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Vesta was the goddess of the hearth in the Roman religion (idenitified with the Greek goddess Hestia). The hearth fire in the home of the ancient Romans was not only essential for cooking food and heating water, but also served as the gathering place for the family and, in time, became associated with the spirit of that particular family gathered around that particular... [continue reading]
One of the oldest Greek gods, Demeter (Roman name: Ceres) guaranteed the fertility of the earth and protected farming and vegetation. This close connection with the earth was inherited from her mother Rhea, and doubtless she was a reincarnation of local mother-Earth goddesses, commonly worshipped in rural communities. Daughter of Kronos and Rhea, sister... [continue reading]
Religion (from the Latin Religio, meaning 'restraint’, or Relegere, according to Cicero, meaning 'to repeat, to read again’, or, most likely, Religionem, to show respect for what is sacred) is an organized system of beliefs and practices revolving around, or leading to, a transcendent spiritual experience. There is no culture recorded... [continue reading]
In many societies, ancient and modern, religion has performed a major role in their development, and the Roman Empire was no different. From the beginning Roman religion was polytheistic. From an initial array of gods and spirits, Rome added to this collection to include both Greek gods as well as a number of foreign cults. As the empire expanded... [continue reading]