By Jörg Rüpke
Was spiritual perform in historic Rome cultic and adverse to person expression? Or was once there, quite, massive range for person initiative and creativity? Jorg Rupke, one of many world's prime experts on Roman faith, demonstrates in his new publication that it used to be a lived faith with person appropriations glaring on the middle of such rituals as praying, dedicating, making vows, and studying. On Roman Religion definitively dismantles earlier techniques that depicted non secular perform as uniform and static. Juxtaposing very assorted, strategic, or even subversive types of individuality with traditions, their normative claims, and their institutional protections, Rupke highlights the dynamic personality of Rome’s non secular associations and traditions.
In Rupke’s view, lived historic faith is as a lot approximately adaptations or perhaps outright deviance because it is ready makes an attempt and screw ups to set up or switch principles and roles and to speak them through priesthoods, practices on the topic of pictures or categorized as magic, and literary practices. Rupke analyzes observations of spiritual adventure through modern authors together with Propertius, Ovid, and the writer of the "Shepherd of Hermas." those authors, in very alternative ways, examine person appropriation of faith between their contemporaries, they usually provide those reflections to their readership or audiences. Rupke additionally concentrates at the ways that literary texts and inscriptions knowledgeable the perform of rituals.
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Extra resources for On Roman Religion: Lived Religion and the Individual in Ancient Rome
7. For this mechanism in sacrifice, see Belayche 2011; Naiden 2013. 8. For the concept of agency, see Emirbayer and Mische 1998. 2 The material to be investigated in this chapter is a text by the Augustan poet Sextus Propertius (54/47–before 2 BC). Propertius won fame by publishing a book of elegies on the theme of his love (or that of his male persona) for a fictitious Cynthia, with both characters as members of the upper echelons of society. The poems also dwell on the political context of the civil wars preceding the sole rule of Caius Iulius divi filius Caesar, called Augustus from 29 BC onward.
42. 2868. Individual Decision and Social Order 35 the young Julius Caesar to the office of Flamen Dialis could be classified with the latter group. And there is much that suggests that this was not without reason: these offices must, in fact, have been sought after. Evidently, the exclusively patrician offices, the great Flaminates, the Rex, even membership in the Salii conferred significant privilege and prestige. These positions offered an entire lifetime of public prominence with their unusual dress (to be worn even outside larger ritual performances), with the right to a curule chair and a lictor, and with their frequent appearances in public; these priests were frequently active in the political and religious center of the city.
Once more, this is not a plea for renunciation of the concept. Its use enables comparison between epochs and cultures45 and thus offers new interpretative frameworks. Such a revision is desperately needed in the study of a period characterized by a scarcity of coherent sources, a field in which the counterstereotype of collectivity has too often been imposed onto the evidence. 43. Cf. Stroumsa 2008. 44. M. Fuchs 2015. 45. For discussion of the ancient Mediterranean, ancient and present-day India, and early modern and modern western and central Europe, see M.