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LECTURE I

INTRODUCTORY
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Accounts of the Roman religion in recent standard works; a hard and highly formalised system. Its interest lies partly in this fact. How did it come to be so? This the main question of the first epoch of Roman religious experience. Roman religion and Roman law compared. Roman religion a technical subject. What we mean by religion. A useful definition applied to the plan of Lectures I.-X.; including (1) survivals of primitive or quasi-magical religion; (2) the religion of the agricultural family; (3) that of the City-state, in its simplest form, and in its first period of expansion. Difficulties of the subject; present position of knowledge and criticism. Help obtainable from (1) archaeology, (2) anthropology . . .

1-23

LECTURE II

ON THE THRESHOLD OF RELIGION: SURVIVALS

Survivals at Rome of previous eras of quasi-religious experience. Totemism not discernible. Taboo, and the means adopted of escaping from it; both survived at Rome into an age of real religion. Examples: impurity (or holiness) of new-born infants; of a corpse; of women in certain worships; of strangers; of criminals. Almost complete absence of blood-taboo. Iron. Strange taboos on the priest of Jupiter and his wife. Holy or tabooed places; holy or tabooed days; the word religiosus as applied to both of these

24-46

xii

LECTURE III

ON THE THRESHOLD OF RELIGION: MAGIC

Magic; distinction between magic and religion. Religious authorities seek to exclude magic, and did so at Rome. Few survivals of magic in the State religion. The aquaelicium. Vestals and runaway slaves. The magical whipping at the Lupercalia. The throwing of puppets from the pons sublicius. Magical processes surviving in religious ritual with their meaning lost. Private magic: excantatio in the XII. Tables; other spells or carmina. Amulets: the bulla; oscilla

47-67

LECTURE IV

THE RELIGION OF THE FAMILY

Continuity of the religion of the Latin agricultural family. What the family was; its relation to the gens. The familia as settled on the land, an economic unit, embodied in a pagus. The house as the religious centre of the familia; its holy places. Vesta, Penates, Genius, and the spirit of the doorway. The Lar familiaris on the land. Festival of the Lar belongs to the religion of the pagus: other festivals of the pagus. Religio terminorum. Religion of the household: marriage, childbirth, burial and cult of the dead

68-91

LECTURE V

THE CALENDAR OF NUMA

Beginnings of the City-state: the oppidum. The earliest historical Rome, the city of the four regions; to this belongs the surviving religious calendar. This calendar described; the basis of our knowledge of early Roman religion. It expresses a life agricultural, political, and military. Days of gods distinguished from days of man. Agricultural life the real basis of the calendar; gradual effacement of it. Results of a fixed routine in calendar; discipline, religious confidence. Exclusion from it of the barbarous and grotesque. Decency and order under an organising priestly authority

92-113

xiii

LECTURE VI

THE DIVINE OBJECTS OF WORSHIP

Sources of knowledge about Roman deities. What did the Romans themselves know about them? No personal deity in the religion of the family. Those of the City-state are numina, marking a transition from animism to polytheism. Meaning of numen. Importance of names, which are chiefly adjectival, marking functional activity. Tellus an exception. Importance of priests in development of dei. The four great Roman gods and their priests: Janus, Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus. Characteristics of each of these in earliest Rome. Juno and the difficulties she presents. Vesta

114-144

LECTURE VII

THE DEITIES OF THE EARLIEST RELIGION:
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS

No temples in the earliest Rome; meaning of fanum, ara, lucus, sacellum. No images of gods in these places, until end of regal period. Thus deities not conceived as persons. Though masculine and feminine they were not married pairs; Dr. Frazer's opinion on this point. Examination of his evidence derived from the libri sacerdotum; meaning of Nerio Martis. Such combinations of names suggest forms or manifestations of a deity's activity, not likely to grow into personal deities without Greek help. Meaning of pater and mater applied to deities; procreation not indicated by them. The deities of the Indigitamenta; priestly inventions of a later age. Usener's theory of Sondergötter criticised so far as it applies to Rome

145-168

LECTURE VIII

RITUAL OF THE IUS DIVINUM

Main object of ius divinum to keep up the pax deorum; meaning of pax in this phrase. Means towards the maintenance of the pax: sacrifice and prayer, fulfilment of vows, lustratio, divination. Meaning of sacrificium. Little trace of sacramental sacrifice. Typical sacrifice of ius divinum: both priest and victim must be acceptable to the deity; means taken to secure this. Ritual of slaughter: examination and porrectio of entrails. Prayer; the phrase Macte esto and its importance in explaining Roman sacrifice. Magical survivals in Roman and Italian prayers; yet they are essentially religious

169-199

xiv

LECTURE IX

RITUAL (continued)

Vota (vows) have suggested the idea that Roman worship was bargaining. Examination of private vows, which do not prove this; of public vows, which in some degree do so. Moral elements in both these. Other forms of vow: evocatio and devotio.

