Essay Ancient Roman Religion

3532 Words Apr 12th, 2005 15 Pages
Elizabeth Berninger
Statement of intent

Throughout the history of Rome, from the monarchy to the late empire, religion had played a great role in it's society and was involved in almost every aspect of the life of the Roman citizen. It was common for each house to have it's own patron god/gods and ,on special occasions, the head of the house would make a sacrifice to the personal gods of the family. Also, great festivals were usually held in honor of certain gods and would include spectacles like chariot races and Gladiatorial fights.
The religious practices of the ancient Romans are best remembered with grand temples, great festivals and Christian persecution to the final acceptance of Christianity within the Roman empire over the
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The most notable of these new religions was Christianity ,which had found it's roots in the rebellious Roman territory of Judea.
"And so it Came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augstus that whole world should be taxed"
These famous lines of the Christian Bible describe the first mention of a Roman Emperor and would be remembered throughout history with the birth of Jesus Christ ,the symbol of christianity. Though his life was short and he was crucified at an extremely young age, Jesus developed a cult following due to his presumed miracles and of his preaching of eternal peace and everlasting life. His crucifixion resulted in the spreading of his faith throughout the Roman empire and in the beginning of the end of traditional Roman religion. Ironically enough it was the Romanization of Europe that allowed the Christian faith to easily spread. By the death of Christ, the whole Roman empire was connected with well constructed roads and inns which allowed the prophets to spread their message easily and safely.
During the first decades preceding Christ's death, Christians were tolerated but not really liked by the general population of the Roman empire due to their refusal to acknowledge the emperor as a living god. This act of defiance was considered heresy by the state .The real mass persecution of the Christian people came during the reign of the emperor Nero who needed a scapegoat on whom to blame the great fire during his reign.