Is there a story in the Roman literature of someone previously not believing in the traditional Roman gods or a specific deity within their pantheon but later, after a vision or another experience, being convinced that they do indeed exist? I imagine that stories of coming to Christian faith are easy enough to find, but I am specifically interested in the traditional Roman religion here.

The story can be historical or mythical. My main interest in seeing how such a thing would be described in Latin, perhaps in comparison to any Christian turns of phrase.

  • It may or may not pertain to your question, but in the Byzantine empire, Jews were often looked upon as the "before" picture in a before/after advertisement of the Orthodox faith. They lived lives as second class citizens and whenever a Jew converted to Orthodox in order to obtain more rights and political enfranchisement, the government used that fact as propaganda. Source: History of Byzantium podcast. – Nickimite Jul 2 at 7:50
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    @TrmIntrs2 I mean, the Romans certainly didn't consider it to be "Proto-Indo-European mythology"; they had no concept of PIE. – Draconis Jul 2 at 16:16
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    I'm curious about the answer, but I doubt there's something directly analogous to Christianity. I'm not aware of any Roman effort to "convert" the tribes that they conquered, nor any claim that their gods were the only gods. – brianpck Jul 2 at 17:55
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    The ending of Apuleius's Metamorphoses / Golden Ass is often described as a kind of conversion story. But it doesn't really answer your requirements as it's not about someone going from unbelief to belief. – TKR Jul 2 at 18:15
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    @TKR That might turn out to be the closest hit, but I hope not. A near miss would make a reasonable answer though, especially as others who find this question through a web search might be looking for something slightly different. – Joonas Ilmavirta Jul 2 at 19:19

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