The Mediaeval Mind, Essay Example

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The State Religion was believed to be critical to ensure that the will of the gods was in the Romans’ favor before any state action could be taken.  Participation in religious rituals was continuous and very precise to ensure that the gods were pleased.  The Ara Pacis Augustae helps to showcase how important the state religion was in relation to art throughout the nation.  This small roofless building contains an altar where religious activities and rituals were to be performed paying homage to the gods.  Furthermore, the building contains sculptural reliefs on the walls that pictured ritualistic items such as skulls and figures along with a procession of the imperial family to help illustrate artistically how the State Religion and piety of the emperor were related to ensure that the state would prosper.

Many households would also worship individual deities who were believed to keep a watchful eye for protection and prosperity over the members of the house.  Many homes created sculptures and statues of their household deities where they were worshipped through private rituals and prayer.  Sculptures were also created throughout Rome to honor emperors and priests as high-level members of society.  This helped to showcase the importance of these individuals in respect to their position of power and their relationship to the state religion and to the gods.  There were also rituals conducted to honor family ancestors where family members would create portraits of the deceased relative and then burn the portrait during a public ritual.  This was believed to honor the spirit of the relative and was a common practice in all of Rome.

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