Social and Cultural Determinants in Ancient Rome Religious Life
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Roman religion, social and cultural determinants, Roman culture, religious cult, mentality

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Roma, A. (2020). Social and Cultural Determinants in Ancient Rome Religious Life. Multiversum. Philosophical Almanac, 1(2), 172-187.


The life of a society is inextricably linked with a certain socio-cultural reality, determined by a number of multi-vector factors. In ancient societies religious component has always played a great role. First of all, religion is one of the main cultural components. Secondly, it is an important social and political factor. Thirdly, due to its regulatory, ideological and compensatory functions religion becomes a key to understanding the depth of human feelings that are still timeless and unshakable. In spite of common belief that religion forms the culture and traditions of the society, it is important to emphasize the reverse influence – social and cultural impact on formation and evolution of religious life. In matters of worship Romans were extremely careful, the rituals were strictly regulated, each case had own deity which demanded a special treatment. Cult appears not as a covenant, but as a legal contract between gods and men that requires mutual obligations. Romans transfer internal social relations to relationship between gods and human. Religion cannot be comprehended as a separate component; it is intertwined into the holistic social and cultural picture of Ancient Rome. Roman religion was not identical; as any other religion, it differed out of political situation and trends of the times. However the core of religion and the nature of relations between gods and people were unaltered. The article is dedicated to identification of social and cultural components in Roman paganism tradition in Classical period that helps either deep understanding of the religion of Ancient Rome, or reconstructing worldview principals of Antiquity. Although Roman religion could be described as an empty one and its adepts as impious, such conclusion would be erroneous. The piety for Romans meant worship according to the laws of Rome – quite strange, but totally authentic Roman peculiarity, generated by socio-cultural features. Personal well-being becomes inseparable from the nationwide prosperity. The uniqueness of Roman religion is a great example of a mixture of religious endeavors, state interests and spiritual human aspirations.
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