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Agamemnon
21 Nov 2010, 22:13
If you have any questions about religio Roman, ask away. I will try to answer your questions as quckly as I can.

LiadanWillows
21 Nov 2010, 22:49
Can you give me the basics? I honestly know nothing about it. (other than the name sounds pretty cool) :)

Agamemnon
21 Nov 2010, 23:04
The basics are pretty simple. You have twelve major deities with Jupiter as the head. Then you have many minor deities as well. A family sets up an alter called a lararium where they worship the GODS the Lars and the Penates (SP?). I share my food and drink with the GODS, Lars, and Penates. I pray to my ancenstors for guidance. It is the type of religion, or at least how it is practiced today, as a very personal religion. Through good deeds and offering to the GODS, one secures both blessings in this life and eternity in paradise.

cesara
22 Nov 2010, 07:38
What role does Juno play in your practice?

Dez
22 Nov 2010, 08:25
What are Lars and Penates?

I grew up with kids books that lumped the Greek and Roman gods into just being different names for the same beings...could you talk to us about some of the differences?

What about gods that the Roman pantheon absorbed? I know that Isis worship was very popular in Rome for a while, for example? Do you ever venerate other gods because of this? What do you think about historic figures who were worshiped?

Tylluan Penry
22 Nov 2010, 14:08
Do you worship the emperor? Actually, who is the emperor nowadays? ;)

Sorry, couldn't help myself. But the imperial cult was such a huge part of religious/ritual practice during the Roman empire, I was wondering how his absence could be dealt with.

Agamemnon
22 Nov 2010, 21:10
What role does Juno play in your practice?


Juno is the GODDESS of marriage and Queen of the GODS. She is worshipped manly by the wife and offerings to her will secure a healthy marriage. I pray to Juno whenever I am having problems with my wife. It does seem to help.

LiadanWillows
22 Nov 2010, 21:20
I couldn't help but notice that when you write Gods or Goddess you capitalize. Is there any significance here? Or personal preference?

I normally write Gods and Goddess out like this : God/dess

I got this from a book I am currently rereading that suggests writing it like this shows that one is part of the other, they are balanced and equal.

Agamemnon
22 Nov 2010, 21:29
What are Lars and Penates?

I grew up with kids books that lumped the Greek and Roman gods into just being different names for the same beings...could you talk to us about some of the differences?

What about gods that the Roman pantheon absorbed? I know that Isis worship was very popular in Rome for a while, for example? Do you ever venerate other gods because of this? What do you think about historic figures who were worshiped?


The Lares or Lars are Roman household gods regarded as the deified spirits of mortals. The Penates are the gods who were supposed to attend to the welfare and prosperity of the Roman family.

The big difference is that the Romans had GODS for everything where the Greeks had twelve GODS and a few minor GODS. Also the Romans where unique in that they honored their ancestors which If I remember correctly the Greeks did not to the same extent as the Romans.
The Greek and Roman Gods worshipped by the two nations had similar roles and duties. However, their names were different. The religion of the Romans differed in some respects from that of the Greeks, inasmuch as it was emphatically a state religion. It was more of a ritual and a ceremony. It included most of the deities of the Greek Pantheon, but was more comprehensive. It accepted the gods of all the nations that composed the empire, and placed them in the Pantheon, even Mithra, the Persian sun-god, and the Isis and Osiris of the Egyptians, to whom sacrifices were made by those who worshipped them at home. The Roman religion was more practical and less poetical than the Greek religion. Every Roman god had something to do, some useful office to perform. Several divinities presided over the birth and nursing of an infant, and they were worshipped accordingly, for the benefits which they were supposed to bestow. There was an elaborate "division of labor" among them. A divinity presided over bakers, another over ovens. Every vocation and every household transaction had its presiding Roman gods and goddesses.

The Romans established a college of pontiffs (religious leaders) to regulate worship and perform the higher ceremonies, which were complicated and minute. The pontiffs were presided over by one called Pontifex Maximus, a title shrewdly assumed by Julius Caesar to gain control of the popular worship. There were more superstitious rites practised by the Romans than by the Greeks, such as examining the entrails of beasts and birds for good or bad omens. There were augurs and haruspices to discover the will of the gods, according to entrails and the flight of birds. The ceremony and function of the Augur and the Auguries was extremely important to the Romans and the powerful augurs would be consulted prior to any major undertaking in Roman society, both public and private, including matters relating to war, commerce, and religion. Great attention was given to dreams and rites of divination.

