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The Religion of the Romans by Jorg Rupke


The Religion of the Romans by Jorg Rupke

The gods were the true heroes of Rome. In this major new contribution to our understanding of ancient history, Joerg Rupke guides the reader through the fascinating world of Roman religion, describing its unique characteristics and bringing its peculiarities into stark relief. Rupke gives a thorough and engaging account of the multiplicity of cults worshipped by peasant and aristocrat alike, the many varied rites and rituals daily observed, and the sacrifices and offerings regularly brought to these immortals by the population of Ancient Rome and its imperial colonies. This important study provides the perfect introduction to Roman religion for students of Ancient Rome and Classical Civilization.


Rupke's close readings of texts are an excellent model for students, and his explanations of widely used theoretical approaches are extremely lucid. He covers an enormous amount of material with great concision, and negotiating it is made easier by multiple indices. It is one of the most important contemporary accounts of the field. Teresa Morgan, Times Literary Supplement Rupke is one of the most lively and authoritative scholars on Roman religion writing today [and] this is a concise and informative introduction to the subject. Journal of Classics Teaching This is an excellent, concise, and up-to-date introduction to Roman religion. It expertly surveys both the relevant facts and the underlying issues and will be useful to anyone interested in classical antiquity. Karl Galinsky, University of Texas at Austin Religion of the Romans engages the reader in a conversation about the Romans and their gods. Authored by one of the most original and lively investigators of Roman religion writing in any language, it is as lively as it is erudite. The overview of Roman cult it offers is both new and authoritative, and presents a real challenge to some of the sacred cows of Roman history. Illustrated with a mass of source material of every kind, it will be an essential guide for students, while also provoking established scholars to rethink some of their assumptions about Roman religion. Greg Woolf, University of St Andrews

About the Author

Joerg Rupke is Professor of Comparative Religion Studies at the University of Erfurt.

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Book Info

Publication date

12th December 2007


Jorg Rupke

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Polity Press


368 pages


Ancient religions & mythologies



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