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Curiosities of ancient Rome (Faith)

The world of ancient Romans abounded in a number of amazing curiosities and information. The source of knowledge about the life of the Romans are mainly works left to us by ancient writers or discoveries. The Romans left behind a lot of strange information and facts that are sometimes hard to believe.

Sulla’s divine guide

The Roman politician Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix, also known as Sulla, lived from 138-78 BCE. In the history of Rome, he went down as one of the most controversial figures of the Roman Republic. As an efficient military and politician, he is known for the first Roman civil war and the adoption of the office of dictator (82 BCE) for life. He was cruel in getting rid of political opponents. A certain goddess of war, Bellona, ​​played a large role in Sulla’s enormous career.


Church wealth

After gaining a dominant role in the Roman world, the ecclesiastical hierarchy moved away from propagated poverty. Churches turned into expensive palaces and bishops into wealthy patricians. The contradiction between the teaching of Christ and the practice of life was striking.

Early Christian fresco depicting the Christogram

Fetials – Roman priests

Fetials (fetiales) were a twenty-member college of priests dedicated to Jupiter. Priests were elected for life. Their task was to declare war and conclude an alliance, which was associated with special magical formulas. Their activities were closely related to religious rites and surrounded by the highest secrecy.

Fetials - Roman priests

Bacchus and Christ

The first Christians, wanting to gain as many followers as possible and to hide from the persecution of the authorities, tried to find an equivalent for the person of Christ in a pagan culture. It turned out that the most similarities can be found in Bacchus, the god of wild nature, vine and wine, who appeared relatively late in Roman culture. Both gods were portrayed as young and feminine when they were young.


Romans accused Christians of many crimes

The Romans accused Christians of many crimes. For example, they believed that early Christians were practising cannibalism. They probably thought so because they heard about Christ’s followers eating his flesh and drinking his blood. But where does the negative attitude of the Romans towards the followers of Christ come from?

Romans accused Christians of many crimes

Special role of Roman flamin of Jupiter

Roman priests, in addition to their cult activities, sometimes played another role – representing the function of “their” deity. A special case of such a priest was the flamin of Jupiter, the most venerable of the college of fifteen. He was concerned with observer rules, orders and prohibitions, which contained an extremely complex symbolism. On the surface it may seem that Jupiter’s flamin is a man like all the others: here he is an ordinary citizen and does not need to undergo any initiation in order to attain his dignity.

Flamin head from the middle of the 3rd century CE

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