Ancient Roman religion

Marcus Aurelius sacrificing Marcus Aurelius (head covered)
sacrificing at the Temple of Jupiter

Practices and beliefs

Imperial cult  · festivals  · ludi
mystery religions · funerals
temples · auspice · sacrifice
votum · libation · lectisternium


College of Pontiffs · Augur
Vestal Virgins · Flamen · Fetial
Epulones · Arval Brethren
Quindecimviri sacris faciundis

Jupiter · Juno · Neptune · Minerva
Mars · Venus · Apollo · Diana
Vulcan · Vesta · Mercury · Ceres

Other deities

Janus · Quirinus · Saturn ·
Hercules · Faunus · Priapus
Liber · Bona Dea · Ops
Chthonic deities: Proserpina ·
Dis Pater · Orcus · Di Manes
Domestic and local deities:
Lares · Di Penates · Genius
Hellenistic deities: Sol Invictus · Magna Mater · Isis · Mithras
Deified emperors:
Divus Julius  · Divus Augustus
See also List of Roman deities

Related topics

Roman mythology
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Religion in ancient Greece
Etruscan religion
Gallo-Roman religion
Decline of Hellenistic polytheism
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Numen ("an influence perceptible by mind but not by senses", pl. numina) is a Latin term for a potential, guiding the course of events in a particular place or in the whole world, used in Roman philosophical and religious thought. The many names for Italic gods may obscure this sense of a numinous presence in all the seemingly mundane actions of the natural world.[1]

The word was also used in the imperial cult of ancient Rome, to refer to the guardian-spirit,[citation needed] 'godhead' or divine power of a living emperor—in other words, a means of worshiping a living emperor without literally calling him a god.

The word numen is also used by sociologists to refer to the idea of magical power residing in an object, particularly when writing about ideas in the western tradition. When used in this sense, numen is nearly synonymous with mana. However, some authors reserve use of mana for ideas about magic from Polynesia and southeast Asia.

Due to its use as a central term in Roman religion, Numen is the name of an academic journal on history of religions.


Similar cultural concepts

The concept of a life-energy inherent in all living beings seems to be a fairly universal archetype, and appears in numerous ancient religions and systems of metaphysics.

Analogies to numina in other societies:

See also


  1. ^ The animistic aspect of Roman religion is generally noted in all surveys, though as a phase characterising the earliest, most fundamental layers in a pseudo-evolutionary model of Italic religion it is criticised as "mostly a scholarly fiction" by Kevin McGeough, The Romans: new perspectives 2004:179 "Numinous Forces and Other scholarly Inventions"; "Scholars may have to content themselves with nodes of meanings for the Italic gods rather than hard-and-fast definitions", observes Charles Robert Phillips III, in "A Note on Vergil's Aeneid 5, 744", Hermes 104.2 (1976:247-249) p. 248, with recent bibliography; Gerhard Radke's classification of the forms and significances of these multifarious names in Die Götter Altitaliens (Münster, 1965) was criticized as "unwarranted precision" in the review by A. Drummond in The Classical Review, New Series, 21.2 (June 1971:239-241); the coupling and uncoupling of Latin and Italic cognomina of the gods, creating the appearance of a multitude of deities, were classically dissected in Jesse Benedictus Carter, De Deorum Romanorum Cognominibus: Quaestiones Selectae (Leipzig, 1898).

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • NUMEN — La formation du mot numen est claire. Il appartient à un type de dérivés qui permettait de former, à partir d’un verbe, un nom abstrait. Le verbe dont dérive numen signifiait: «manifester sa volonté par un signe de tête». L’emploi n’est pas moins …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Numen — bezeichnet in der Römischen Religion (lat. numen Plural: numina „Wink, Geheiß, Wille, göttlicher Wille“) das Wirken einer Gottheit. Der Theologe Rudolf Otto benutzte den Begriff zur Bezeichnung der Anwesenheit eines „gestaltlos Göttlichen“.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • numen — NÚMEN s.n. Lucru în sine, cunoscut numai prin raţiune, în opoziţie cu fenomenul, cunoscut senzorial. – Din fr. noumène. Trimis de bogdanrsb, 13.08.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  númen s. n. Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  NÚMEN …   Dicționar Român

  • Numen — ( presencia , plural numina) es un término latino que se refiere a la deidad y abarca el sentido sagrado y de inmanencia que había en todos los lugares y objetos para la religión romana. La multiplicación de nombres para los dioses itálicos no… …   Wikipedia Español

  • NUMEN — idem proprie quod nutus: hinc Numen divinum, et Numen κατ᾿ ἀντωνομασίαν, vis, potentia cuiusque Dei, apud Scriptores Ethnicos, qua de re vide Casp. Barthium Adversariorum Comm. l. 24. c. 10. Item veneratio, quae pro Numinibus dabatur arboribus… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • numen — (n.) divine spirit, presiding divinity, 1620s, from L. numen divine will, divinity, lit. a nod, from nuere to nod (assent); see NUMINOUS (Cf. numinous) …   Etymology dictionary

  • númen — s. m. O mesmo que nume. • [Brasil] Plural: númenes ou numens. • [Portugal] Plural: númenes.   ‣ Etimologia: latim numen, inis, anuência com a cabeça, poder divino …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • numen — sustantivo masculino 1. Área: mitología Cualquiera de los dioses de la mitología clásica. 2. (no contable) Uso/registro: elevado. Inspiración del artista: En esta obra se puede ver el numen poético del autor …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • numen — (Del lat. numen). 1. m. Deidad dotada de un poder misterioso y fascinador. 2. Cada uno de los dioses de la mitología clásica. 3. Inspiración del artista o escritor …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Numen —         (лат.) божество; божественное (вообще). Философский энциклопедический словарь. М.: Советская энциклопедия. Гл. редакция: Л. Ф. Ильичёв, П. Н. Федосеев, С. М. Ковалёв, В. Г. Панов. 1983 …   Философская энциклопедия

  • Numen — (lat.), Gottheit, göttliche Wundermacht …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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