Author(s): Mary Beard
Volume two reveals the extraordinary diversity of ancient Roman religion. A comprehensive sourcebook, it presents a wide range of documents illustrating religious life in the Roman world - from the foundations of the city in the eighth century BC to the Christian capital more than a thousand years later. Each document is given a full introduction, explanatory notes and bibliography, and acts as a starting point for further discussion. Through paintings, sculptures, coins and inscriptions, as well as literary texts in translation, the book explores the major themes and problems of Roman religion, such as sacrifice, the religious calendar, divination, ritual, and priesthood. Starting from the archaeological traces of the earliest cults of the city, it finishes with a series of texts in which Roman authors themselves reflect on the nature of their own religion, its history, even its funny side. Judaism and Christianity are given full coverage, as important elements in the religious world of the Roman empire.
'This is an excellent book that answers any reader's questions on the religious life of the Romans.' The Australian National Review ' ... the best one-volume study in publication ... a well written book that should have a place of the shelf of every student of early European history, and on that of every theologian as well'. Theology 'These books are the result of years of patient scholarship and intellectual questioning. No other volume has covered such a time span so effectively and made such clear use of maps, illustrations and archaelogical evidence.' Robin Lane-Fox, British Museum Magazine
1. Earliest Rome; 2. The deities of Rome; 3. The calendar; 4. Religious places; 5. Festivals and ceremonies; 6. Sacrifices; 7. Divination and diviners; 8. Priests and priestesses; 9. Individuals and gods: life and death; 10. Rome outside Rome; 11. Threats to the Roman order; 12. Religious groups; 13. Perspectives; Glossary; Deities and their epithets; Bibliography; Indexes.