Agamemnon
22 Nov 2010, 21:33
Do you worship the emperor? Actually, who is the emperor nowadays? ;)

Sorry, couldn't help myself. But the imperial cult was such a huge part of religious/ritual practice during the Roman empire, I was wondering how his absence could be dealt with.


My religious practice does not include the Imperial Cult. I think the act of doing so is profane. Though I do revere them, just not worship.

Agamemnon
22 Nov 2010, 21:41
I capitalize all letters in the name GOD or GODDESS to show my reverence for them and their importance in my life. All GODS and all GODDESSES are equal save one, and that is Jupiter. He is the king of the GODS.

Here is a little known fact, Lucifer is actually the name of a minor Roman deity and was the GOD of the morning star. I think I remember something about him pulling Apollo's horses. I could be wrong though.

Dez
27 Nov 2010, 08:27
Pain and Light, with the Q&A threads that we run on this forum, we encourage members to answer questions, but their opinions are not open for debate(in order to prevent the threads from being derailed and simply turning into arguments). That doesn't mean, however, that you can't create a debate thread on this topic.

Agamemnon, you will be supported in your right to hold your own opinions in this thread, however, a little extra courtesy can go a long way...especially if you want members to actually participate in the thread.

TwinLeaf
21 Jan 2012, 19:30
How do you pray. I mean what do you do with the sacrifices, do you do it quitely or out in the open? do you talk to Them on a personal level or do you have a ritual; have to go by for certian prayers(purify,guidence,ect...)

Catdemon-Ninja
24 Jan 2012, 22:26
The big difference is that the Romans had GODS for everything where the Greeks had twelve GODS and a few minor GODS. Also the Romans where unique in that they honored their ancestors which If I remember correctly the Greeks did not to the same extent as the Romans.

Actually, it's much more complicated than that. Just because a particular God or Goddess didn't fall under the category of "Olympian" didn't make said God or Goddess minor. Also, the Romans acttually combined some of the Greek Gods, Helios with Apollo and Selene with Artemis for example.


How do you pray. I mean what do you do with the sacrifices, do you do it quite or out in the open? do you talk to Them on a personal level or do you have a ritual; have to go by for certain prayers(purify,guidance,ect...)

If it's anything like Hellenic reconstruction, there are numerous hymns that can be recited, but no distinct prayers that you have to use. An offering or libation can be done at the altar, or just on the ground.

I myself am also curious: what are some traditional offerings for Roman reconstruction? Hellenists offer water, wine, honey, bread, and milk as traditional offerings.

PainAndLight
30 Jan 2012, 02:58
Actually, it's much more complicated than that. Just because a particular God or Goddess didn't fall under the category of "Olympian" didn't make said God or Goddess minor.


I addressed this issue quite a while ago. It was broken off into its own separate thread (http://www.paganforum.com/showthread.php?831-Greek-vs-Roman-pantheons)


Also, the Romans acttually combined some of the Greek Gods, Helios with Apollo and Selene with Artemis for example.

Actually, this wasn't the Romans, some of the later Greeks did this. Conflation of Artemis/Selene and Apollo/Helios can be found in the writings of Pausanias, Strabo and Plutarch, to name a few examples.

The Romans had the sun god Sol, and also er, imported Apollo from the Greeks. Then there was Diana, and the moon goddess, Luna. So the Romans still had similar, separate such deities.

ConnollyCelt
20 Mar 2012, 17:08
Where do you guys place books like the Aeneid and Metamorphoses? Do you regard them as fact? Or symbolism? Or just good fiction?

Iulla
19 May 2012, 19:44
Hey there, I hope you don't mind me jumping in - this section doesn't seem too active, and I hate leaving questions unanswered :)


Where do you guys place books like the Aeneid and Metamorphoses? Do you regard them as fact? Or symbolism? Or just good fiction?

I generally regard books like those as interesting fiction. There is some symbolism in them, especially in the Aeneid, like things such as how to correctly offer to the Roman pantheon and the importance of family and one's gods. But the epic is rampant with Augustan-era patriotism (or anti-patriotism, depending on the tint of your glasses).

