June 19, 2020 at 9:27 am #38273
Tiberius Terentius VarroDenarii: 𐆖 704.22PlebeiusGallia MississippiaAvete,We should talk about the term religio. Yes, the world that led to the English word “religion”. To cultores and to ancient Romans this term, religio, means something very different. Christianity changed the definition of this word.Getting to the bones of the word Religio is very important for every cultor. It reveals essential ideas about the Cultus Deorum and the Roman view of the universe.To understand the word religio, you need to recognize that the Etruscans gave the Romans the understanding that both our mortal universe and the divine universe, the realm of the Gods, is partitioned into spaces. These spaces relate to each other by borders, but also have a separate deity in charge of each. Regardless of the nature of each specific space, each gains its identity and strength by being part of a pattern, a unique part of a whole. The spaces obtain their character by the deity governing the space and those governing the surrounding spaces.We have archeological and textual evidence that the divine universe is divided into sixteen primary spaces, these extend horizontally on earth or in heaven but also provided vertical links between heaven and earth, and between earth and the Underworld. In heaven, the orientation of the regions was guided by the spatial directions: north, south, east, and west.On earth, these celestial spaces corresponded with a variety of types: The first, the delimited, inaugurated spaces, auguraculum, from which the sky was observed; second, the templum, or enclosed space around a sanctuary, including features such as altars and temples; and third, features in nature such as mountaintops, rivers, lakes, and groves. Natural spaces made directly by the Gods.Similarly, the mortal world is made up of spaces defined by us. Workplaces, homes, recreational spaces. These spaces are governed by humans on Earth and by Gods in their innumerable numbers.
While boundaries serve to separate spaces, they also invite the crossing over from one space to another. Such a crossing between the celestial space and the space on earth was defined in the Latin term of RELIGIO, or binding, which is another way of marking a contiguous vertical boundary or “tie’’ between heaven and earth. Similarly, ties between mortal created spaces exist. These various ties are to be respected, recognized, and honored.
That is Religio. The honoring of these ties. The child honoring the role of the parent. The employer honoring the role of the employee. The human honoring is Gods in their domains on heaven and Earth. Loving the order and arrangements of these mortal and divine arrangements, the hierarchies of the universe. Harmony between these spaces in the Pax Deorum.Valete
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.June 19, 2020 at 12:41 pm #38279
Gaius Florius LupusDenarii: 𐆖 236.85PatriciusNo Province
Recte dicis. The Latin word religere means to tie back. So religio is about the tie between the different realms. Very interesting graphics in the attachments.
Vale!June 21, 2020 at 10:12 pm #38309
Marcus Vergilius TacitusDenarii: 𐆖 8.95PlebeiusNova Hispania Ulterior
I’d like to know more about Pax Deorum. What are the ways in which this harmony is perpetuated and maintained? I would think that this Roman view of the universe where there is a close interlocking of spaces, marked by borders and domains yet each inevitably influencing all the others, extends into human relationships as well. I’m reminded of a story in M. Ovidius Naso’s Metamorphoses, where Iuppiter and Mercury come disguised as beggars to an old pious couple named Baucis and Philomon. Though their neighbors have spurned these suppliants, Baucis and Philomon do not, and ultimately it makes all the difference, for the Gods cast off Their disguise and bless the old couple at the end of their lives, transforming them into two trees joined at the trunk. Or so I remember. My point is, Hospitality plays a key role in this story. There is a proper, and an improper, way to treat other people. Might not the state of human relationships also contribute to the relative harmony or disharmony of the Pax Deorum?June 22, 2020 at 2:56 pm #38330
Quintus Vergilius CrassusDenarii: 𐆖 255.80PatriciusSarmatia
The ancients turned to two different etymologies to express what they meant by this term, always difficult to translate and understand in context. They referred either to religare (”to bind”), then to relegere (“take again, check”; “religious thoroughness”). In the first case, they wanted to emphasize the relationship between gods and people, in the second – careful observance of the ritual. Religion as a community with the Gods, religion as a system of obligations imposed by this community, these are the two main aspects that the Romans found in the term religio, and one came from the other. In any case, religio does not mean an emotional, direct and personal connection between an individual and a deity, but a combination of formal and objective rules conveyed by tradition. It is within the framework of these traditional rules and this “etiquette” that an individual enters into a relationship with the gods. In addition, another way to define religion is to describe it as “a pious worship of the gods,” as Cicero points out. The point of view is a little different, but the meaning remains the same: religion consists in the exact “cultivation” of “social” relations with the gods, in short, in the performance of the rites that are required by the bonds that exist between gods and people. According to the same Cicero, relations with the gods are carried out in two ritual categories: sacra (mainly sacrifices, vows and rites of worship) and divinations.
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