Final Essay - Raj 1 Aishwarya Raj Marilyn Jones Mythology...

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Raj 1 Aishwarya Raj Marilyn Jones Mythology in the Ancient World 8 December 2016 Final Essay Originating nearly 1000 years after the last recorded Greek myth, Roman myths and legends held stark differences from the former. Many similarities do exist, but Roman institutions were distinctly different from the traditions of Greece. What can be said is that Rome adopted, but greatly modified, the renowned stories of Greek culture. Significant differences lie in the structure of Roman myth. For instance, Roman tradition does not tell the tale of how the world was created or how man came to be. Greek myth, however, tells us that, at first, there was Chaos. From Chaos came Gaea, the Earth, and from Gaea came Uranus, the sky. Gaea and Uranus together produced the Titans, from which the Olympian gods were created. The Romans, however, had no explanation for creation. Roman myths were essentially Roman legend. The myths had many historical ties and were treated as such truth. However, there was very little historical truth in these legends. Instead, the legends were used a form of propaganda to gain political and social support in maintaining Roman power. The main point was that the message of the story was more important and any sort of historical accuracy. This is where Greek and Roman myth differed. Greek myth was used as storytelling, religion, and explanations for the world around us. Roman myth was mainly used for more practical purposes in political and social institutions. The practices of Roman religion also greatly differed from Greek traditions. Both Greek and Roman myth were mixed with religion; however, the nature of Roman deities resulted in
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Raj 2 different conditions for Roman myth. Native Roman deities were strictly limited to the personalities and qualities of their domain, unlike Greek gods, who possessed all aspects of human psychology such as lust, hatred, jealousy, and revenge. These native deities were called Numina, spirits that can inhabit any object or serve almost any function, petty or grand. There was a sort of contract between the devotee and numen. The sacrificium was a legal transfer of something into the ownership of the numen, who was then expected to fulfill his or her side of the bargain. Essentially, the relationship was “tit for tat.” The devotee would give a sacrifice and,
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