History Cooperative – Countryside Festivals

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As the Romans saw many natural thigns such as trees, rocks and other matters as possible hosts to spirits or bearers of some other religious significance, then the countryside bustled with spiritual hints by gods, ghosts and spirits. There was also not a thing which wasn’t somehow guarded by a deity.

Read More: Roman gods

There was gods who watched over fields, groves, orchards, vineyards, springs, woods and any other matter. Jupiter for example watched over oak trees which were sacred to him. As country life was inevitably connected to agriculture, which was at the whim of nature, religious life in the country therefore consisted primarily of appeasing he many gods around one, ensuring that they would guard the harvest and be merciful.

As the ancient calendar, before later changes by the Romans, began on waht is now 15 March, the first traditional festival of the country calendar was the liberalia on 17 March. It was held to honour Liber, the god of fertile crops and vineyards. (The liberalia was also the traditional date when a boy could become a man by being given his toga virilis.)

On 15 April came the fordicia in honour of the earth goddess Tellus. For this pregnant cows were slaughtered in sacrifice and in Rome animal fetuses were burnt on altars. The parilia festival which took place the week after the fordicia, saw sheep being herded and forced to jump across burning bales of straw, in order to be purified.

Another festival was that celebrating the goddess Ceres which took place on 19 April. Ceres was especially connected with agriculture, the harvest and, especially, grain. So her festival was no doubt of significance to farmers. There would be a ritual march around the boundaries of the land, the so called lustration, to purify it and to honour the goddess. In the earlier times of Rome the festival of Ceres would see faxes let loose with torches tied to their tails where later the grand arena of the Circus Maximus would stand.

After the festival of Ceres followed the vinalia rustica which was a wine feast to celebrate…

Ancient Roman God Terminus

Terminus

From Pantheon.org – For Sources and References Roman God Terminus

“Border.” A Roman divinity presiding over boundaries and frontiers. His worship is said to have been instituted by Numa who ordered that every one should mark the boundaries of his landed property by stones to be consecrated to Jupiter (Ζεὺς ὅριος), and at which every year sacrifices were to be offered at the festival of the Terminalia.1 These sacred boundaries existed not only in regard to private property, but also in regard to the state itself, the boundary of which was not to be transgressed by any foreign foe. But in later times the latter must have fallen into oblivion, while the termini of private property retained their sacred character even in the days of Dionysius, who states that sacrifices of cakes, meal, and fruit (for it was unlawful to stain the boundary stones with blood), still continued to be offered.

The god Terminus himself appears to have been no other than Jupiter himself, in the capacity of the protector of boundaries.2 The Terminus of the Roman state originally stood between the fifth and sixth milestone on the road towards Laurentum, near a place called Festi, and that ancient/boundary of the Ager Romanus (“the field of Rome“) continued to be revered with the same ceremonies as the boundaries of private estates.3 Another public Terminus stood in the temple of Jupiter in the Capitol, and above it there was an opening in the roof, because no Terminus was allowed to be under cover.4 This is another proof that Terminus was only an attribute of Jupiter, although tradition gave a different reason for this circumstance; for when that temple was to be founded, and it was necessary to exaugurate other sanctuaries standing on the same site, all the gods readily gave way to Jupiter and Juno, but the auguries would not allow the sanctuaries of Terminus and Juventas to be removed. This was taken as an omen that the Roman state would remain ever undiminished and young, and the chapels of the two divinities were inclosed within the walls of the new temple. Here we may ask, what had a Terminus to do on the Capitol, unless he was connected or identical with Jupiter?

Prayer and Sacrifice Franco C. | Ancient Civilizations, Latest Updates, Roman Empire, Roman Religion

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Prayer and Sacrifice in Ancient Rome

In the Roman mind, there was a sort of contract between the gods and the mortals. As part of this agreement each side would provide as well as receive services.

Thee role of the mortal in this partnership with the gods was to worship the mighty gods. For this there was prayer and sacrifice. And for both of these activities there was firmly defined rituals. To perform these ritual correctly was of paramount importance. One mistake and one would have to begin all over again.

The very nature of Roman religion itself, with its numerous gods, many of which had multiple roles, was cause for problems. Particularly as in some cases not even the sex of a deity was clear. Hence the phrase ‘wether you be god or goddess’ was a widespread in the worship of certain deities. Many Roman gods also had entire colelction of additional names, according to what aspect of life they were a patron to.

So, for example Juno was Juno Lucina in her role of goddess of childbirth. But as goddess of the mint she was known as Juno Moneta (this curious role came about because for a long time the Roman state mint was housed in her temple on the Capitoline hill).

There appear to have been few things for which there was not a special prayer. So, for example, …