Ancient Rome is known for its rich history and culture, including its religion. However, not many people know that the religion of Ancient Rome was heavily influenced by other civilizations. Let’s take a look at which other civilizations influenced the religion of Ancient Rome.
The first and most significant influence on the religion of Ancient Rome was the Greek Civilization. The Romans borrowed heavily from Greek mythology and incorporated their gods and goddesses into their own religious practices. For example, the Roman god Jupiter was based on Greek Zeus, while Venus was based on Aphrodite.
How did this influence happen?
The Romans came into contact with the Greeks in southern Italy during the 8th century BC. Over time, they began to adopt many of their religious beliefs and practices.
The Greeks had a pantheon of gods and goddesses that were associated with different aspects of life such as love, war, wisdom, and so on. The Romans identified these gods with their own deities.
Another civilization that influenced the religion of Ancient Rome was the Etruscan Civilization. The Etruscans were an ancient Italian civilization that preceded the Roman Empire. They had their own unique religious beliefs that included divination, sacrifice, and ancestor worship.
When the Romans conquered Etruria in 396 BC, they were exposed to their religious practices. The Romans adopted many of these practices, including divination through animal sacrifice and ancestor worship.
The Celtic Civilization also played a role in shaping the religion of Ancient Rome. The Celts were an ancient people who lived in Europe during the Iron Age.
When Julius Caesar conquered Gaul (modern-day France) in 58-51 BC, the Romans came into contact with the Celtic Civilization. The Romans were fascinated by their religious practices, which involved the worship of nature gods and goddesses. The Romans adopted some of these beliefs, including the worship of the goddess Epona, who was associated with horses.
In conclusion, the religion of Ancient Rome was influenced by several civilizations, including the Greek Civilization, Etruscan Civilization, and Celtic Civilization. These civilizations introduced new ideas and practices that were incorporated into Roman religious beliefs. The result was a unique and diverse religion that played a significant role in shaping Roman culture and society.