An Introduction to Roman Religion

An Introduction to Roman Religion

3.81 (82 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This is an introduction to religion in Rome during the late republic and early empire. Written by one of the world's leading scholars of the subject, it draws on the latest findings in archaeology and history to explain the meanings of rituals, rites, auspices and oracles, to describe the uses of temples and sacred ground, and to evoke the daily patterns of religious life and observance within the city Rome and its environs. The book is divided into five parts. In the first the author considers the contemporary meaning of religious terms and concepts and the role religion played in the Roman sense of identity and destiny. The second describes the religious calendar, diurnal patterns of worship and observance, and the structure of religious space in temples, sanctuaries and sacred places. The third looks at the form of religious services including the rites and purposes of sacrifices, and examines when auspices were sought and how they were read. Part IV describes the priests and priestesses -- who they were; how they were trained and for what functions -- and the gods and demi-gods of the Roman pantheon. Part V considers Roman theology and exegesis.Professor Scheid writes primarily for university students of ancient Rome and classical civilisation: information and ideas are laid out clearly and concisely; the text is illustrated with quotations from primary sources; a chronology links religious to historical events from 750 BC to AD 494; there is a full glossary and an annotated guide to further reading. The text contains numerous summaries and suggestions for discussion.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 24mm | 458g
  • EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • French
  • 0748616071
  • 9780748616077

Review quote

A good, interesting introduction to the subject. The main elements and principles of Roman religion are clearly presented and discussed. Throughout, the reader gains a compelling sense of the flexibility of Roman religion and of the efforts of the Romans to interpret and develop it. Scheid writes very clearly and with precision and is careful to note the limits of what can be known. The book is thus a useful, and of course utterly reliable, guide for beginners ! a lucid expression of how Scheid views the broader picture and a succinct expression of his views on methodology! [The translation] is beautifully clear. Readable and very useful ! beautifully presented by Edinburgh University Press! Scholarship of a high order.show more

About John Scheid

John Scheid is Director of Studies in Ancient History at the Ecole pratiques des hautes etudes in Paris. His books include Religion et piete a Rome (1985) and, co-authored with J. Svenbro, Le metier de Zeus (1994), which was subsequently published by Harvard University Press as The Craft of Zeus: Myths of Weaving and Fabric.show more

Rating details

82 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 24% (20)
4 41% (34)
3 27% (22)
2 6% (5)
1 1% (1)
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