Chapter

The Historical Development of Roman Religion: An Overview<sup>†</sup>

Georg Wissowa

in Roman Religion

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780748615650
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748650989 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748615650.003.0057
The Historical Development of Roman Religion: An Overview†

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This chapter explores the historical development of Rome's religion. If the oldest order of gods was adapted to the interests and needs of a small urban community living in the closest proximity, subsequent religious development was determined by Rome's expansion beyond its own territory and through its gradual absorption of neighboring communities and tribes. The changed political relations are clearly manifested in the area of religion. The old triad of gods – Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus – recedes and survives only in the prayer formulae that derived from an older time. In its place came a new group of divinities – Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva – which took its place on the crowning heights of the city. The foundation of this temple, which means the beginning of a new era in more than one respect, is attributed by the ancients unanimously to the Tarquins.

Keywords: Rome; religion; gods; Jupiter; Mars; Quirinus; Juno; Minerva; temple; Tarquins

Chapter.  13106 words. 

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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