The Roman gods and goddesses were consulted before important decisions were made, such as going to war. Rites and ceremonies were practised to interpret the will of the gods by studying various omens such as the flight patterns of the birds, the behaviour of animals and the interpretation of dreams and natural phenomena. Priests called Augurs 'read' the entrails of animal sacrifices. Politicians took the offices of influential priests, called pontiffs, to gain control of the people and popular worship, Roman gods and goddesses were worshipped at every public event, including the gladiatorial games, where blood sacrifices were made to the Roman gods and goddesses.
Differences, Similarities and Comparison of Greek vs Roman Beliefs
There were many similarities between the roles, attributes, symbols and characters of the Greek vs Roman gods but their forms of worship and their religions had significant differences. The following list provides details of the differences, similarities and a comparison between Greek vs Roman gods, mythology, beliefs and practises.
Greeks revered the poet
Poetical & fanciful myths about individuals
The Greeks were highly imaginative and developed their fantastic mythology
Greek mythology was developed first
Greek mythology focussed on the personality traits of gods
Individualistic, emphasis placed on the heroic deeds and achievements and actions of individuals
Greek religion had little influence on politics
Greek priests were revered as teachers and healers of individuals
Greeks were less superstitious than the Romans
Olympic style games
Votive religion, based on the exchange of gifts (offerings) for the gods blessings.
Greeks made blood sacrifices but the killing of animals were not part of the ceremonies
Less emphasis on household gods and ancestors
Romans revered the warrior
Practical myths focussing on the gods relevance to everyday life and the Roman state
The Romans borrowed existing mythology, names were changed. Stories of the wars and founders of Rome were included in their mythology
Roman mythology was developed 1000 years later
Roman mythology focussed on practical roles and achievements
Non-Individualistic, emphasis placed on the achievements and actions of Romans and Rome
Roman religion was officially endorsed by the state and exerted considerable influence over the government of Rome
Roman Politicians took the offices of influential priests, called pontiffs, to gain control of the people and popular worship
Rites and ceremonies were practised to interpret the will of the gods by studying omens Flight patterns of birds, dream interpretation. Priests called Augurs 'read' the entrails of animal sacrifices.
Numerous festivals, about one day in four was set apart for the worship of particular gods, celebrated by feasts, games and sacrifices
Roman gods were worshipped at every public event, including the gladiatorial games
Based on appeasing the gods and requesting their help to avenge enemies.
Romans used 'Curse tablets'
Highly public blood sacrifices and killing
Families would honor their household spirits and ancestors