Volume two reveals the extraordinary diversity of ancient Roman religion. A comprehensive sourcebook, it presents a wide range of documents illustrating religious life in the Roman world - from the foundations of the city in the eighth century BC to the Christian capital more than a thousand years later. Each document is given a full introduction, explanatory notes and bibliography, and acts as a starting point for further discussion. Through paintings, sculptures, coins and inscriptions, as well as literary texts in translation, the book explores the major themes and problems of Roman religion, such as sacrifice, the religious calendar, divination, ritual, and priesthood. Starting from the archaeological traces of the earliest cults of the city, it finishes with a series of texts in which Roman authors themselves reflect on the nature of their own religion, its history, even its funny side. Judaism and Christianity are given full coverage, as important elements in the religious world of the Roman empire.
This book offers a radical new survey of more than a thousand years of religious life at Rome. It sets religion in its full cultural context, between the primitive hamlet of the eighth century BC and the cosmopolitan, multicultural society of the first centuries of the Christian era. The narrative account is structured around a series of broad themes: how to interpret the Romans' own theories of their religious system and its origins; the relationship of religion and the changing politics of Rome; the religious importance of the layout and monuments of the city itself; changing ideas of religious identity and community; religious innovation - and, ultimately, revolution. The companion volume, Religions of Rome: A Sourcebook, sets out a wide range of documents richly illustrating the religious life in the Roman world.