Lustratio: meaning of lustrare in successive stages of Roman experience. Lustratio of the farm and pagus; of the city; of the people (at Rome and Iguvium); of the army; of the arms and trumpets of the army: meaning of lustratio in these last cases, both before and after a campaign

200-222

LECTURE X

THE FIRST ARRIVAL OF NEW CULTS IN ROME

Recapitulation of foregoing lectures. Weak point of the organised State religion: it discouraged individual development. Its moral influence mainly a disciplinary one; and it hypnotised the religious instinct.

Growth of a new population at end of regal period, also of trade and industry. New deities from abroad represent these changes: Hercules of Ara Maxima; Castor and Pollux; Minerva. Diana of the Aventine reflects a new relation with Latium. Question as to the real religious influence of these deities. The Capitoline temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, of Etruscan origin. Meaning of cult-titles Optimus Maximus, and significance of this great Jupiter in Roman religious experience

223-247

LECTURE XI

CONTACT OF THE OLD AND NEW IN RELIGION

Plan of this and following lectures. The formalised Roman religion meets with perils, material and moral, and ultimately proves inadequate. Subject of this lecture, the introduction of Greek deities and rites; but first a proof that the Romans were a really religious people; evidence from literature, from worship, from the practice of public life, and from Latin religious vocabulary.

Temple of Ceres, Liber, Libera (Demeter, Dionysus, Persephone); its importance for the date of Sibylline influence at Rome. Nature of this influence; how and when it reached Rome. The keepers of the "Sibylline books"; new cults introduced by them. New rites: lectisternia and supplicationes, their meaning and historical importance

248-269

xv

LECTURE XII

THE PONTIFICES AND THE SECULARISATION OF RELIGION

Historical facts about the Pontifices in this period; a powerful exclusive "collegium" taking charge of the ius divinum. The legal side of their work; they administered the oldest rules of law, which belonged to that ius. New ideas of law after Etruscan period; increasing social complexity and its effect on legal matters; result, publication of rules of law, civil and religious, in XII. Tables, and abolition of legal monopoly of Pontifices. But they keep control of (1) procedure, (2) interpretation, till end of fourth century b.c. Publication of Fasti and Legis actiones; the college opened to Plebeians. Work of Pontifices in third century: (1) admission of new deities, (2) compilation of annals, (3) collection of religious formulae. General result; formalisation of religion; and secularisation of pontifical influence

270-291

LECTURE XIII

THE AUGURS AND THE ART OF DIVINATION

Divination a universal practice: its relation to magic. Want of a comprehensive treatment of it. Its object at Rome: to assure oneself of the pax deorum; but it was the most futile method used. Private divination; limited and discouraged by the State, except in the form of family auspicia. Public divination; auspicia needed in all State operations; close connection with imperium. The augurs were skilled advisers of the magistrates, but could not themselves take the auspices. Probable result of this: Rome escaped subjection to a hierarchy. Augurs and auspicia become politically important, but cease to belong to religion. State divination a clog on political progress. Sinister influence on Rome of Etruscan divination; history of the haruspices

292-313

LECTURE XIV

THE HANNIBALIC WAR

Tendency towards contempt of religious forms in third century B.C.; disappears during this war. Religio in the old sense takes its place, i.e. fear and anxiety. This takes the form of reportingxvi prodigia; account of these in 218 B.C., and of the prescriptions supplied by Sibylline books. Fresh outbreak of religio after battle of Trasimene; lectisternium of 216, without distinction of Greek and Roman deities; importance of this. Religious panic after battle of Cannae; extraordinary religious measures, including human sacrifice. Embassy to Delphi and its result; symptoms of renewed confidence. But fresh and alarming outbreak in 213; met with remarkable skill. Institution of Apolline games. Summary of religious history in last years of the war; gratitude to the gods after battle of Metaurus. Arrival of the Great Mother of Phrygia at Rome. Hannibal leaves Italy

