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Mixing Deities

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:47 pm
by Aulus Iulius Caesar
Salvete, those of you who have been into Roman revival for quite a long time have probably noticed many followers of the gods mix different pantheons of deities. When it comes to mixing deities I've seen everything from Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mixed to Roman and Norse mixed. I'm curious as to who all mixes deities and who keeps it as standard as possible? Also, do you feel we should mix deities as we please or keep it to the classic Roman deities. But also keeping in mind that the Roman deities come from cultures all over Italy and Greece, perhaps even beyond. Please, tell me your opinions. I look forward to reading them. Valete.

Re: Mixing Deities

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:57 pm
by Titus Flavius Severus
This is a rather interesting question. The fact is that we, the inhabitants of the modern world, look at history in a rather retrospective and modern way. For the Roman of that era, there hardly existed such questions in the religious aspect. What is a mixed deity? Now we define it as a kind of mixture of elements of other deities, but in ancient times, the person looked at it in a completely different way. Because a particular person lived at a certain point in time (a historical period) and in a certain place (region), and this particular person saw in a particular deity not a mixture of different deities (about which he might not know or even suspect of their existence), and he saw completely independent divine essence.
Mixed deities are a consequence of a peculiar eclecticism, often a way of artificial religious evolution, when old religious entities were supplemented according to the conditions of modern necessity, that would continue to exist in a changing world.

Re: Mixing Deities

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:14 am
by Aulus Iulius Caesar
Enlightening as always, Consul. You bring up good points. It's fascinating to think about the differences between Religio now, and how it would have been back then. I only wish there was a way we could go back and live and think like a Roman of that time. How different their lives and worship would have been. Even the most devout of the Religio now I feel would compare to the people who's only job in life was that of being a Priest. Especially those who were Vestal Virgins. The more I learn the more fascinating it gets.

Re: Mixing Deities

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:31 am
by Titus Flavius Severus
Thank you, amice,

I understand what you're talking about. In this issue, a huge help is historical reconstruction (reenactment). The fact is that historical reconstruction (reenactment) itself is very objective and concrete, that is, historical reconstruction (reenactment) always refers to a clear period of time and territory. Therefore, when engaged in historical reconstruction, a person always recreates the life (certain aspects of life) of an abstract person in a particular period of time and in a specific place. Another aspect of historical reconstruction (reenactment) is that a person not only recreates something, but in addition he himself in a certain sense is immersed in the role and the world of this most abstract historical person.
I want to say that in modern reality the only way that will help you realize your desire and get the desired experience will be helped only by historical reconstruction.

I would also like to point out that the cult of Vesta you cited is a very specific example. Roman Religion is very social, in a sense it is a political religion, because it is impossible without and outside the community of Roman citizens. That is, Roman Religion can not be fully realized by one person, for Roman Religion the communities of Roman citizens are always necessary. And historical reconstruction (reenactment) can help people in this, because the reconstruction (reenactment) is the social movement, and it is the base of the reconstruction (reenactment) community that gives the degree of publicity that allows to fully practice Roman Religion.

Re: Mixing Deities

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:20 pm
by Gaius Florius Lupus

I agree with our Consul. The Vestal Virgins were a special case. Most other religious offices were of political nature. The people holding these offices did not a feel a calling from their god, they took the office as part of their career, read the corresponding manual, and performed the rites as described.

The modern devotion to the CDR is probably a phenomenon of our time. The ancient Romans were most likely more relaxed about their religion just as a modern Catholic who visits the church only at Christmas. In ancient times there existed strong superstition, just like today, but this was not the actual Religio.
Still the Roman pantheon was the world, in which a Roman thought. These were the names, by which he called his gods, This were the names he used in exclamations in daily life, like when someone sneezed he said: "Tibi Iuppiter adsit!" without thinking anything with it. The religion was part of daily life, but it was less strict adhered than we imagine today. People had different ideas about the gods, as we can still read in the writings of the ancient philosophers,. There were not many standardized doctrines. For some Sol Invictus and Apollo were the same, for others they were separate deities. For others even Sol Invictus, Apollo, and Jesus were all the same.

Some ancient philosophers had the tendency towards monotheism. They assumed that all the gods of the pantheon were manifesttations of Iuppiter (Zeus). This is were the unpersonalized form Deus Pater derived from, which later became Diupater and finally Iuppiter. With Constantine who tried to unite the Roman religion with Christianity this became the standard name of the Christian god: Deus Pater. Neither Yahweh nor Jesus are actually called by name in the formula "In nomine Patri et Filii et Spiritus Sancti". The idea was that it should work for Romans as well as for Christians. So with the rise of Christianity the Romans had merged all their gods into the trinity and some of them into Christian saints.
Merging was a natural process, and the final result is Roman Catholicism, which is essentially a modernized face of the Religio Romana with some unnecessary Jewish mythology (bible) added to it. Christians might be unaware of it, but they still worship Iuppiter and Apollo and do not even wonder why the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (December 25) is also the birthday of their savior. And if we look at the pictures of Michelangelo of the Christian god, we are unable to distinguish him from ancient depictions of Iuppiter/Zeus. And the halo of Jesus is the same halo that Sol Invictus was painted with.

The more we progress in time, the more gods are merged; the farther we go back in time the more separate entities their aspects become.

C. Florius Lupus

Re: Mixing Deities

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:09 am
by Quintus Vergilius Crassus
Personally, in my opinion, the emergence of mixed deities is the beginning of the path to monotheism, an attempt to find new content in ritualistics, which in fact was solved by the semantic load. The filling of emptiness in ritualistics, the search for what this void to fill, the search for meaningful filling, multiplied the essence of deities.