There is something called the sortes Vergilianae, which is basically a method of divination in which one lets a work of Virgil (the author of the Aeneid) fall open, close their eyes, and move their finger around on the page until they feel like they have hit the proper area. Apparently this helps with telling the individual what they need to know, but I haven't had any luck with it so far (granted, I've only tried it once or twice).

The Metamorphoses are basically Greek myths remade for a Roman audience, with few actual Roman myths tossed in. Like the Aeneid, the gods have Roman names, but very Greek attributes. So I don't take them too seriously.

thalassa
21 May 2012, 06:51
Hey there, I hope you don't mind me jumping in - this section doesn't seem too active, and I hate leaving questions unanswered :)



Unfortunately, it is not...

so thank you so very much, and feel free to jump in all you like!

ConnollyCelt
21 May 2012, 14:50
Hey there, I hope you don't mind me jumping in - this section doesn't seem too active, and I hate leaving questions unanswered :)



I generally regard books like those as interesting fiction. There is some symbolism in them, especially in the Aeneid, like things such as how to correctly offer to the Roman pantheon and the importance of family and one's gods. But the epic is rampant with Augustan-era patriotism (or anti-patriotism, depending on the tint of your glasses).

There is something called the sortes Vergilianae, which is basically a method of divination in which one lets a work of Virgil (the author of the Aeneid) fall open, close their eyes, and move their finger around on the page until they feel like they have hit the proper area. Apparently this helps with telling the individual what they need to know, but I haven't had any luck with it so far (granted, I've only tried it once or twice).

The Metamorphoses are basically Greek myths remade for a Roman audience, with few actual Roman myths tossed in. Like the Aeneid, the gods have Roman names, but very Greek attributes. So I don't take them too seriously.

Thank you! That's helped a lot.

Iulla
22 May 2012, 16:16
Thank you! That's helped a lot.

Awesome, I'm glad to hear that!


Unfortunately, it is not...
so thank you so very much, and feel free to jump in all you like!

Hahaha wonderful; I will be sure to!



I myself am also curious: what are some traditional offerings for Roman reconstruction? Hellenists offer water, wine, honey, bread, and milk as traditional offerings.

For the most part, it seems that Roman offerings are the same as Greek. I have offered everything that you listed, and added more modern things like chocolate and a paper crane as a votive offering haha. Olive oil and coins are also things that I've offered. It all depends on the deity, too; for example, Venus doesn't seem to like Sugar Cookie scented oil (I use an oil burner because of allergies to incense), but Mercurius (Mercury) does.

Also, the way in which Roman recons offer to the gods is a bit different than Hellenic recons.

thalassa
23 May 2012, 05:07
I know that "adopting" other deities happened in ancient Rome, and the few Roman recons I know are fine (or participate) in that practice with non-Roman deities that were worshiped historically, and one of them even worships a few deities that don't have a historic cult--though she sticks to the pantheon of a culture that had direct contact with Rome.

How much is that the norm? Is worshiping outside of those known "adopted" deities (or pantheons) frowned upon, or (since we do live in an increasingly global world) is there room for someone to worship a deity that is meaningful to them that was not known in ancient Rome?

Iulla
24 May 2012, 08:04
Yep, that definitely happened in ancient Rome. The Romans were crazy about syncretism, hahaha.

Nowadays, I think it can go both ways, and it really depends on the person. You have the more staunch recons who would have a heart attack if they were to even think about worshiping deities outside of their main pantheon, and then you have those recons who are more than happy to incorporate other deities. And then you have recons from all eras of Roman history, from Archaic to the Republic to the Empire, so the deities that are worshiped may correspond to the time.

I've noticed that Gallo-Roman Reconstructionism is a rising trend, and so is Greco-Roman. You might see someone very comfortable with worshiping Sulis-Minerva or Mars Alator. Way back in ancient Rome it would not have been uncommon by any means for other deities like the Egyptian Isis, for example, to be worshiped in one's own pantheon, and I've heard of people doing this today as well.

