Author Topic: Ancient Romans [#1156]  (Read 877 times)

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Offline DL

Ancient Romans [#1156]
« on: March 12, 2009, 09:05:38 PM »
hey there, im not sure if you guys will read this but ill still give it a shot

 

in a certain chapter of your site, you said that the ancient romans believed in Zeus
and his friends in marble temples

 

just to let you know that even though alot of people think the romans were really
religious, they werent...

 

the poor ones (slaves, normal civilians etc...) still did believe in the Gods, yes,
but they started to doubt the gods as there wasnt any proove around.

 

on the contrary, the richer ones (the so called "patricians", not sure if thats
correct english) didnt believe in the God's at all. they were "poeta doctus", wich
means as much as "to achieve a certain amount of knowledge about some matters and be
"equal" to the great philosophers", they saw the gods as mere entertainment in poems
and stories.

 

the only thing they did believe in, was "fate". a single matter that isnt really
alive, (it isnt a living creature) but its something that determines everything.

the fate has already determined everything that will happen, you dont know what fate
has decided, you cant stop it, you cant evade it, its there. and it will happen

 

hope this is in any way useful to you guys

I really love your site and i totally agree with what you are saying (before i found
out about you I didnt quite meet some1 who thought about religion the same way as we
do)

 

sincerely, [name]


P.S. if you're wondering how come i know all these things about the ancient romans /
greeks; well ive been studying latin for over 5 years now


Offline Hermes

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Re: Ancient Romans [#1156]
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2009, 09:36:28 PM »
Towards the end, you're absolutely right; they didn't believe in the Greek Pantheon.  Towards the beginning, though, what do your studies show?  :)

Additionally, that non-Christian gods were worshiped and are currently worshiped in earnest should be enough to establish the main point being made.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Thomas

Re: Ancient Romans [#1156]
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2009, 05:37:47 PM »
Towards the end, you're absolutely right; they didn't believe in the Greek Pantheon.  Towards the beginning, though, what do your studies show?  :)

Additionally, that non-Christian gods were worshiped and are currently worshiped in earnest should be enough to establish the main point being made.

Hey, ive just created an account to participe on the forums but this message about the romans is mine

well, at the beginning of the early roman ages, the absolute power (the kings wich were the first rulers of Rome) could do anything without any actions taken.
a way to justify their leadership and to more easily control the public became... the Gods.
they "invented" the roman gods and said they (the kings) were their children! this would mean to the ordinary public that they should in no way object to the rulers, that they should follow them blindly and Believe everything they uttered.

after a few decades this became generally accepted and some time later people didnt even know about the "start" of the Gods, they just thought the Gods were so real because of all the stories told in wich Gods walk the earth as if it would be the most normal thing out there.
some started to think "why doesnt God appear to me then?" well there were 2 simple answers:

1) im not worthy. Gods will only come to me when I make myself worthy. how could this be done? the rulers provided them with solutions like "join the army! give money! vote for..!(when democracy arrived this is) be a good civilian! follow the leaders! etc...

2) they already have but I just didnt notice. they could have appeared in the form of an ant, or a dog, or a bird in the air, or a family member acting weird... but how do I really get in touch with these Gods? (wich were said to be proven when f.e people saw 3 birds sitting on the same branch or something like that...) well, go to part 1) of the answers.. they had to become more "worthy"

so the Gods tale started to lead his own life in a way that even the emperors themselves believed it, as they were the higher authority, the only thing u could do would be to believe yourself..

some years later the philosophers/writers saw tru all these tales and started to (secretly) share it with others, in that way the more "poeta docti" people found out about the fake Gods and eventually they were only used as decoration in poems...and ofcourse the poor people still believed in them

and yep, you're right about the point this makes

hope you dont mind reading this long reply lol...

sincerely, Thomas.


Offline Agamemnon

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Re: Ancient Romans [#1156]
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2009, 07:00:11 PM »
Hi Thomas and welcome!
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.  --Bertrand Russell

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Ancient Romans [#1156]
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2009, 07:05:15 PM »
Sure, people like Lucretius and Epicurus had a significant and long-lasting effect, and many in power over the 1000+ years history of the republic, then empire, like today, paid lip-service to the gods as a means to an end (and said as much). But, there were many religious "patricians", "equines" or whatever as well. Sacrifices hardly waned, in any period, and zeal was epic during times of crisis. At one point (I think during an invasion of Gauls or Cimbri), the Senate had a slave buried alive to sanctify the proceedings.

I have not fully researched the matter, and am always learning, but I do think you're over-generalizing.  

You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Ancient Romans [#1156]
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2009, 07:07:47 PM »
Also, foreign gods were widely worshipped. Mithras and Isis were very popular, and as devoutly worshipped as their later counterpart baby jesus.

Of two authors I recently read, both were devout. Appeleius was initiated into the mystery religion of Isis and Plutarch was a priest in Greece.
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Kerlyssa

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Re: Ancient Romans [#1156]
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2009, 07:32:32 PM »
Non greek cults were popular in the upper class, but generalizing to say that none of them were religious is a bit of a leap.
It never bodes well when Systems Engineering and Integration performs a debris analysis on you...

Offline Thomas

Re: Ancient Romans [#1156]
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2009, 05:09:25 AM »

Offline Thomas

Re: Ancient Romans [#1156]
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2009, 05:20:56 AM »
Sure, people like Lucretius and Epicurus had a significant and long-lasting effect, and many in power over the 1000+ years history of the republic, then empire, like today, paid lip-service to the gods as a means to an end (and said as much). But, there were many religious "patricians", "equines" or whatever as well. Sacrifices hardly waned, in any period, and zeal was epic during times of crisis. At one point (I think during an invasion of Gauls or Cimbri), the Senate had a slave buried alive to sanctify the proceedings.

I have not fully researched the matter, and am always learning, but I do think you're over-generalizing.  



I am, indeed, over-generalizing..

most people did still believe in the Gods, only some select few didnt. they sometimes made very subtle hints to the Gods being imaginary in their poems. if you read their poems today, you're likely to not find these hints because of:

1) you're not reading it in Latin/ ancient Greek

2) you just dont pay attention to it. during my studies, we've spent several weeks (1hr a day) explaining and disecting one single poem, which only consisted of 9 phrases (not sure what the correct english word is) to find about all the stylistic figures, subtle metaphores etc..

3) the text you're reading is an adapted version. during 100's of years of copying alot of interesting facts were lost.
there only are a few texts we can be sure of they are original.

it may seem in my last post that all the writers and upper class people werent religious. this wasnt true at all and im sorry if it seemed that way.

not all the great writers were atheists aswel, but f.e. Homerus and Horatius were

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Ancient Romans [#1156]
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2009, 06:18:57 AM »
What is your first language, Thomas?

You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Thomas

Re: Ancient Romans [#1156]
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2009, 08:38:40 AM »
What is your first language, Thomas?



is it that obvious?  ;D

yes, english isnt my first language indeed... I live in Belgium and my first language is Dutch
I pretty much speak dutch, french, english, latin, and german. (but I dont actually speak latin ^^)
but not that good though..

why do you ask?

« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 08:47:33 AM by Thomas »

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Ancient Romans [#1156]
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2009, 09:13:10 AM »
Curious.

Quand tu oublies des mots en Anglais, tu peux les dires en Fran├žais, ou en Allemand et je peux t'aider. 
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Thomas

Re: Ancient Romans [#1156]
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2009, 09:51:30 AM »
Curious.

Quand tu oublies des mots en Anglais, tu peux les dires en Fran├žais, ou en Allemand et je peux t'aider. 

oh merci, I'll keep it in mind ;)