All posts tagged Religion

The Walking Dead of Ancient Rome

rome-walking-dead

One of my all time favourite comics (and now television show by AMC) is The Walking Dead. The show depicts a post apocalyptic world filled with zombies (dead people) and the living fight for their own survival.

Fortuitously in the ‘real world’ we have no such interaction with the dead and they are placed firmly within the realms of fiction.

However, in Ancient Rome it was a completely different story. The living perceived a very real threat of the dead returning and sought measures to placate the restless spirits of those that had past.

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Secession of the Flute Players (311 BC)

Secession of the Flute Players (311 BC)

There have been many famous secessions in Ancient Rome (the multiple secessions of the plebeians immediately springs to mind).

However, until recently reading a passage in Livy (9.30.5-10), I was unaware of another potentially damaging secession, that of the flute players!

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Religion and Superstition for the Romans

Jupiter - Religion and Superstition for the Romans

For the ancient Romans, there was a clear distinction between practices that could be defined as religious and those that were a superstition.

This article will define both concepts and then provide two examples of practices the Romans regarded as a superstition in the ancient world.

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An Altar of Peace upon a Field of War

ara-pacis-augustae

Eighteen years after the battle of Actium decisively brought the civil wars to a foregone conclusion, the Roman Senate consecrated an altar in honour of Augustan peace and placed it upon the field of Mars.

The patron was to be Augustus Caesar, the victor of the civil wars and the man who proclaimed to have brought a golden age to the people of Rome. A time of abundance, peace and prosperity, where conscience guided the actions of man, a return to the golden age of Saturn.

The Ara Pacis Augustae stands testament to this propaganda. It uses mythological, allegorical and historical scenes to symbolise peace and prosperity, primarily thanks to the activities of the first citizen.

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