Romans were very strict to their religion and beliefs. In ancient Rome, people involved worshiping multiple gods and deities. The religion practice was in two different stages; state and family practices: the state worships were held by the government which were more organized. There were also colleges which would counsel people to the right way of worshiping gods. Roman sought will of their gods in mass prayers such as Olympic games, religious events and sacrificing while in the household every family had their own protective gods. Worshipers would offer prayers and sacrifices to the gods in order to request their favor.
In fact, the ancient Roman state’s religion were practiced for the well-being of the government and the citizens.
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They worshiped multiple gods to seek success in all aspects of life, each god had its unique function and had been worshipped for the specific purposes; god of battle, god of love, god of peace and so on. In addition, there had been four colleges which have had control over the public and private religious practices.
The two most important colleges were the Pontifices and the college of Augurs. The Pontifices college, as Warrior mentions, “had authority over the most important matters” (RR 48). Most likely, the accuracy of worshiping and sacrificing were depended upon Pontifices college priest’s approval and they would assure that the practice was in its accurate way. The Augurs college was in charge of overseeing and connection between religion and the politics. Most of the member of Augurs college were priests and professionals.
Furthermore, in Roman religion, people believed that gods were involved in their daily activities. They had several religious festivals which were accompanied by the Olympic games, these festivals were held by the state authorities and were practiced in the public. One of these events called “the laughter of god,” which they held to seek the laugher of the god Apollo. According to” Apuleius” in the book “The golden ass,” “we are the only people who on this day seek the benevolence of the god laugher in an amusing and joyful ritual” (TGA 38).
Among all other religious practices, this event was called the god laugher. In this event, in order to make the god happy, the government would gather all the citizens and held a laughter ceremony for the favor of god Apollo. They would find someone who is not aware of the ceremony and put him in a situation, while he was struggling in the situation they would start laughing to favor the god. The people who gathered knew what was happening but not the stranger who makes the god laugh.
In Roman’s religion, the state and private practices were performed in many aspects, the religion was sought in different ways and for different purposes. One of the purposes of the state worshiping was sought for success in battles. Before the battle, they would seek the agreement of the god through worshiping and sacrificing in the ceremonies. Priests who were professionals in reading the signs of god would translate the signs, if the signs were suitable for the purpose they would prepare for the action, if not the worshiping and sacrificing were supposed to be redone for corrections.
In conclusion, as I mentioned above, Roman worships were divided into the public and the private. Families would honor their household spirits while public worship was held by the government. Rome had colleges of official priests to ensure that its actions met with divine approval. Roman religion involved cult worship. In their religious beliefs, approval from the gods did not depend on a person’s behavior, but on accurate observance of religious rituals. The gods were usually imaged in stone or bronze and would put them in a shrine or temple in which they would offer prayers and sacrifices.