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Roman Religion$
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Clifford Ando

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780748615650

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748615650.001.0001

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Cults, Myths, and Politics at the Beginning of the Empire†

Cults, Myths, and Politics at the Beginning of the Empire†

Chapter:
(p.117) 6 Cults, Myths, and Politics at the Beginning of the Empire
Source:
Roman Religion
Author(s):

John Scheid

Philip Purchase

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748615650.003.0029

This chapter states that public religion was necessarily linked to politics for many years now, and even to questions of political advantage, as it expressed the relations of the people of Rome with the gods, their divine partners. The language of this religion was that of civic relations, its field of operation the political community of divine and human beings, its context that of internal and external politics. In other words, the operation of this religion was necessarily marked by a certain coldness, by calculation of advantage and by attention to reality: Roman religion was in good health and held in high esteem to the extent that it was linked to politics and the political. The chapter examines a set of cases dating, for the most part, from the beginning of the era of Christianity, by taking the perspective of cult activity.

Keywords:   public religion, politics, Rome, gods, Christianity, cult, civic relations

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