314-334

LECTURE XV

AFTER THE HANNIBALIC WAR

Religion used to support Senatorial policy in declaring war (1) with Philip of Macedon, (2) with Antiochus of Syria; but this is not the old religion. Use of prodigia and Sibylline oracles to secure political and personal objects; mischief caused in this way. Growth of individualism; rebellion of the individual against the ius divinum. Examples of this from the history of the priesthoods; strange story of a Flamen Dialis. The story of the introduction of Bacchic rites in 186 B.C.; interference of the Senate and Magistrates, and significance of this. Strange attempt to propagate Pythagoreanism; this also dealt with by the government. Influence of Ennius and Plautus, and of translations from Greek comedy, on the dying Roman religion

335-356

LECTURE XVI

GREEK PHILOSOPHY AND ROMAN RELIGION

Religious destitution of the Roman in second century b.c. in regard to (1) his idea of God, (2) his sense of Duty. No help from Epicurism, which provided no religious sanction for conduct; Lucretius, and Epicurean idea of the Divine. Arrival of Stoicism at Rome; Panaetius and the Scipionic circle. Character of Scipio. The religious side of Stoicism; it teaches a new doctrine of the relation of man to God. Stoic idea of God as Reason, and as pervading the universe; adjustment of this to Roman idea of numina. Stoic idea of Man as possessing Reason, and so partaking the Divine nature. Influence of these two ideas on the best type of Roman; they appeal to his idea of Duty, and ennoble his idea of Law. Weak points in Roman Stoicism: (1) doctrine of Will, (2) neglect of emotions and sympathy. It failed to rouse an "enthusiasm of humanity"

357-379

xvii

LECTURE XVII

MYSTICISM—IDEAS OF A FUTURE LIFE

Early Pythagoreanism in S. Italy; its reappearance in last century b.c. under the influence of Posidonius, who combined Stoicism with Platonic Pythagoreanism. Cicero affected by this revival; his Somnium Scipionis and other later works. His mysticism takes practical form on the death of his daughter; letters to Atticus about a fanum. Individualisation of the Manes; freedom of belief on such questions. Further evidence of Cicero's tendency to mysticism at this time (45 B.C.), and his belief in a future life. But did the ordinary Roman so believe? Question whether he really believed in the torments of Hades. Probability of this: explanation to be found in the influence of Etruscan art and Greek plays on primitive Roman ideas of the dead. Mysticism in the form of astrology; Nigidius Figulus

380-402

LECTURE XVIII

RELIGIOUS FEELING IN THE POEMS OF VIRGIL

Virgil sums up Roman religious experience, and combines it with hope for the future. Sense of depression in his day; want of sympathy and goodwill towards men. Virgil's sympathetic outlook; shown in his treatment of animals, Italian scenery, man's labour, and man's worship. His idea of pietas. The theme of the Aeneid; Rome's mission in the world, and the pietas needed to carry it out. Development of the character of Aeneas; his pietas imperfect in the first six books, perfected in the last six, resulting in a balance between the ideas of the Individual and the State. Illustration of this from the poem. Importance of Book vi., which describes the ordeal destined to perfect the pietas of the hero. The sense of Duty never afterwards deserts him; his pietas enlarged in a religious sense

403-427

LECTURE XIX

THE AUGUSTAN REVIVAL

Connection of Augustus and Virgil. Augustus aims at re-establishing the national pietas, and securing the pax deorum by means of the ius divinum. How this formed part of his political plans. Temple restoration and its practical result. Revival of the ancient ritual; illustrated from the records of the Arval Brethren. xviii The new element in it; Caesar-worship; but Augustus was content with the honour of re-establishing the pax deorum. Celebration of this in the Ludi saeculares, 17 B.C. Our detailed knowledge of this festival; meaning of saeculum; description of the ludi, and illustration of their meaning from the Carmen saeculare of Horace. Discussion of the performance of this hymn by the choirs of boys and girls

428-451

LECTURE XX

CONCLUSION

Religious ingredients in Roman soil likely to be utilised by Christianity. The Stoic ingredient; revelation of the Universal, and ennobling of Individual. The contribution of Mysticism; preparation for Christian eschatology. The contribution of Virgil; sympathy and sense of Duty. The contribution of Roman religion proper: (1) sane and orderly character of ritual, (2) practical character of Latin Christianity visible in early Christian writings, (3) a religious vocabulary, e.g. religio, pietas, sanctus, sacramentum. But all this is but a slight contribution; essential difference between Christianity and all that preceded it in Italy; illustration from the language of St. Paul

