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Review: Religions of Rome

Mary Beard, John North, Simon Price

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Religions of Rome

The book “Religions of Rome” by Mary Beard is a real treasury of knowledge about ancient Roman beliefs, as well as an attempt to look at Roman religion from a different perspective.

The authors of the great, over 500-page work – Mary Beard, John North, Simon Price – over 10 years of hard work have created a monumental collection of information about the world of Roman religion. The authors focus mainly on the development and transformation of beliefs within successive political forms. They emphasize how different cults of the world of that time intertwined with each other. The analysis of confessions is carried out in a broader context, which allows for a completely different understanding of Roman society. So far, the Roman religion has been described as separate elements: “pagan”, Jewish or Christian. Here, the authors prove that the faiths interpenetrated and influenced each other, which resulted from the multitude of cultures in the Empire.

Naturally, the reader will learn about some of the holidays, the genesis of their creation; deities and their multitude of images. The item shows the gradual transformation of the Roman religion along with the development of Rome and the gradual displacement of traditional Roman deities by Jesus of Nazareth.

The book, which is carefully published, will surely delight those who want to further expand their knowledge of the religion of Rome. The abundance of information and references to sources means that in fact, we are dealing with a serious scientific work that thoroughly analyzes Roman beliefs. Particularly noteworthy is the extremely rich bibliography and the multitude of footnotes that allow you to reach for broader studies of the subject and supplement your knowledge. Certainly, the position is not recommended for people who are just starting their adventure with the world of the Romans. We will not find here detailed descriptions of Lares or the cult of Genius. The book is addressed to people who already have a lot of knowledge about Rome: enthusiasts, students or scientists.

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