gods was a big part
of ancient Roman daily life.
The Romans had thousands of
gods. They believed that there were spirits and guardian gods
for everything. Trees, rocks, streams, bridges, everything had
its own guardian spirit or god. There were guardians gods for
your house and even for the different parts of the house. There
was a kitchen god, a door god, a bath god, and of course a sleeping
god. It was the gods job to take care of the people of the
house, to watch over and protect them. If you or your
family were forgetful about proper worship or the giving of
sacrifices to the gods, then bad things would happen to you.
The Romans blamed everything that went bad on people forgetting to
worship the gods properly.
As Rome expanded and
grew, the Romans came in contact with people who worshiped other
gods. If those people had fought extremely well, the Romans
figured that their gods must be pretty good, so the Romans adopted those
gods and made them Roman gods as well. The Romans loved the Greek
gods so much that they adopted the gods and all the myths and legends
about them. They
changed some of the personalities of the ancient Greek gods to
better fit the Roman way of life.
Temples and festivals:
The Romans built huge and fancy temples to their gods wherever they
went. Every city in the Roman empire had a forum, which was ringed
by temples to the gods. There were impressive temples all over the
Roman Empire. Every day, the ancient Romans brought offerings
of meat and other items to at least one nearby temple. Usually they
visited more than one temple every day.
Romans also honored their gods by providing festivals for them.
All the major gods had a festival day. Some of the gods even had
more than one day in the year. These festivals would be paid for by
either wealthy Romans, who did it to earn favor from the gods, or by the
government of Rome.
Roman gods were able to interact with people if they chose to do