452-472



THE RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE OF THE ROMAN PEOPLE FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE AGE OF AUGUSTUS

by

W. Warde Fowler, M.A.



Table of Contents

THE RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE OF THE ROMAN PEOPLE FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE AGE OF AUGUSTUS
  PREFACE
  LECTURE I - INTRODUCTORY
  NOTES TO LECTURE I
  LECTURE II - IN THE THRESHOLD OF RELIGION: SURVIVALS
  NOTES TO LECTURE II
  LECTURE III - ON THE THRESHOLD OF RELIGION: MAGIC
  NOTES TO LECTURE III
  LECTURE IV - THE RELIGION OF THE FAMILY
  NOTES TO LECTURE IV
  LECTURE V - THE CALENDAR OF NUMA
  NOTES TO LECTURE V.
  LECTURE VI - THE DIVINE OBJECTS OF WORSHIP
  NOTES TO LECTURE VI
  LECTURE VII - THE DEITIES OF THE EARLIEST RELIGION
  NOTES TO LECTURE VII
  LECTURE VIII - RITUAL OF THE IUS DIVINUM
  NOTES TO LECTURE VIII
  LECTURE IX - RITUAL CONTINUED
  NOTES TO LECTURE IX
  LECTURE X - THE FIRST ARRIVAL OF NEW CULTS IN ROME
  NOTES TO LECTURE X.
  LECTURE XI - CONTACT OF THE OLD AND NEW IN RELIGION
  NOTES TO LECTURE XI
  LECTURE XII - THE PONTIFICES AND THE SECULARISATION OF RELIGION
  NOTES TO LECTURE XII
  LECTURE XIII - THE AUGURS AND THE ART OF DIVINATION
  NOTES TO LECTURE XIII
  LECTURE XIV - THE HANNIBALIC WAR
  NOTES TO LECTURE XIV
  LECTURE XV - AFTER THE HANNIBALIC WAR
  NOTES TO LECTURE XV
  LECTURE XVI - GREEK PHILOSOPHY AND ROMAN RELIGION
  NOTES TO LECTURE XVI.
  LECTURE XVII - MYSTICISM IDEAS OF A FUTURE LIFE
  NOTES TO LECTURE XVII
  LECTURE XVIII - RELIGIOUS FEELING IN THE POEMS OF VIRGIL
  NOTES TO LECTURE XVIII
  LECTURE XIX - THE AUGUSTAN REVIVAL
  NOTES TO LECTURE XIX
  LECTURE XX - CONCLUSION
  NOTES TO LECTURE XX
  APPENDIX I
  ON THE USE OF HUTS OR BOOTHS IN RELIGIOUS RITUAL
  APPENDIX II
  PROF. DEUBNER'S THEORY OF THE LUPERCALIA
  APPENDIX III
  APPENDIX IV - IUS AND FAS
  APPENDIX V
  INDEX
  WORKS ON ROMAN HISTORY
  ROMAN SOCIETY DURING THE LAST CENTURY OF THE EMPIRE OF THE WEST.
  ROMAN SOCIETY FROM NERO TO MARCUS AURELIUS.
  THE AMAZING EMPEROR HELIOGABALUS.
  THE HISTORY OF ROME, FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PERIOD OF ITS DECLINE.
  ABRIDGED EDITION OF THE ABOVE
  THE PROVINCES OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE FROM CAESAR TO DIOCLETIAN.
  ROMAN PUBLIC LIFE.
  THE ROMAN ASSEMBLIES FROM THEIR ORIGIN TO THE END OF THE REPUBLIC.
  CIVIL WAR AND REBELLION IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE, A.D. 69-70.
  RELIGION OF NUMA, AND OTHER ESSAYS ON THE RELIGION OF ANCIENT ROME.
  THE INFLUENCE OF WEALTH IN IMPERIAL ROME.
  THE ROMANS ON THE RIVIERA AND
  A HISTORY OF ROME TO THE BATTLE OF ACTIUM.
  SOCIAL LIFE AT ROME IN THE AGE OF CICERO
  THE ROMAN FESTIVALS OF THE PERIOD OF THE REPUBLIC: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF THE RELIGION OF THE ROMANS
  THE CITY-STATE OF THE GREEKS AND ROMANS: A SURVEY INTRODUCTORY TO THE STUDY OF ANCIENT HISTORY


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