Religion: Ancient Roman Religion in Society

Ancient Romans held their religion very high and made sure it was incorporated into society as well. Roman religion, like most pagan faiths, was about making deals with the gods. It is clear that most Romans wanted some type of compensation for their devotion to a select god or deity; depending on what a god blessed, determined which god a person would choose to worship. Examples of this could be winning a battle or war, to common matters like punishing someone for stealing an article of clothing. The Ancient Romans put a huge emphasis on their religious practices and combined almost all aspects of living, with their religion. Ancient Roman gods played a huge role in how the people conducted everyday life. Ancient Romans even had gods for the little things in life. An example of this is the door. Romans gave three gods to this area: the actual door, the hinges, and the threshold. These gods were the less important minor gods that were usually local to the believers’ city.

Pleasing the Gods Ancient Roman Style

Religious practices of the ancient Romans included the concept of “pox decorum.” Pox decorum means “peace of the gods.” The Ancient Romans tried to achieve this concept by incorporating the gods in their daily lives and giving thanks to the correct gods according to their festivals or day of worship. Ancient Romans believed that if the gods were kept happy and pleased, that they would bestow good things on the people. However, if the gods were disrespected or forgotten, horrible things could plague mortals beyond their control, known as ire decorum, or wrath of the gods. Devotion to their religion and fear of the ire decorum compelled the Romans to hold extravagant festivals and parities to show respect to and honor the gods.

Rituals and sacrifices were sacred to the Ancient Romans and were taken very seriously. These rituals and sacrifices were critical because if any aspect of a ritual or sacrifice was not done correctly, followers feared that the gods would punish them greatly. Punishments could be anything from a sickness, a bad crop, or even death. In addition, if a ritual or sacrifice was carried out and the desired result was not accomplished, then devoted Romans believed that they must have done something wrong not to receive what they asked for. For example, if a follower was asking for a good crop and did not have luck that season, it was thought that something in the ritual or sacrifice went wrong or that they had angered the gods in some way.

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