A comparison of the beliefs of ancient greeks and ancient romans

Rome and greece compare and contrast

The farmer who had himself brought dying to the Senate, announcing on Jupiter's behalf that the games had to be recommenced, would have earned only contempt if he had not suddenly recovered his health while recounting his vision. One is not surprised that a daughter resembles her mother, nor that she differs from her in some things. Auguste went to question the Delphic oracle, and Germanicus that of Claros; but the distant oracles, so rarely consulted, could scarcely establish any credit in Rome and be incorporated into religion. Caligula and Nero believed themselves living gods while Domitian thought himself the reincarnation of Hercules. Evander had brought them from Greece with all their indecency: the naked shepherds ran lasciviously here and there, hitting spectators with their whips. Tantalus always dies of thirst amidst the waters; Sisyphus rolls eternally his rock; never will the vultures abandon the entrails of Titys. If some dreams were rumored and produced events, one would not have looked for them in the temples; they came of themselves, accompanied by some striking circumstance, without which people would not have taken account of them. Under the reign of this prince, religion took a stable form: either he was called to the crown by his piety and had no other purpose than to honor the gods; or, armed by the principles of Pythagoras, he wanted to give his policy all the appearance of religion ; or else, raised in the doctrine of the ancient Sabines as the most pure and austere and not in the doctrine of philosophy that Titus assures us did not appear until the reign of Servius Tulsius, and then in the outer limits of Italy, Numa thought he could do nothing more advantageous for the establishment of the Roman Empire than to introduce the rites of his country, and to soften, with the principles and impressions of religion , a savage and war-like people who knew almost no other law than that of superiority, nor other virtues than valor. The Romans did not want to laugh at the expense of their gods; if Plato made them laugh in his Amphytrion , it was a foreign fable that he presented to them, a fable that was not at all believed in Rome but that Athens adopted when it was treated by Euripides and Archippus. This was never more than base flattery that slavery had introduced. Thus without having recourse to Aeneas, Greek religion found its birth in Rome. Any religion has its wonders: the fathers have always seen, the children see nothing but they are persuaded as if they had seen.

Seneca and the other tragedians did precisely what we do today. Roman religion proposed in everything the intervention of the gods—but in all that was good and honest.

The virtues were not forgotten: prudence, piety, courage, faith—-for each moral beings who was personified, a temple; and Cicero found that very good because he said men have to regard the virtues as divinities that inhabit their souls.

Compare and contrast greek and roman military

Can we hope, says Cicero, to meet the gods in the streets, in public places, in our houses? Religion did not teach it, and those who embraced it never used it to enchain the will of man. Did the Romans think the same? This Greek Jupiter, like the greatest of the gods, was also the most vicious; he transformed himself into swan, bull, and golden rain, in order to seduce mortal women. The religion of the Greeks and of the Romans is the same religion , with Greek the mother and Roman the daughter. Virgil shows us all the heroes of Rome in the Elysium; they did not make them gods. Can one believe that amid this impure pomp, one was exposing for public veneration objects that cannot be too well veiled: those monstrous phalluses, which apart from orgies cannot be seen without blushing? Any religion has its marvelous side: that of Greece showed in the dreams, oracles, auguries and miracles.

Horace and Virgil in dressing the gods Greek-style did not destroy the ancient traditions. Paris, Cotta proves very well against the Epicurian Velleius that the gods could not have sensory figures; and when he said that, he exposed the sentiments of Rome from its birth.

A comparison of the beliefs of ancient greeks and ancient romans

Might one raise the objection of the apotheosis of Roman Emperors? Though these countries are Mediterranean countries, they differ in their terrain.

greece and rome comparison chart

Learn More. Arriving in Rome from AlexandriaSarpis was a healing god and the sick would travel to her temple to be cured. It was a part of the cult; but it appears that the Greeks profaned them much more than the Romans.

greek and roman civilization summary
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Comparison: Ancient Greeks & Romans for Kids and Teachers