Religion in Ancient Rome Flashcards Preview

Classical civilizations- Rome > Religion in Ancient Rome > Flashcards

Flashcards in Religion in Ancient Rome Deck (26):

What is Jupiter responsible for and recognized by?

Responsible for: All of the other gods, & the skies
Recognised by: His thunderbolt or sceptre


What is Neptune responsible for and recognized by?

Responsible for:The seas & earthquakes
Recognized by: His trident and a dolphin


What is Venus responsible for and recognized by?

Responsible for:Love Recognized by: Naked accompanied by shell


What is Apollo responsible for and recognized by?

Responsible for: Prophecy, arts, sun & archery
Recognised by: Bow & arrows, lyre, sun


What is Juno responsible for and recognized by?

Responsible for: Women, childbirth, marriage
Recognised by: Crown, or new-born child


What is Minerva (Athene-- Greek version) responsible for and recognized by?

Responsible for: Tactical warfare, wisdom, arts, spinning & weaving
Recognised by: Helmet, spear, owl special cape or aegis


What is Mercury responsible for and recognized by?

Responsible for: Messenger of gods
Recognised by: Winged sandals and wand


What is Mars responsible for and recognized by?

Responsible for: War
Recognised by: His armour


What is Pluto responsible for and recognized by?

Responsible for: The underworld
Recognised by: Sceptre or a pomagranate fruit


What is Diana responsible for and recognized by?

Responsible for: Hunting and the moon
Recognised by: Shown as huntress with dod and bow


What is Vesta responsible for and recognized by?

Responsible for: Hearth (home fire)
Recognised by: fire


What is Ceres responsible for and recognized by?

Responsible for: Harvest, motherly love
Recognised by: Sceptre basket of flowers and fruit, garland of wheat ears.


How did Romans worship their gods in their homes?

The paterfamilias would gather the family before the
lararium each moming to worship the family's ancestors (Lares); before each meal the Penates would be worshiped


Why was Jupiter so important to Romans?

Jupiter was the king of tie gods and the most powerful. He was also the weather god who controlled the skies. Jupiter was a symbol of Roman dominance and his temple appeared in prominent locations in areas which Rome now controlled e.g. Pomeii


What were the advantages to a Roman of living in a polytheistic society?

The benefits included: they provided a better understanding of natural phenomena, e.g. earthquakes, storms; there was a better chance of a personal link to god; there was also the opportunity for festivals


What were the disadvantages to a Roman of living in a polytheistic society?

There were too many gods and this could be confusing; the gods themselves were not always good role models; this all encouraged scepticism


Did religious worship take place inside the temple?

No — it was really a home for a particular god; worshipers would only go inside to leave gifts, but all worship took lace outside.


Describe the inside of a temple

The main room was called the cella where a large statue
of the god was kept


Where was the sacrificial altar kept?

This was situated the front of the temple, so the blood flowed away into the ground. The altar was the main focus point of the temple.


Why did the Romans build such impressive temples?

They acted as a home for the god within the city and showed public reverence for a particular deity. Temples also showed the artistic and architectural skills of the
Romans, and conveyed to other peoples the power of Rome itself. Often they were paid for by prominent politicians who used them as a way of gaining support.


Why were sacrifices held?

Sacrifices were normally held for one of four reasons: to ask for help; thanking a god for help received; to know what the divine will of the gods was; or to celebrate a regular occasion and thereby honour a god. The worshipper might ask for good health, good business opportunities, or for an enemy to be punished. However they also allowed the elite to maintain political control, and was even a source of meat which Romans did not get very often


Did they always involve the killing of an animal?

Sacrifice did not necessarily involve the killing of an animal, but could take the form of any gift. Usually sacrifices were symbolic of life in some way milk, cheese, fruit or cakes were often given. However the most common type of sacrifice was the offering of an animal in a ritual killing


Describe the early stages of a sacrifice

A Roman preparing to make a sacrifice would on that
day go to the market and buy an animal. It would
have to be perfect without any blemish. Certain animals were normally offered to specific gods: e.g. a heifer was often given to Jupiter. The sacrificer would wear his best toga, tie ribbons to the animal's horns and tail (to honour the gods), and lead it through the streets to the temple. If the animal didn't go willingly or stumbled along the way, then this was seen as a bad omen (sign) and he might want to start the whole process again with a new animal.


Describe the later stages of a sacrifice

The ceremony took place on the attar outside a temple and
was overseen by a priest or pontifex, who would cover his
head with the folds of his toga. He would wash his hands in sacred water before the ceremony. The animal's head was sprinkled with wine and mola salsa (sacred bread) to honour the gods whilst the priest said a prayer. The animal was then stunned by a hammer blow delivered by an attendant, the popa, after which another attendant slashed the animal's throat. The animal was then disemboweled and its innards removed, which a soothsayer or haruspex would examine for omens. If the innards were discolored or misshapen, then he would bad omens. The innards were burned as an offering


Why was a flute player present at sacrifices?

Any glitch in the ceremony was also a bad omen, so a
flute player played throughout to drown out any unwanted sounds — even sneezing! If the omens were good, the innards were burnt in a fire on the altar as an offering to the god. The rest of the meat was then cooked and shared out at a feast.


What was the significance of how the animal was treated?

The animal was decorated and sprinkled with mola salsa to
honour the gods; its head was either pointed upwards or
downwards depending upon whether it was being sacrificed to the of the underworld or not.