Gods of Ancient Rome by Robert Turcan
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Gods of Ancient Rome
By Robert Turcan

The Gods of Ancient Rome

Religion in Everyday Life from Archaic to Imperial Times

By (author) See other recent books by Robert Turcan
Translated by Antonia Nevill See other recent books by Antonia Nevill
Format: Paperback

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Gods of Ancient Rome by Robert Turcan

Book Description

This is a vivid account of what their gods meant to the Romans from archaic times to late antiquity, and of the rites and rituals connected with them. After an introduction into the nature of classical religion, the book is divided into three parts: religions of the family and land; religions of the city; and religions of the empire. The book ends with a discussion of the rise and impact of Christianity. For the Romans, the author argues, religion was almost as much a form of insurance as it was a question of belief. The gods were valued according to the degree of protection they afforded against natural hazards and occult powers. They were a crucial source of tactical information in time of war and their approval was vital to the success of agriculture, marriage and childbirth. Appeasing the gods and enlisting their help involved ritual and sacrifice which required the arcane knoweldge of the priesthood. Because there were so many gods, it might be hard to know which one to invoke and perilous to get it wrong. The Romasn took their gods extremely seriously, there was nothing more complicated than a Roman sacrifice or more precise than the preparation of the meal offered to the god; the slightest infringement of the priestly recipe would spoil the feast and might jeopardise the affairs of Rome itself. Robert Turcan shows that Roman attitudes towards the gods continued to be pragmatic throughout the millennium coverd by the book. Useful gods discovered among conquered peoples of the Empire were adopted without rejecting any from the old pantheon. Traditional worship remained strong long after the emperors converted to Christianity, and many of the early Roman Christians maintained a tactful respect for older deities. Up-to-date in its archaeological and epigraphic evidence, and drawing extensively on a wide range of relevant literary material this book is ideally suited for undergraduate courses in the history of Romand and its religions. Its urbane style and lightly worn scholarship will broaden its appeal to non-academic readers with a serious interest in the classical world.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780748613908
ISBN-10: 0748613900
Format: Paperback
(156mm x 234mm x 24mm)
Pages: 180
Imprint: Edinburgh University Press
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publish Date: 18-Oct-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...


Books By Author Robert Turcan

Sittingbourne the Postcard Collection by Robert Turcan Sittingbourne the Postcard Collection, Paperback (September 2016)

Explore Sittingbourne's past through this wonderful collection of postcards.

Broadstairs Through Time by Robert Turcan Broadstairs Through Time, Paperback (September 2015)

Newest addition to the popular Through Time series, focusing on the quintessentially Kentish seaside town of Broadstairs. Depicting scenes old and new, the book takes the reader on a journey through the changed streets and buildings and on to the beach.

Sittingbourne by Robert Turcan Sittingbourne, Paperback (July 2015)

This fascinating selection of photographs traces some of the many ways in which Sittingbourne has changed and developed over the last century.

Tonbridge & Around Through Time by Robert Turcan Tonbridge & Around Through Time, Paperback (August 2013)

This fascinating selection of photographs traces some of the many ways in which Tonbridge has changed and developed over the last century.

» View all books by Robert Turcan

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Author Biography - Robert Turcan

Robert Turcan is Professor of Roman History at the University of Paris, Sorbonne.

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Recent books by Robert Turcan close
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