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Religion Private and Shared

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    1. Religion Private and Shared Pompeii and Herculaneum The rituals practiced before the shrine demonstrated the reliance of the familia in its maintanence and continuity. The shrine bound the Roman family to its past, protected its present and provided for its future. Jashemski

    2. Religion, Dynamic and Diverse Most of the Roman gods and goddesses were a blend of several religious influences. Many were introduced via the Greek colonies of Southern Italy. Many also had their roots in old religions of the Etruscans or Latin tribes. The Roman presence in Pompeii and Herculaneum, therefore, saw no great breach in the religious observations of the people. With the passing of the Roman republic into that of the Imperial system, the nature of Roman religion expanded to include the Emperors themselves

    3. Role of Religion To the Romans, religion was less a spiritual experience than a contractual relationship between mankind and the forces which were believed to control people's existence and well-being. The result of such religious attitudes were two things: a state cult, the significant influence on political and military events of which outlasted the republic, and a private concern, in which the head of the family oversaw the domestic rituals and prayers in the same way as the representatives of the people performed the public ceremonials

    4. Function of the Lararium The lararium was a central part of any Roman household. It was a household shrine located in either the house or the garden, and was where the family prayed and offered small gifts of fruit and wine to the spirits every morning. These would be Vesta (the goddess of the hearth), the Lares (household spirits), the genius (a guardian spirit of the family), the Manes (ancestral spirits) and the Penates (spirits of the pantry). Also Janus was the spirit of doorways.. The only way for a family to keep the pax deorum (peace of the gods) was to follow a sacred ritual. A sacred salted cake was thrown into the fire at the chief meal each day to appease Vesta. This ritual originated in the days when families still lived off the land and preservation of the household fire was essential to farmers who depended upon it

    6. Rites of Passage centred on the shrine Birth. A sacrifice of incense and cake was made at the family shrine when a new born was accepted into the family by the paterfamilia, and on the eighth day after the birth, the baby was named in a ceremony( lustratio )Relatives friends and clients of the paterfamilia would gather in the atrium area to congratulate the parents and wish the child good fortune Marriage. When a girl was to be married, omens and sacrifices were taken and on the day of her marriages her father offered a banquet Death . This was marked by a rite called conclamatio by which the gathered relatives invoked the deceaseds name out loud. Usually the body was prepared by the women and a coin was placed under the tongue, to pay Charon the ferryman, who bore the soul to the next life and the body was laid out in the atrium for visitors to show their respect

    7. Ritual Sacrifice Praeparatio In domestic sacrifices the preparation is easier. The sacrifice takes place in front of the Lararium usually placed near or above an hearth or fireplace (focus). If it is a blood sacrifice, it can be made on an outdoor Lararium or on a focus prepared on purpose outside the house. The sacrificer is usually the paterfamilias, but the materfamilias can also sacrifice in some occasions (e.g. she sacrifices to her Iuno - guardian spirit or female equivalent of the Genius - on her birthday). Other members of the household can help to carry the offerings or other objects. In order to ensure that the words are correctly spoken, one of the assistants may be charged to read the words and whisper them to the sacrificer [Plinius, Naturalis Historia, 28.3.10]. The sacrificer should also bath himself before the sacrifice [Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, 1.45]. Once the time comes, the officiants approach the Lararium where an image of the deity honoured in the sacrifice is placed among the Penates (deities worshiped in the household). The sacrificer faces the Lararium, while the assistants and audience remain on his back

    8. Immolatio- Blood Saccrifice The immolation procedures are better known in the public context than in the domestic context. Nevertheless it is very likely that domestic sacrifices followed at least a subset (probably variable according to the habits and possibilities of each household) of the public sacrifices. The sacrificed victims were always domestic animals carefully selected according to species, sex, colour and size, in order to match the nature of the deity to which they were offered. Male deities received male victims (some received castrated victims, others complete victims), while female deities received female victims. White victims were offered to the Celestial gods, black victims to the Underworld gods (Dii Inferi such as Dis, Proserpina, the Manes) or of the night, red victims were offered to Volcanus and Robigo. Pregnant sows were offered to Ceres and Tellus in some expiatory rites. Swines and rams were usually offered in funerary sacrifices

    9. Redditio In this phase the offerings are actually given to the deity. Usually, only a part of the offerings is actually given to the deity, the rest being profanated and consumed by the humans after the sacrifice Parentalia - (the feast for dead parents) The first of three related festivals in February for appeasing the dead which started on the Ides and lasted until the 22nd. From February 13 through the 21st temples were closed, marriages were forbidden, and public officials lay down their insignia of office. On the 22nd, Romans celebrated the Carista, (the feast of the dear kindred). Although the Parentalia always began with the performance of ceremonies in honor of dead parents by a Vestal Virgin, Romans basically celebrated the Parentalia at the family level. Families walked outside the city to visit the family tombs and performed private sacrifices in honor of dead kin (especially parents). The sacrifices were simple, a little wine, a little corn or bread, perhaps some votive garlands. It was a quiet, personal, reflective day, followed by a quiet reflective week or so to think about loved ones and the importance of the family.

    11. Types of Larariums The shrines varied in complexity. Some were floor models that looked like miniature temples with built in cupboards for holding household objects. Others were flat and relatively simple with only a raised platform or a shelf for offerings. The fresco on the front could show the family Lares flanking the guardian spirit. There could be a picture of a snake crawling across the bottom, as for the Romans, the snake was a symbol of wisdom and knowledge and was believed to have powers over the well-being of the family. In larger cabinet-like larariums, the Romans sometimes kept live snakes as pets and to protect their miniature temple from evil spirits and misfortune.

    12. Lararium Painting House of the Bicentenary

    13. Lararium insert in Wall House of the Vetti

    14. 3 dimensional lararium( Aedicula )

    15. House of the Tragic Poet& House of Menander

    16. Outdoor Lararium in House of the Mosaics

    17. Lares Compitales

    18. Wine Shop Lares

    19. Necropolis near Porta Nucera

    20. Attitudes to death In Petroniuss Satyricon Trimalchio says Mans life alas is but a span, so let us live while we can. Well be like this when dead ( silver skeleton thrown on the table ) Romans had no clear concept of life after death but numerous graffiti urge the people to live life to the full. Learn this well: while I am alive, you are my enemy, Death

    21. Examples of elaborate Tombs

    22. Tomb of Mammia& Altar Tomb of NaevoleiaTyche

    23. Tomb of Vestorius Priscus ( Herculaneum)

    24. Tombs as a reflection of Status Many of the earlier tombs had a box-like shape, featuring decorative concrete ornamentation on the outside and elaborate wall paintings and funerary offerings on the inside (Grant 57). However, in The Age of Augustus, a different kind of tomb, shaped like a semicircular bench, came into fashion. This style of monument was only built for the very highest social tier of Pompeian society. Many of those that have been found are located within the sacred zone around the perimiter of the city, called the pomerium, an area that the town council only allotted to those people considered to be deserving of great prestige and privilege (Zanker 122-123). This new type of tomb fit well with Augustan ideals, as it did not mearly honor the deceased but also provided an amenity for the town. Tombs as a reflection of StatusArchaeologists have interpreted the worn steps of these monuments to mean that travelers as well as citizens of Pompeii used these benches often as places to sit and to rest (Zanker 124).