Declaration of Principles of the Cultus Deorum Romanorum

The Cultus Deorum Romanorum, also popularly known as the Religio Romana is both a modern living and historical spiritual practice grounded upon the ancient Roman Religion.

We affirm that the Cultus Deorum Romanorum describes anyone who observes the ancient Roman spiritual practices and traditions. This tradition acknowledges the world as being filled with Gods, and that their number is innumerable. Similarly, deities can be known by different names and by different qualities.

We recognize that any individual who observes ancient Roman spiritual practices and traditions and acknowledges the deities known by the Romans of antiquity is an adherent to the Cultus Deorum Romanorum if they choose to identify as such.

The Cultus Deorum Romanorum is to focus specifically on the deities embraced by the ancient Romans. We acknowledge that individuals may wish to have additional spiritual practices. Such private practices are to be accepted if they are respectful of the Roman tradition. Syncretism has always existed within the Cultus Deorum Romanorum. Therefore, including additional private spiritual practices is compatible with this tradition. In particular, we recognize practices historically held by other peoples from within the Roman-controlled territory of antiquity. We endorse such practices alongside the Roman tradition.

We affirm that syncretism is consistent with the historical and modern Roman polytheistic spiritual perspective.

We acknowledge the importance of classical philosophy and the Roman virtues in understanding the nature of the universe and the Roman deities. We strive to adopt such principles and ideas in our everyday lives and in our communities. In doing so we imitate and learn from the Roman deities.

We understand that the traditions and practices of the Cultus Deorum Romanorum evolved throughout antiquity and will continue to develop throughout history.

We uphold that the Roman deities are inherently benevolent and virtuous and that the Gods and Goddesses do not act as masters of humanity. We accept that the deities are unburdened by petty mortal vices or preoccupations. Therefore, humanity is free to act and think as they please. In this capacity, men and women are can voluntarily build a relationship with the deities. Similarly, the deities independently welcome building relationships with men and women. In this capacity, the Gods and Goddesses can directly interact with humanity. In establishing such relationships, men and women can be in greater harmony with the hierarchy and nature of the universe. Consequently, one can live more virtuously and happily by including the Gods and Goddesses in their life.

We establish that the Cultus Deorum Romanorum is simultaneously both a private (Sacra Privata) and public (Sacra Publica) spiritual tradition. Only through recognition of both aspects can the full nature of the Cultus Deorum Romanorum be experienced.

We affirm that the Sacra Publica consists of the communal spiritual practices conducted by communities of devotees, done in accordance with the ancient traditions. The intention of such joint activity is to build relationships between deities and communities. In this capacity, public festivals, celebrations, and organized spiritual institutions play a central role. Practices of the Sacra Publica are to focus primarily on the Roman deities, namely, but not limited to, the Dii Indigetes, Dii Consentes, and Dii Selecti. Such public activities are to be based as closely as possible upon Roman historical practices. Plausible modern interpretations based on historical evidence are to be used only when needed due gaps in the historical record or due to the demands of modern society.

We affirm that within the Sacra Publica spiritual practice involving the Roman Gods and Goddesses is based upon: contemplation, prayer, scholarship, auspices, rites involving but not limited to sacrifice, and ceremonies. Often such observances are performed as a community group within the Sarca Publica.

We affirm that the Sacra Privata involves the personal spiritual practices of the individual and family. Any spiritual practices which are respectful of the Roman deities and community are to be accepted as sincere private tradition within the Cultus Deorum Romanorum. The freedom to practice and express private spiritual views is to be held in the highest regard. It is understood that the traditional Sacra Privata is focused on the Dii Familiaris, and observance of this group of deities by devotees during private practice is encouraged. Historical practices are to be encouraged within the Sacra Publica; however, personal practices are to be ultimately decided by the individual.

We uphold that within the Sacra Privata spiritual practice towards the Roman Gods and Goddesses can take several forms. These private practices are acceptable if they do not dishonour the Sacra Publica or community. Practices involving a small lararium (household shrine), daily rites, and the observance of religious festivals designated as household or private in nature are encouraged, but not mandated, within the Sacra Privata. At a minimum, it is suggested that private household rites be observed on the Kalends, Nones, and Ides of each month. Inviting the Roman Gods and Goddesses into the home and family is of great and necessary importance. Therefore, the domestic environment must play a central role when maintaining a positive relationship with the Roman deities. As in ancient times, domestic rites are a primary component of the cultus deorum Romanum and are the foundation for success in the reconstruction of the Cultus Deorum, both public (Sacra Publica) and private (Sacra Privata).

We reject any practice which is grounded in superstition (Superstitio). Superstitio incorrectly describes the nature of the Gods and Goddesses as evil, jealous, tyrannical or potentially harmful. Such ideas and acts are accepted to cause inappropriate fear of the Gods and Goddesses and damages the relationships formed between humanity and the deities. Therefore, calling upon the divine powers to cause harm to others, or to reveal future events and other abuses is regarded as superstitio. Such acts are to be regarded as disrespectful and offensive to the Gods and Goddesses.

We acknowledge that the Cultus Deorum Romanorum is grounded in orthopraxy. Therefore, the faithful and exact performance of rites is of utmost importance and essential towards demonstrating respect for the Gods and Goddesses.

We affirm that the Cultus Deorum as a spiritual practice has no tradition grounded in dogmatic scripture or orthodoxy.

We acknowledge that the Gods and Goddesses do not prefer one culture, language, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation over any other. All individuals who profess a belief in the Roman deities are to be welcomed into the cultus deorum Romanum community.

Authored by – P. Iunius Brutus, L. Curtius Philo, C. Curtius Philo (Feb. T. Flavio P. Iunio Cos. – February 2016)


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