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. These sections make for interesting reading, for instance I never knew that the Romans had a confusion over the sex of the god/goddess of mildew and grain rust called Rogibus or Rogiba.
If you have an interest in Ancient Roman Religion then this book is an absolute essential purchase. It is well written, well edited and it has some interesting black and white photographs and diagrams. Highly Recommended!
4 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?