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Hegel's Interpretation of the Religions of the WorldThe Logic of the Gods$
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Jon Stewart

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829492

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829492.001.0001

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Roman Polytheism

Roman Polytheism

The Religion of Expediency

(p.252) 10 Roman Polytheism
Hegel's Interpretation of the Religions of the World

Jon Stewart

Oxford University Press

Hegel notes that it has been traditional to treat Greek and Roman religion together since there seems to be a general correspondence among their divinities. But in fact, he claims, they represent two quite different general conceptions. Since the Romans and the Greeks had such different political developments, their cultures and religions are fundamentally distinct. The Roman gods are associated with numerous fixed goals or purposes. Hegel takes this to be an important point of contrast with the Greek religion. For the Greeks, the individual gods had a variety of individual powers and characteristics, but they were never fixed to their goals or ends in a dogged way. The Greek gods can be fickle, changing their minds just as humans tend to do. But the Roman gods are one-dimensional since they are fixed on a single end and are not anything more complex than this end.

Keywords:   Roman religion, gravitas, Jupiter, Roman polytheism, Roman Empire, Roman religious festivals, Roman emperor, Roman citizenship

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