Religions of Rome Book Review

Excerpt from Book Review :

Religions of Rome

Long before the mythological figure of Romulus founded Rome, Rome was already being influenced by other religions, specifically the Greek religion when it was occupied by King Evander. King Evander was said, in common folklore, to have shown the escaping Trojan hero Aeneas the city, and the idea that Aeneas was a 'proto-founder' of Rome who brought his household gods to the city became a commonly-accepted part of the city's mythology. It was another great hero, Tarquin the Great, who laid the foundation for the city's temple to Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, three of the most important gods in the Roman pantheon. By the time of the deposition of Tarquin the Proud, the structure of the Roman religion had been established.[footnoteRef:1] Thus, one of the most striking characteristics of the early Roman religion was that, unlike other religions of many early civilizations, no single family or leader dominated the faith. Religion was fairly diffuse, and the religious structures were quite open to absorbing the myths, gods, and cultures
Parts of this Document are Hidden
Click Here to View Entire Document
of others, including, most notably, the Greeks. Even the early Roman Sibylline Oracle spoke in Greek. [1: Mary, Beard, John North & Simon Price, Religions Of Rome: Volume 1-A History,(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp.2-3.]

Unfortunately, no established histories of this period exist to confirm the exact course of the evolution of what became the Roman religion. Instead, the stories were transmitted second-hand through poets like Virgil and historians of later Rome like Pliny and Livy. It has long been assumed that rather than factual truth, these historians were more concerned about conveying the 'spiritual' truth of what was considered Rome's nature during its early evolution. At best, there are only scattered, corroborated stories pertaining to the vows, special games, and other religious rituals of early Rome. However, if these historians had access to priestly records, as they claimed, their information may be more accurate than might otherwise be assumed. Furthermore, regarding specific dates (such as when the standard sacrificial offering was first established) within their texts, there does not seem to be a specific…

Sources Used in Documents:


Beard, Mary, John North & Simon Price. Religions Of Rome: Volume 1-A History

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Cite This Book Review:

"Religions Of Rome" (2012, January 17) Retrieved January 27, 2021, from

"Religions Of Rome" 17 January 2012. Web.27 January. 2021. <>

"Religions Of Rome", 17 January 2012, Accessed.27 January. 2021,