Chaos by Wenceslaus Hollar — The term may refer to a state of non-being prior to creation   or to a formless state.
A great variety of religious cults were to be found. In addition to numerous Celtic deities of local or wider significance, the gods of the classical pantheon were introduced and were often identified with their Celtic counterparts. In official circles the worship… Nature and significance The Romans, according to the orator and politician Ciceroexcelled all other peoples in the unique wisdom that made them realize that everything is subordinate to the rule and direction of the gods.
Yet Roman religion was based not on divine grace but instead on mutual trust fides between god and man. The Romans believed that this divine help would make it possible for them to master the unknown forces around them that inspired awe and anxiety religioand thus they would be able to live successfully.
These precepts for many centuries contained scarcely any moral element; they consisted of directions for the correct performance of ritual. Roman religion laid almost exclusive emphasis on cult acts, endowing them with all the sanctity of patriotic tradition.
Roman ceremonial was so obsessively meticulous and conservative that, if the various partisan accretions that grew upon it throughout the years can be eliminated, remnants of very early thought can be detected near the surface.
This demonstrates one of the many differences between Roman religion and Greek religionin which such remnants tend to be deeply concealed. The Greeks, when they first began to document themselves, had already gone quite a long way toward sophisticated, abstract, and sometimes daring conceptions of divinity and its relation to man.
But the orderly, legalistic, and relatively inarticulate Romans never quite gave up their old practices. Moreover, until the vivid pictorial imagination of the Greeks began to influence them, they lacked the Greek taste for seeing their deities in personalized human form and endowing them with mythology.
In a sense, there is no Roman mythology, or scarcely any. Although discoveries in the 20th century, notably in the ancient region of Etruria between the Tiber and Arno rivers, west and south of the Apenninesconfirm that Italians were not entirely unmythological, their mythology is sparse.
What is found at Rome is chiefly only a pseudomythology which, in due course, clothed their own nationalistic or family legends in mythical dress borrowed from the Greeks. Nor did Roman religion have a creed; provided that a Roman performed the right religious actions, he was free to think what he liked about the gods.
And, having no creed, he usually deprecated emotion as out of place in acts of worship.
In spite, however, of the antique features not far from the surface, it is difficult to reconstruct the history and evolution of Roman religion. The principal literary sources, antiquarians such as the 1st-century-bc Roman scholars Varro and Verrius Flaccusand the poets who were their contemporaries under the late Republic and Augustuswrote and years after the beginnings of Rome.
They wrote at a time when the introduction of Greek methods and myths had made erroneous and flattering interpretations of the distant Roman past unavoidable. In order to supplement such conjectures or facts as they may provide, scholars rely on surviving copies of the religious calendar and on other inscriptions.
There is also a rich, though frequently cryptic, treasure-house of material in coins and medallions and in works of art. History Early Roman religion For the earliest times, there are the various finds and findings of archaeology.
But they are not sufficient to enable scholars to reconstruct archaic Roman religion. They do, however, suggest that early in the 1st millennium bc, though not necessarily at the time of the traditional date for the founding of Rome bcLatin and Sabine shepherds and farmers with light plows came from the Alban Hills and the Sabine Hills, and that they proceeded to establish villages at Rome, the Latins on the Palatine Hill and the Sabines though this is uncertain on the Quirinal and Esquiline hills.
About the communities merged, and c. Deification of functions From such evidence it appears that the early Romans, like many other Italians, sometimes saw divine forceor divinity, operating in pure function and act, such as in human activities like opening doors or giving birth to children, and in nonhuman phenomena such as the movements of the sun and seasons of the soil.
They directed this feeling of veneration both toward happenings that affected human beings regularly and, sometimes, toward single, unique manifestationssuch as a mysterious voice that once spoke and saved them in a crisis Aius Locutius.
Their functions were sharply defined; and in approaching them it was important to use their right names and titles. If one knew the name, one could secure a hearing.
This feeling was aroused, for example, by springs and woods, objects of gratitude in the torrid summer, or by stones that were often believed to be meteorites—i.
To these were added products of human action, such as burial places and boundary stones, and inexplicable things, such as Neolithic implements probably the mysterious meteorites were often these or bronze shields artifacts that had strayed in from more advanced cultures.
The application of the word spirit to numen is anachronistic in regard to early epochs because it presupposes a society capable of greater abstraction.
Nor must the term mana, used by Melanesians to describe their own concept of superhuman forces, be introduced too readily. The two societies are not necessarily analogous and, besides, the deduction from such comparisons that the Romans experienced an impersonal, pre-deistic, primordial stage of religion that neatly preceded the personal stage cannot be regarded as correct.Chaos (Ancient Greek: χάος, khaos) refers to the void state preceding the creation of the universe or cosmos in the Greek creation myths, or to the initial "gap" created by the original separation of heaven and earth.
In Hesiod's Theogony (c. BC), Chaos was the first of the primordial deities, followed by Gaia (Earth), Tartarus (the nether abyss), and Eros (Love). Classical, Greek and Roman, Myths & Legends.
An exhibition of Mythic Art by Contemporary American Illustrator Howard David Johnson, whose illustrations of Mythology have been published all over the world by distinguished learning institutions and publishers including the .
Religion in Ancient Rome includes the ancestral ethnic religion of the city of Rome that the Romans used to define themselves as a people, as well as the religious practices of peoples brought under Roman rule, in so far as they became widely followed in Rome and Italy.
The Romans thought of themselves as highly religious, and attributed their success as a world power to their collective piety. Aphrodite was the ancient Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and procreation. She was depicted as a beautiful woman often accompanied by the winged godling Eros.
Her attributes included a dove, apple, scallop shell and mirror. Her Roman name was Venus. In Roman mythology the difference between history and myth was almost indistinguishable: Rome was a city of destiny and the myths told that story. Remove Ads Advertisement.
Gallery of the gods and scenes of myth in ancient Greek and Roman art.