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Accounts of the Roman religion in recent standard works; a hard
and highly formalised system. Its interest lies partly in this
fact. How did it come to be so? This the main question of
the first epoch of Roman religious experience. Roman religion
and Roman law compared. Roman religion a technical subject.
What we mean by religion. A useful definition applied to the
plan of Lectures I.-X.; including (1) survivals of primitive or
quasi-magical religion; (2) the religion of the agricultural family ;
(3) that of the City-state, in its simplest form, and in its first
period of expansion. Difficulties of the subject; present position
of knowledge and criticism. Help obtainable from (1) archae-
Survivals at Rome of previous eras of quasi-religious experience.
Totemism not discernible. Taboo, and the means adopted of
escaping from it; both survived at Rome into an age of real
religion. Examples: impurity (or holiness) of new-born infants;
of a corpse; of women in certain worships; of strangers; of
criminals. Almost complete absence of blood-taboo. Iron.
Strange taboos on the priest of Jupiter and his wife. Holy or
tabooed places; holy or tabooed days; the word religiosus as
Magic; distinction between magic and religion. Religious authorities
seek to exclude magic, and did so at Rome. Few survivals of
magic in the State religion. The aquaelicium. Vestals and
runaway slaves. The magical whipping at the Lupercalia. The
throwing of puppets from the pons sublicius. Magical processes
surviving in religious ritual with their meaning lost. Private
magic excantatio in the XII. Tables; other spells or carmina.
Continuity of the religion of the Latin agricultural family. What the
family was; its relation to the gens. The familia as settled on
the land, an economic unit, embodied in a pagus. The house as
the religious centre of the familia; its holy places. Vesta,
Penates, Genius, and the spirit of the doorway. The Lar
familiaris on the land. Festival of the Lar belongs to the
religion of the pagus: other festivals of the pagus. Religio
terminorum. Religion of the household: marriage, childbirth,
Beginnings of the City-state: the oppidum. The earliest historical
Sources of knowledge about Roman deities. What did the Romans
themselves know about them? No personal deity in the religion
of the family. Those of the City-state are numina, marking a
transition from animism to polytheism. Meaning of numen.
Importance of names, which are chiefly adjectival, marking
functional activity. Tellus an exception. Importance of priests
in development of dei. The four great Roman gods and their
priests: Janus, Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus. Characteristics of each
of these in earliest Rome. Juno and the difficulties she presents.
No temples in the earliest Rome; meaning of fanum, ara, lucus,
sacellum. No images of gods in these places, until end of regal
period. Thus deities not conceived as persons. Though mas-
culine and feminine they were not married pairs; Dr. Frazer's
opinion on this point. Examination of his evidence derived
from the libri sacerdotum; meaning of Nerio Martis. Such
combinations of names suggest forms or manifestations of a
deity's activity, not likely to grow into personal deities without
Greek help. Meaning of pater and mater applied to deities;
procreation not indicated by them. The deities of the Indigita-
menta; priestly inventions of a later age. Usener's theory of
Main object of ius divinum to keep up the pax deorum; meaning of
pax in this phrase. Means towards the maintenance of the pax :
sacrifice and prayer, fulfilment of vows, lustratio, divination.
Meaning of sacrificium. Little trace of sacramental sacrifice.
Typical sacrifice of ius divinum: both priest and victim must be
acceptable to the deity; means taken to secure this. Ritual of
slaughter examination and porrectio of entrails. Prayer; the
phrase Macte esto and its importance in explaining Roman sacri-
fice. Magical survivals in Roman and Italian prayers; yet they
Vota (vows) have suggested the idea that Roman worship was bargain-
ing. Examination of private vows, which do not prove this; of
public vows, which in some degree do so. Moral elements in
both these. Other forms of vow: evocatio and devotio.
Lustratio: meaning of lustrare in successive stages of Roman experi-
Lustratio of the farm and pagus; of the city; of the
people (at Rome and Iguvium); of the army; of the arms and
trumpets of the army: meaning of lustratio in these last cases,
Recapitulation of foregoing lectures. Weak point of the organised
State religion: it discouraged individual development.
moral influence mainly a disciplinary one; and it hypnotised the
Growth of a new population at end of regal period, also of trade and
industry. New deities from abroad represent these changes :
Hercules of Ara Maxima; Castor and Pollux; Minerva. Diana
of the Aventine reflects a new relation with Latium. Question
as to the real religious influence of these deities. The Capitoline
temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, of Etruscan origin. Mean-
ing of cult-titles Optimus Maximus, and significance of this great
CONTACT OF THE OLD AND NEW IN RELIGION
Plan of this and following lectures. The formalised Roman religion
meets with perils, material and moral, and ultimately proves
inadequate. Subject of this lecture, the introduction of Greek
deities and rites; but first a proof that the Romans were a really
religious people; evidence from literature, from worship, from
the practice of public life, and from Latin religious vocabulary.
Temple of Ceres, Liber, Libera (Demeter, Dionysus, Persephone);
its importance for the date of Sibylline influence at Rome.
Nature of this influence; how and when it reached Rome. The
keepers of the "Sibylline books"; new cults introduced by
them. New rites: lectisternia and supplicationes, their meaning