted and integrated without conflict, some tensions and clashes arose. The example of Egyptian gods rebelling against Roman rule on religious grounds illustrates instances of strained relations.

Q: How did the worship of emperors become integral to Roman religion?

Emperor worship emerged as the Roman Empire expanded, with emperors being deified upon their deaths. The worship of the living emperor and his family showed loyalty to Rome and increased the emperor's power.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The Roman religion was heavily influenced by Greek and Etruscan cultures, which shaped the worship of gods, rituals, and myths.

  • Romans had their own native gods, but also adopted foreign gods and cults, incorporating them into their religious practices.

  • The incorporation of foreign gods and the flexibility of the Roman religion allowed for a diverse and multicultural religious system.

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