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Dictionary of Roman Religion [Paperback]

Lesley Adkins , Roy A. Adkins
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.00
Price: 11.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Feb 2001
Long overshadowed by Greek mythology or treated peripherally in gernal texts on the ancient Roman world, Roman religion is finally accorded its due in this unique reference work. While perhaps most familiar in the context of Greek-influenced gods, Roman religious life in fact encompassed a tremendous variety of deities, rites, and belief systems. From the Celtic god Abandinus to the pagan historian Zosimus, Dictionary of Roman Religion contains more than 1,400 entries. Among the topics covered are deities and spirits, festivals, sacrifices, temples, altars, cult objects, burial rites, writers on religion, and historical religious events. Different religions within the Roman world, such as Mithraism, Druidism, Judaism, and Christianity, are also discussed. Entries range from brief definitions to concise essays reflecting important aspects of religious practice, and most include suggestions for further reading in addition to a complete bibliography. An essential reference for students, researchers and teachers, as well as those interested in ancient religions, myths and legends, Roman society, and classical studies, this dictionary is a welcome and novel addition to the vast library on ancient Roman life.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; New Ed edition (1 Feb 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195142330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195142334
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 19 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 916,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

Dictionary of Roman Religion is a splendid volume on all the gods that the Romans ever worshipped or invented and will be an invaluable source of information about the more obscure gods and goddesses -- Current Archaeology 1996

Lesley and Roy Adkins have succeeded in producing a clear and informative work of reference.... As such an introduction to a vast and highly complex subject, the book fulfils its aims admirably, and I welcome its addition to both my library and personal bookshelves -- Miranda J. Green in The Antiquaries Journal, 1998

This reference tool fills an important need for students of world studies, mythology, antiquities, Latin, and particularly the Roman Empire... Extensive cross-references to other entries and to books in the extensive bibliography enable students to delve as deeply into the subject as desired. The index is extremely detailed. The readable text and inviting layout make this an excellent choice for high school libraries -- School Library Journal, June 1996

From the Author

This book was first published in hardback in the United States, where this paperback by Oxford University Press is also published. The American spelling (such as practiced, worshiped, theater) has therefore been retained. Many writers on Roman religion assume far too much knowledge on the part of the reader, and we were often unable to find out about specific aspects of Roman religion with ease - which is what prompted us to compile this dictionary. We have covered an array of topics, from gods, goddesses, priests and priestesses, temples and shrines to religions such as Mithraism, Druidism and Christianity, altars, cult objects, sacrifices, augurs and festivals.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best resourse on Roman Paganism in print! 23 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
"The Dictionary of Roman Religion" is an absolute masterwork of a resource book. Literally every important topic is covered here in great detail... pagan deities, rites, cults, religions, ritual tools, holy sites, priesthoods, festivals, famous individuals, etc. The best part is that this book covers far more than just Roman religion. The entries here in effect give a clear picture of how religions interacted in the ancient world. Here you'll find deities that the Celts and Romans worshipped together, German-Roman temples, Graeco-Egyptian deities, etc. No matter what your personal area of interest you will find useful material here. This is a book you'll refer back to constantly for information that is both concise and complete. I've met at least a dozen people who own this book and all of them consider it the most helpful book on ancient religion they own!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Reference Book on Roman Religion 12 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback
Lesley and Roy Adkins are famous for creating the excellent 'Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome', and with this title they have excelled themselves again, with the most thoroughly researched book about Roman Paganism available today.

The book covers 1,400 topics do with Ancient Roman Religion from A to Z. It covers everything from the names of gods, to festivals, rituals, priests, magic and mythology. With that in mind, you need at least some prior knowledge of Roman religion to get the best out of this book. This is essentially a reference guide, and not an introduction to Roman Paganism. If you're looking for a introductory title that will give you the basics on Roman religion then this book is probably not the best place to start. But if you already have some grounding in the subject, then this book would act as an excellent reference guide. Luckily the book does contain a further reading list if you want to seek out books that will give you a better understanding.

I was amazed at the amount of information covered in this title, it lists virtually every god and goddess that we know the Romans to have worshipped, so you will come across topics on the famous deities like Jupiter, Venus and Mars, but you'll also get to learn about the Celtic god Mogons, the Illyrian deity Vidasus, the Etruscan goddess Nortia and a few hundred others.

The book also discusses topics such as Druidism, Judaism in the Roman World, Mithraism and the origins of Christianity. The book also looks at the combinations between Roman and native gods such as Sulis Minerva, Silvanus Callirius, Apollo Toutiorix and so on.
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Format:Hardcover
Though one does not always agree with what subjects have been included (Latin Christianity, for example, is simply too complex for a few entries: it would propably be more usefull to have just a "Church Fathers as sources on Paganism" article, with recommended reading, & use the extra space for information on cult practices), it is nice to see people realizing that one cannot simply operate with a single "classical period".
The entries on non-Latin Romanized deities are especially valuable: generally, one can say that this book recommends itself by covering grounds more "classical" source books ignore.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best resourse on Roman Paganism in print! 23 Mar 1999
By Cassius622@aol.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"The Dictionary of Roman Religion" is an absolute masterwork of a resource book. Literally every important topic is covered here in great detail... pagan deities, rites, cults, religions, ritual tools, holy sites, priesthoods, festivals, famous individuals, etc. The best part is that this book covers far more than just Roman religion. The entries here in effect give a clear picture of how religions interacted in the ancient world. Here you'll find deities that the Celts and Romans worshipped together, German-Roman temples, Graeco-Egyptian deities, etc. No matter what your personal area of interest you will find useful material here. This is a book you'll refer back to constantly for information that is both concise and complete. I've met at least a dozen people who own this book and all of them consider it the most helpful book on ancient religion they own
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