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Module A WORLD FULL OF GODS: RELIGIOUS LIFE IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE

Module code: GC316
Credits: 5
Semester: 2
Department: ANCIENT CLASSICS
International: Yes
Overview Overview
 

Neither Latin nor ancient Greek has a word which precisely corresponds to our concept of “religion”. However, what we might term “religion” is one of the most richly-evidenced areas of life in the Roman world: this truly was a world full of gods. This module involves a wide-ranging study of the religious life of the Roman world. We will study a broad variety of religious notions and experiences in antiquity, from the authoritative apparatus of traditional Roman religion to the gods of the wider world, worshipped by cities, voluntary associations and individuals across the empire. We will attempt to understand how the inhabitants of the Roman world understood the realm of the divine, and how it related to their daily-lived experience. We will look at the intersection of religion and imperial power, and consider how religion both bolstered imperial authority (as, for instance, in the case of emperor worship) and in some cases could come to challenge it (for instance, in the cases of Judaism and Christianity). We will also look at how gods are represented in Roman art and literature, at Roman philosophical approaches to questions of religion, and at modern sociological and anthropological approaches to the religious life of the period.

Open Learning Outcomes
 
Open Teaching & Learning methods
 
Open Assessment
 
Open Repeat options
 
Open Timetable
 
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