Epigraphy and Roman Religion

John Scheid

in Epigraphy and the Historical Sciences

Published by British Academy

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265062
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754173 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Epigraphy and Roman Religion

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An abundance of Latin votive inscriptions adds much to the knowledge of religious belief in the Roman World. Several major cults of Roman (e.g. emperor worship) and foreign (e.g. Mithras) origin, and the identification of local deities with classical gods, would be little understood were it not for the survival of inscriptions. Similarly, inscriptions alone furnish many details of the ritual and ceremonial of sacrifice, most notably in the case of the archival dossier of the Arval Brethren near Rome, not mentioned in any literary source. The hopes and fears of ordinary folk are revealed in the inscribed prayers and curses addressed to the many oracular shrines in the Greco-Roman world.

Keywords: Latin votive inscriptions; religious belief; Roman cults; sacrifice; Arval Brethren; prayers; curses; oracles

Chapter.  6772 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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