A really popular modern recon group is Nova Roma. Now, they aren't strictly for the reconstruction of Roman religion, but they do incorporate it. They have colleges for the traditional Roman deities (Iuppiter, Mars, Minerva, etc.), and they treat "foreign" cults like the Cult of Isis and the Mithraic Mysteries as valid paths, but ones outside the traditional Religio. But for things that the Romans would not have practiced, like Asatru or Wicca, they do not allow.

I hope that answered your question; I tried not to make this too long of a post :(

ACuriousPerson
08 Sep 2012, 14:10
Q1: What spiritual/immortal beings do you consider as evil and not worthy of worship?
Q2: When offering food to the gods, does the food actually go away or do you just throw is away? I am asking this because I have seen my mother (who is Catholic, and I'm not saying that all Catholics do this) offer food to our deceased grandmother via putting food in front of a picture of her. I would just like to understand how the offering of food and such actually works.
Thanks in advance! :D

Iulla
09 Sep 2012, 12:19
Hi Curious! I'll answer your questions one at a time :]

Q1: There really aren't any deities or spirits in Roman Reconstructionism that are considered evil and not worthy of worship. In fact, the only ones that I can think of are called the Lemures and/or the Larvae (there's some debate as to if they are the same type of spirit) : those are thought to be rather malevolent spirits of the dead, and there's a cleansing festival each year to get rid of them.

Not even the deities associated with the underworld are "evil": they should be approached with a healthy dose of respect, like the other deities, but they've gotten a bad rap for really no reason.

Q2: I have to physically dispose of the food: the only reasons that food or liquid might go away on their own is if your house-animals eat it up or you leave it out for so long that the liquid dries up ;]

When you give an offering (or at least, this is how I see it), it's not so that the deity or spirit in question can swoop down and physically grab it. It's more of the act of offering that's the important part, but it also lets them take some of the essence of the offering. It's kind of like a..."I'm giving something to you, so will you please help me out in return?" sort of thing.

volcaniclastic
09 Sep 2012, 21:04
Hi Curious! I'll answer your questions one at a time :]

Q2: I have to physically dispose of the food: the only reasons that food or liquid might go away on their own is if your house-animals eat it up or you leave it out for so long that the liquid dries up ;]

When you give an offering (or at least, this is how I see it), it's not so that the deity or spirit in question can swoop down and physically grab it. It's more of the act of offering that's the important part, but it also lets them take some of the essence of the offering. It's kind of like a..."I'm giving something to you, so will you please help me out in return?" sort of thing.

I might have missed this, as I've only read this page, but...

Why don't you eat the food after you offer it, rather than letting it go to waste? If the intent is all that matters, then the deity or spirit in question won't think you're harming the pax deorum by consuming the offering afterwards, right?

Iulla
10 Sep 2012, 13:00
I might have missed this, as I've only read this page, but...

Why don't you eat the food after you offer it, rather than letting it go to waste? If the intent is all that matters, then the deity or spirit in question won't think you're harming the pax deorum by consuming the offering afterwards, right?

Oops! I guess I didn't make that too clear; sorry :[

I do eat the food: at least some of it, anyway. It's kind of like...sharing a meal. As for the left over food, I'll either put the rest outside for animals to eat, or, because I live in an apartment in the middle of the city and nature isn't too close, I'll toss it or run it down the sink. What I was getting at is that it doesn't just go away on its own through divine intervention ;]

I don't let it sit on the lararium for more than a couple of hours, because of sanitary reasons: you wouldn't leave perishable food or liquid sitting out for hours normally, right?

The only time that I don't consume the food is if I'm offering to a chthonic deity. That's considered polluted, and should be burned or buried.

volcaniclastic
11 Sep 2012, 06:56
Oops! I guess I didn't make that too clear; sorry :[

I do eat the food: at least some of it, anyway. It's kind of like...sharing a meal. As for the left over food, I'll either put the rest outside for animals to eat, or, because I live in an apartment in the middle of the city and nature isn't too close, I'll toss it or run it down the sink. What I was getting at is that it doesn't just go away on its own through divine intervention ;]

I don't let it sit on the lararium for more than a couple of hours, because of sanitary reasons: you wouldn't leave perishable food or liquid sitting out for hours normally, right?

The only time that I don't consume the food is if I'm offering to a chthonic deity. That's considered polluted, and should be burned or buried.

Ah, thanks for clarifying. What is a chthonic deity? And why do you make offerings to them?