Review by Choice Review
This important volume comprises a fairly comprehensive collection of 31 independent essays by recognized scholars in the area of Roman religion. Rather than providing a mundane catalog of the Roman gods and goddesses, and a summary of their cultic sites and rituals, this work focuses on the human dimension of Roman religion. It thus examines the social, cultural, and historical dynamics of Roman religion as it evolved from the archaic period to the late imperial era (8th century BCE to the 4th century CE). The editor has divided the volume into six areas in order to explore thematically how Roman religion evolved over time; how it was communicated through literature, epigraphy, and the household; how it was expressed through cultic sites and ritual; how it related to other "religious identities"; and how it was observed by outsiders. Many of the issues this volume raises have been explored extensively elsewhere, but not in such an erudite, comprehensive collection. This is a major contribution to classical studies, ancient history, and religion, and a crucial addition to any serious collection. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers. J. R. Asher Georgetown College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.