Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-544b6db54f-lmg95 Total loading time: 0.291 Render date: 2021-10-18T04:43:31.855Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }
Coming soon

7 - Religions in the Roman Empire

John R. Hinnells
Affiliation:
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Get access

Summary

The study of Roman ‘paganism’

The study of Roman pagan religion as a separate subject does not go back before the early nineteenth century. In its relatively short history it has been dominated by a small number of ideas that have sometimes been seen as almost beyond challenge. The keynote was set from the very beginning as a story of ‘decline’. The idea was that the religion of the very earliest Romans was closely adapted to their needs but that for one reason or another its development was stunted, so that it became progressively more and more stultified and ritualized and remote from the needs of the worshippers. Proof of all this was thought to come from the last generation of the Republic for whom religion had become nothing more or less than a meaningless set of rules. These could be freely exploited by anybody who wished to, as the source of useful political manoeuvres or for any other advantages, without thought about the gods and goddesses who were supposedly the objects of the worship.

By the end of the nineteenth century this view had become well established as an orthodoxy. At that date the great handbook of Georg Wissowa enshrined a certain approach to the subject. The book is a mine of information about the religious institutions of Rome and still provides the fullest and safest source for such information; but it is organized in a legalistic framework that implies a vision of the system in which it parallels the constitutional law so much admired at the time.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Beard, M. 1986. Cicero and divination: the formation of a Latin discourse. Journal of Roman Studies 76: 33–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beard, M. 1987. A complex of times: no more sheep on Romulus' birthday. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 213, n.s. 33: 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beard, M. 1994. The Roman and the foreign: the cult of the ‘Great Mother’ in imperial Rome. In Thomas, N. and Humphrey, C. (eds.), Shamanism, History and the State, pp. 164–9. Ann Arbor, MI.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beard, M. and Crawford, M. H. 1999. Rome in the Late Republic: problems and interpretations. 2nd edn, London.Google Scholar
Beard, M. and North, J. A. (eds.) 1990. Pagan priests. London:Google Scholar
Beard, M., North, J. A. and Price, S. R. F. 1998. Religions of Rome. 2 vols., Cambridge (= RoR I and II). Historical account in vol. I; collected sources in vol. II. Currently the authoritative account in English.Google Scholar
Beck, R. 1982. Mithraism since Franz Cumont. In Temporini, H. and Haase, W. (eds.), Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt. Berlin: pp. 2002–2115.
Beck, R., 1988. Planetary gods and planetary orders in the mysteries of Mithras. Études Préliminaires aux Religions Orientales 109. Leiden.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Belier, W. W. 1991. Decayed gods: origin and development of Georges Dumézil's idéologie tripartite'. Leiden.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Burkert, W. 1987. Ancient mystery cults. Cambridge, MA and London. The standard account, emphasising continuity with the Greeks.Google Scholar
Cornell, T. J. 1995. The beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c. 1000–264 BC). London.Google Scholar
Davies, J. P. 2004. Rome's religious history: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their gods. Cambridge.Google Scholar
Dumézil, G. 1970. Archaic Roman religion. Chicago.Google Scholar
Feeney, D. 1998. Literature and religion at Rome: cultures, contexts and beliefs. Cambridge. A pioneering account of the relation of ritual to Roman poetry.Google Scholar
Gardner, J. F. 1986. Women in Roman law and society. London and Sydney.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Garnsey, P. and Saller, R. 1987. The Roman Empire: economy, society and culture. London.Google Scholar
Goodman, M. 1992. Jewish proselytizing in the first century. In Lieu, North and Rajak 1992: 53–78.Google Scholar
Goodman, M. 1994. Mission and conversion. Oxford.Google Scholar
Goodman, M. 1997. The Roman world, 44 BC–AD 180. London and New York.Google Scholar
Gordon, R. 1980. Reality, evocation and boundary in the mysteries of Mithras. Journal of Mithraic Studies 3: 19–99; repr. in Gordon 1996.Google Scholar
Gordon, R. 1990. The Roman Empire. In Beard and North 1990: 177–255.
Gordon, R. 1996. Image and value in the Graeco-Roman world. Aldershot and Brookfield, VT.Google Scholar
Gradel, I. 2002. Emperor worship and Roman religion. Oxford.Google Scholar
Hopkins, M. K. 1978. Conquerors and slaves. Cambridge.Google Scholar
Hopkins, M. K. 1998. Christian number and its implications. Journal of Early Christian Studies 6. 2: 185–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hopkins, M. K. 1999. A world full of gods: pagans, Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire. London.Google Scholar
