By J. H. W. G. Liebeschuetz

This ebook, first released in 1979 and out of print due to the fact 1986, surveys spiritual attitudes mirrored in Latin literature from the overdue Republic to the time of Constantine. Liebeschuetz specializes in the advance of the Roman public faith, rather the relation among Roman faith and morality.

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A Roman magistrate was elected with divine approval and kept testing divine approval as long as he was in office. As a result he had no need to base his public acts on anything other than law, precedent, or public advantage. Divination was intimately linked with the taking of decisions. Normally it did little more than provide routine confirmation. But from time to time its use resulted in postponement, prevention, or reversal of a decision. 3 But if we look at the history of the republic as a whole this was not typical.

There had been progress in the moralization of religion. There was the beginning of a tendency to give supernatural embodiment to absolute evil. Above all, Stoic material had been given greater prominence at the expense of historical institutions and customs of Rome. Chapter V bridges the third century when the empire was on the point of disintegration. Political and military anarchy had Page xiv been preceded by what can only be described as the collapse of Latin literature. The emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote in Greek, while the writings of Apuleius, the last great nonChristian writer in Latin of the early empire reflect a new religious tendency which was to become increasingly important in the future.

T. S. C. Daremberg, E. O. R. Fontes Iuris Romani Ante Iustiniani, vol. A. T. Hopfner, ed. Fontes Historiae Religionis Aegyptiacae Gr. Christ. Schrift. R. H. Peter, Historicorum Romanorum Reliquiae H. Theol. Rev. V. E. S. H. S. S. Journal of Roman Studies J. S. R. S. W. R. G. P. R. L. P. Migne, Patrologia Latina Prl. J. W. C. A. L. M. H. Phil. R. C. R. K. St. Th. G. E. M. A. G. 3 W. Dittenberger, Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum, 3rd ed. R. Studi e Materiali de Storia delle Religioni Stv. J. A. Transactions of the American Philological Association Page xiii Introduction This book is about religious change and particularly about the interrelation between religious attitudes and the general political situation.

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