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Roman Religion Essay

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Religion played a significant role in the Roman civilization but, “many people believe that Rome was not a religious place. What they probably mean is that it was not a moral place.” (Burrell, 65) The Romans had innumerable gods that they worshiped which included giving gifts and sacrificing for their gods. Sacrificing animals was common for ancient Roman civilization. The idea of sacrificing came from the people before the Roman Empire was built. Religion primarily used sacrificing as a means of showing appreciation to the gods but later became a way to get things from the gods. The increases in the expansion of Rome lead to an increasing number of sacrifices. Roman sacrifice was done in many different ways and there were numerous…show more content…
Romans utilized praying to gods to make them successful or likely, not to make them better or nobler therefore, “Romans never seemed to mind how many different beings they had to worship.” (Burrell, 65) Romans would pray more often to increase the chance they had of their prayers being heard by a god.

Romans sacrificed or offered gifts to gods, heroes and the dead to request assistance. There were six categories that they sacrificed for based on motives, “fulfillment of a vow, thank offering, offerings made in the expectation of favours, sacrifices made at the instigation of the gods, sacrifices as a result of divination and anniversary dedications.” (Adkins)

The most common type of sacrifice was the fulfillment of a vow. Through this method, a person is requesting an action from a god a promise of a sacrifice is made. The next method, a thank offering was a result of a favor granted freely. Offerings made in the expectation of favours is a sacrifice would be made to a god and with anticipation of the request being granted, usually the request would be for the health of a given person. Unlike the vow method the person doing the sacrifice is not expecting a guaranteed fulfillment. Sacrifices made at the instigation of gods are preformed when a person felt that a sacrifice was necessary through a dream or another sign from a specific god. Sacrifices as a result of divination, “were a result of consulting oracles.” A person
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