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Just like all other religion, the ancient Roman religion was centered around
gods. A whole bunch of gods. A stinking lot of gods. From early childhood
they were taught about all the gods. All over the house and over the fireplace
were icons crowned with flowers representing the gods and spirits of the family.
The two faced god Janus who sat over the doorways watched the entry and exit of
every door in the house. Penates, god of the interior, protected accumulations
of the family in its storerooms, cupboards, and barns. The father and mother,
the child was taught, are the embodimentof Genius and Juno, respectively. Both
had to be treated and nourished divinely. Hung on the walls were death masks of
the Di Manes, warning him to stick to tradition. Other gods included: Cuba,
protector of sheep; Abeona, guiding the first steps; Fabulina who taught speech;
Terra Mater - Mother Earth; Mars of the soil; Bona Dea for fertility. The farms
had gods for orchards, cattle, pasturage, manure, sowing, crops, corn, fire,
trees and stones. The Romans called the gods Numina, or spirits. Sometimes
they were representative of Health, Youth, Memory, Fortune, Honor, Hope, Fear,
Virtue, Chastity, Concord, Victory, and other abstractions. Never was there
before a religion with so many dieties. There have been thought to be over
30,000 different gods, others say there were more gods in some towns than men.
(Information sited from Caesar and Christ by Will and Ariel Durant.)
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Ancient Roman religion, Manes, Numen, Genius, Religion in ancient Rome, Gods, Religio, Di Penates
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