One State, under the Gods
This introductory chapter provides an overview of the role of religion as a major driver of the Roman Republic's state formation. It was in the course of the fourth and third centuries that Rome developed the institutions and practices that would lend it coherence as a res publica — an entity held in common. This development was fostered by, and to a large degree dependent on, the adoption of public and high-visibility forms of religious experience. The aggregative effect of the sacred commitments under scrutiny in this book was the creation of two representations of statehood, each tightly welded to the evolving identity of the res publica during the period under study. The first was prolific investment in monumental cult to the gods. The second was the city of Rome's evolution into an enticing place to visit in order to offer cult to the gods. The chapter then outlines the trends in Republican and specifically mid-Republican historiography before offering some comment on recent developments in the study of Roman religion.
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