Lane, Fox R. 1986. Pagans and Christians. Harmondsworth and New York.Google Scholar
Kraemer, R. S. 1989. Her share of the blessings: women's religions among Pagans, Jews and Christians in the Greco-Roman world. New York and Oxford. A wide-ranging study of the role of women in ancient religious life.Google Scholar
Kyrtatas, D. J. 1987. The social structure of the early Christian communities. London and New York. An important work on early Christianity.Google Scholar
Liebeschuetz, J. H. W. G. 1967. Continuity and change in Roman religion. Oxford.Google Scholar
Lieu, J., North, and Rajak, (eds.) 1992. The Jews among pagans and Christians in the Roman Empire. London and New York.Google Scholar
MacBain, B. 1982. Prodigy and expiation: a study in religion and politics in Republican Rome. Collection Latomus 177. Brussels.Google Scholar
Meeks, W. A. 1983. The first urban Christians: the social world of the Apostle Paul. New Haven and London:Google Scholar
Miles, G. B. 1995. Livy: reconstructing early Rome. Ithaca, NY and London.Google Scholar
North, J. A. 1976. Conservatism and change in Roman Religion. Papers of the British School in Rome 44: 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
North, J. A. 1990. Diviners and divination at Rome. In Beard and North 1990: 51–71.
North, J. A. 1992. The development of religious pluralism. In Lieu, North and Rajak 1992: 174–93.
North, J. A. 1997. The religion of Rome from monarchy to principate. In Bentley, M. (ed.), Companion to historiography. London and New York, pp. 57–68Google Scholar
Price, S. R. F. 2000. Roman religion. Greece and Rome, New Surveys in the Classics 30. Oxford.
Oxford Classical Dictionary 1996, ed. Hornblower, S. and Spawforth, A.. 3rd edn, Oxford and New York (= OCD3).Google Scholar
Price, S. R. F. 1984. Rituals and power: the Roman imperial cult in Asia Minor. Cambridge. The best modern treatment of the worship of emperors.Google Scholar
Price, S. R. F. 1987. From noble funerals to divine cult: the consecration of Roman Emperors. In Cannadine, D. and Price, S. (eds.), Rituals of royalty: power and ceremonial in traditional societies. Cambridge, 56–105.
Rives, J. B. 1995. Religion and authority in Roman Carthage from Augustus to Constantine. Oxford.Google Scholar
Scheid, J. 1987. Polytheism impossible; or, the empty gods: reasons behind a void in the history of Roman religion. In Schmidt, F. (ed.), The inconceivable polytheism. History and Anthropology 3. Paris, pp. 303–25.Google Scholar
Scheid, J. 1992. The religious roles of Roman women. In Schmitt, P. Pantel (ed.), A history of women: from ancient goddesses to Christian saints.Cambridge, MA, pp. 377–408.Google Scholar
Scheid, J. 2001. Religion et piété à Rome. Paris. An original and thoughtful essay on the character of Roman religious life.Google Scholar
Scheid, J. 2003. An introduction to Roman religion (English translation by Janet Lloyd). Edinburgh.
Schultz, C. E. 2006. Woman's religious activity in the Roman Republic. Chapel Hill, NC.Google Scholar
Scullard, H. H. 1981. Festivals and ceremonies of the Roman Republic. London.Google Scholar
Sfameni, Gasparro G. 1985. Soteriology and mystic aspects in the cult of Cybele and Attis. EPRO 91. Leiden.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Turcan, R. 1996. The cults of the Roman Empire. Oxford.Google Scholar
Wallace-Hadrill, A. 1987. Time for Augustus: Ovid, Augustus and the Fasti. In Whitby, M.. (eds.), Homo Viator: classical essays for John Bramble. Bristol and Oak Park, IL, pp. 221–30.Google Scholar
Warde, Fowler W. 1911. The religious experience of the Roman people from the earliest times to the Age of Augustus. London. Still interesting as a turning point in thought on the subject.Google Scholar
Wissowa, G. 1912. Religion und Kultus der Römer. Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaftv.4. 2nd edn, Munich. Not replaced as a hand-book on the details of the Roman state religion, but only available in German.Google Scholar
Zanker, P. 1988. The power of images in the Age of Augustus. Ann Arbor, MI. Creative work on the relation of art, literature and religion in the making of the Augustan regime.Google Scholar
1
Cited by

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Religions in the Roman Empire
    • By J. A. North, Emeritus Professor, Department of History, University College London
  • Edited by John R. Hinnells, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Book: A Handbook of Ancient Religions
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511488429.008
Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

  • Religions in the Roman Empire
    • By J. A. North, Emeritus Professor, Department of History, University College London
  • Edited by John R. Hinnells, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Book: A Handbook of Ancient Religions
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511488429.008
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Religions in the Roman Empire
    • By J. A. North, Emeritus Professor, Department of History, University College London
  • Edited by John R. Hinnells, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Book: A Handbook of Ancient Religions
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511488429.008
Available formats
×