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The Peace of the GodsElite Religious Practices in the Middle Roman Republic$
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Craige B. Champion

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691174853

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691174853.001.0001

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Militiae: Commanders, Elite Religion, and Fear of Military Disaster

Militiae: Commanders, Elite Religion, and Fear of Military Disaster

Chapter:
(p.76) Three Militiae: Commanders, Elite Religion, and Fear of Military Disaster
Source:
The Peace of the Gods
Author(s):

Craige B. Champion

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691174853.003.0003

This chapter examines the harsh international environment in which the Middle Roman Republic existed, focusing on the exigencies of ancient warfare, the stressful independent decision-making responsibilities of generals on military campaign, and how religious ritual was practiced in the battlefield. It also considers the situation of the city of Rome itself in times of military crisis and anarchy. The chapter first provides an overview of traditional interpretations and newer developments in the study of Roman imperialism before discussing the elite's religious practices and beliefs during military campaigns. It argues that a psychological state of intense fear, uncertainty, and anxiety could have underlain many of the Roman ruling elite's religious behaviors in the military realm. Case studies of elite field-commanders' religious behaviors in warfare are presented.

Keywords:   war, military, Rome, anarchy, imperialism, religious practices, belief, Roman ruling elite, religious behavior, elite field-commanders

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