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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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The Theological Efforts of the Roman Upper Classes in the First Century Bc†

The Theological Efforts of the Roman Upper Classes in the First Century Bc†

Chapter:
(p.147) 7 The Theological Efforts of the Roman Upper Classes in the First Century BC
Source:
Roman Religion
Author(s):

Arnaldo Momigliano

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748615650.003.0032

This chapter discusses Arnaldo Momigliano's ‘The Theological Efforts of the Roman Upper Classes in the First Century bc’, and merits his Roman writing in theology with sympathetic dispassion. As a result, Momigliano sees with uncommon clarity the radical differences that characterise the writings on the gods of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Marcus Terentius Varro and Nigidius Figulus, and rejects the temptation to classify them all under ‘rationalism’ or ‘philosophy’. In speaking of the gods, Varro employs a cluster of terms that resonate in many fields, but two in particular. First, he assigns to gods and mortals specific duties in relation to each other and their communities; and, like Cicero, he charges them with cultivating each other, though for that action Varro and Cicero employ quite different terms.

Keywords:   Arnaldo Momigliano, theology, gods, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Marcus Terentius Varro, Nigidius Figulus, rationalism, philosophy, mortals

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