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010061 VO Introduction to Roman Religion (2017S)

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 1 - Katholische Theologie


Language: English

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Weitere Prüfungstermine:
MO 10.7.2017, 11.30-13.00 Uhr, HS 1 NIG (Erdgeschoß)
MO 25.9.2017, 9.45-11.15 Uhr, HS 1 ETF (5. Stock, Schenkenstraße 8-10)

Monday 24.04. 09:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum 2 (Kath) Schenkenstraße EG
Tuesday 25.04. 09:00 - 14:00 Seminarraum 1 (Kath) Schenkenstraße EG
Wednesday 26.04. 09:00 - 11:15 Seminarraum 2 (Kath) Schenkenstraße EG
Wednesday 26.04. 11:30 - 12:15 Seminarraum 1 (Kath) Schenkenstraße EG
Thursday 27.04. 09:00 - 12:15 Seminarraum 1 (Kath) Schenkenstraße EG
Friday 28.04. 09:00 - 12:15 Seminarraum 1 (Kath) Schenkenstraße EG


Aims, contents and method of the course

The course provides a concise introduction to Roman Religion. In the first part (lectures no. 1-6) its characteristic features (gods, priests, etc.) and structures (places of worship, rituals, calendar, etc.) will be discussed. After this synchronous exposition, the lectures will continue with a diachronic analysis of the development of Roman Religion, which is seen as a dynamic and changing system reacting to various impulses in its constantly changing environment (lectures no. 7-10). The lectures will also emphasize the major differences of the Roman religious system and its practical aims when compared to the religiosity of modern Europe, which was influenced and formed by differently oriented Christian traditions. The target group is primarily students of the Study of Religions, but students from other subjects of study (e.g. Classical Studies, Classical Archaeology, History, etc.) are also invited to participate.
At the end of the course students will:
- acquire a broader and more solid understanding of key aspects of Roman Religion
- be familiar with the history of the study of Roman religion during the 20th century and the major trends at the beginning of the 21st century
- critically interpret our most important literary sources and archeological discoveries concerning Roman Religion
- show appreciation of the most profound differences that Roman Religion had when compared with contemporary monotheistic religious traditions

1. Roman Religion - A General Introduction
2. Gods: Roman Pantheon and Its Structure
3. Human Actors: Roman Priestly collegia and Other Religious Specialists
4. Places: Roman Temples and Other Places of Worship
5. Time: Roman Calendar and Festivals
6. Cult: Roman Sacrifices and Other Rituals
7. How Roman Religion Worked I: Divination and Expiation of Prodigies
8. How Roman Religion Worked II: Imperial Cult and Divine Honors for Humans
9. How Roman Religion Worked III: Religious Alternatives: Ancient Mystery Cults, Magic and Binding Spells
10. Roman Religion - Concluding Remarks

Teaching methods
Lectures (90 minutes each) and discussion

Assessment and permitted materials

Written test.

Examination topics
The content of the final exam will be based on information provided during the lectures.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Assessment methods
One written test combining multiple-choice questions and open questions (100% of the grade); students are required to receive at least 60 of 100 possible points.

Examination topics

Reading list

Recommended Reading
BEARD, Mary, John NORTH, and Simon PRICE. Religions of Rome I: A History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
BEARD, Mary, John NORTH, and Simon PRICE. Religions of Rome II: A Sourcebook. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
NORTH, John. Roman Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
RÜPKE, Jörg. Die Religion der Römer: Eine Einführung. München: C.H.Beck, 2006.
RÜPKE, Jörg. Religion in Republican Rome: Rationalization and Ritual Change. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.
RÜPKE, Jörg (ed.). A Companion to Roman Religion. Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell, 2007.
RIVES, James B. Religion in the Roman Empire. Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell, 2007.
SCHEID, John. An Introduction to Roman Religion. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2003.

Association in the course directory

066 800 M1

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:27