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Ancient Roman Religion The life of a Roman citizen was centered upon religion Religion to the Romans was a very public and civil affair We Romans said Cicero owe our supremacy over all other peoples to our piety and religious observances and our wisdom in believing that the spirit of the gods rules and directs everything Cowell 180 Rome acquired many beliefs through cultural diffusion As Rome conquered territories and nations the beliefs of the conquered people would fuse with the Roman beliefs Romans would not suppress a god or belief of the conquered people for fear that the God suppressed would curse the empire Romans saw religion as a duty to the state and to the community not for the love of gods or the willingness to surrender themselves to the gods The Roman state religion was the supreme religion of the empire The state religion allowed all other religions to be practiced as long as the belief did not interfere with the state beliefs Many eastern religions and practices were widely accepted by Roman soldiers and poorer classes because it offered personal salvation no matter what social status one belonged to The eastern religions did not conflict with Roman beliefs either Christianity and Judaism were not accepted by the state because the beliefs associated with Christianity and Judaism required a subject to renounce all other gods and beliefs of former religions The Romans were very loyal to the state religion because of fear of persecution or exile The state religion of Rome was polytheistic and involved paganism The state religion included many of the Greek derived Etruscan gods and goddesses As trade and overtaking of Greek land occurred Romans not having much in mythology surrounding their gods the Romans adopted many Greek myths to support their gods In addition Rome acquired gods and deities from nations they traded with and conquered There were three main gods as there were in Greco
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