Religio Romana

The People Of Rome Hold Their Annual Celebrations On The Anniversary Of Its Founding
Roman reconstructionist Pagans follow a path based upon classical writings and archaeological evidence. Giorgio Cosulich / Getty Images

The Religio Romana is one of many reconstructionist groups found in modern Paganism. It's definitely not a Wiccan path, and because of the structure within the spirituality, it's not even something where you can swap out gods of other pantheons and insert the Roman deities. It is, in fact, fairly unique among Pagan belief systems.

Members of Religio Romana, sometimes referred to as "Roman Paganism", say that their faith demands that they work in harmony with the universe and with the gods, not only for the benefit of self but for the benefit of the world around us.

With right worship, and the appropriate attitudes towards the Divine, both the individual and the community will bloom. Within Religio Romana, there are also some mystery traditions which emphasize inner spiritual growth and communing with the gods.

The historical basis of the Religio Romana comes directly from the writings and archeological evidence discovered in the ancient Roman republic and empire. Much like today's Hellenistic Pagans, modern Roman Pagans value scholarly research as much as they do the spiritual. The root of the Religio Romana history begins around the founding of Rome itself in 750 b.c., and continues on up through around 400 c.e.

Nova Roma is one of the largest organizations today for practitioners of Religio Romana. According to their website, "The modern practice of the Religio Romana is an attempt to reconstruct the ancient faith of Rome as closely as possible, making as few concessions to modern sensibilities as possible.

As with other forms of historical reconstructionist paganism, every attempt is made to rely on actual historical and archaeological evidence, and interpolations are made only when the primary sources are silent, and then we strive to be consistent with them."

Typically, Religio Romana groups are open to anyone, regardless of their country of origin, race, gender, or ethnic background.

In other words, you don't have to be "Roman" to be part of Religio Romana. The theory is that Roman heritage belongs to all of Western civilization, and as such, the religion is something that can be a common bond for anyone who is interested. In addition, members generally feel that the Roman Pagan path is compatible with other forms of spiritual expression, and can be practiced side by side with other religions. In the classical world, Roman gods were honored alongside those of the Celts, Egyptians, Norse and Greek pantheons.

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Wigington, Patti. "Religio Romana." ThoughtCo, Mar. 30, 2016, Wigington, Patti. (2016, March 30). Religio Romana. Retrieved from Wigington, Patti. "Religio Romana." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 19, 2017).