Religions of Rome Book Review

Excerpt from Book Review :

Religions of Rome

Throughout history, religion has been having a major impact on the societies around the world. In the case of the Romans, they had numerous religions that were practiced throughout the reign of the empire. To fully understand these ideas requires looking at the chapter titled Sol the Sun in the Art and Religions of Rome. This will be accomplished by summarizing the various points and discussing a broad theme from the chapter. Together, these different elements will provide the greatest insights as to how specific practices from other cultures affected various Roman religions.

In Sol the Sun in the Art and Religions of Rome, it is talking about the worship of the sun god name Sol. He was a mythological figure that was considered to have the most power among the various Roman pagan gods. This is because the Romans believed that the sun was a vital source of power and energy for them. Sol was all of this power and energy combined into one.

However, a problem has emerged among historians about which society had the most influence on the establishment of Sol as a
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Roman deity. The reason why is because there were numerous countries that were conquered by Rome (which were worshiping sun gods). In the past, many believed that these influences were limited mostly to one dominant society (i.e. The Syrians). This is due to the fact that similar characteristics were embraced by this deity which was worshiped during the reign of Aurelius.

What was happening is the worshiping of Sol would come and go throughout the history of Rome. This is because there were periods when this god was worshiped as part of state sponsored religion. While at other times, Sol was worshiped mainly by the occult with the state supporting another deity. This created confusion among historians about which society had the greatest influence upon this god.

In the chapter, it is believed that Sol is a combination of influences on the Romans. This is from Rome being impacted by a number of different societies they occupied (most notably: ancient Greece and Syria). In both areas, there was a heavy belief in the power of the sun over the lives of the people. Early in the republic, the Greek sun gods were influencing Sol. This is because the deity had many of the same kinds of powers and the practices were very similar to those of the Greeks.


Sources Used in Documents:


Sol in the Roman Empire, 1 -- 30.

Beard Mary. Religions of Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Goldhill Simon. Being Greek Under Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2006.

Mary Beard, Religions of Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 167 -- 363.

Cite This Book Review:

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