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Word Count: 1,738
Of Gods and Romans The Romans during the time of their Republic relied on their advanced technology social structure leadership and politics to achieve as much as they did To these people their gods affected all of these factors and the relationships mankind had with them The contractual relationship between mankind and the gods involved each party in giving and in return receiving services The Romans believed that spirits residing in natural and physical objects had the power to control the processes of nature and that man could influence these processes by symbolic action The first is a primitive form of religious creed the second a type of magic The services by which the Romans hoped to influence the forces that guided their lives were firmly established in ritual - the ritual of prayer and the ritual of offering In either case the exact performance of the rite was essential One slip and you had to go back to the beginning and start again The very multiplicity of deities caused problems as did the gender of some of them wether you be god or goddess was a common formula in Roman prayers The motivations of the sacrifices are what of interest Most of the time sacrifices took place for purification supplication or celebration The purification ritual was one that was performed before battle 285 Asking for a deed to be done was very popular as well One usually asked for victory and good fortune in battle 20 Celebration is the event that seems to be the most spectacular of all Whether it is in joy of an enemies death such as Mithridates 201 the end of illness of a leader like Pompey 218 or simply the merriment that comes after large victory we see this in Caesars winnings in Gaul 264 Some sacrificial events took place in order to ask forgiveness and appeasement for defeat of a religious enemy 90 91 Any sacrificial routine
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