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8 votes

Is the Abrahamic god ever named in Classical-era Latin or Greek?

The Wikipedia article on Tetragrammaton gives a long list of examples from Greek and Latin in early manuscripts and patristic writing. The overwhelming majority use "Lord", but a few use proper ...
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6 votes
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What would the Romans have called "sorcery"?

Virgil uses magicas artes in Aeneid 4.493: Testor, cara, deos et te, germana, tuumque dulce caput, magicas invitam accingier artes. The adjective magicus seems to be right in the semantic field ...
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6 votes
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Do the Romans write about "converting" foreign gods?

Macrobius gives the form of a spell (an evocatio) designed to call forth the gods of an enemy city before attacking it, inviting them to Rome: si deus, si dea est, cui populus civitasque ...
  • 8,421
6 votes
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How to swear by a god?

This answer only concerns Latin; I will leave Greek to others. Vocative is not the way to go here. It is used for addressing the god, not for such exclamations. (At least I have never seen it in such ...
6 votes
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Comparing ius sacrum and fas

Recent research has shed some new light on this question. A dissertation that came out of Rutgers in 2007 called the whole idea of ius sacrum into question. Johnson takes a look at the evidence behind ...
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5 votes
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What is the general word for a religious ceremony or observation?

In De Civitate Dei, Augustine quotes Varro, who was the author of Antiquitates rerum divinarum. The latter was making distinctions between the various conceptions of the Roman gods. Concerning the ...
4 votes

What is the general word for a religious ceremony or observation?

Like English, Latin has words for particular ceremonies, but unlike English, it does actually have a general word, caerimonia, which is used for sacred ceremonies (but not for profane usages). Another ...
  • 17.8k
3 votes
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Is the Abrahamic god ever named in Classical-era Latin or Greek?

The oldest Greek transcription I've found is from Diodorus of Sicily (The Library of History I.94.2): παρὰ δὲ τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις Μωυσῆν τὸν Ἰαὼ ἐπικαλούμενον θεόν Among the Jews, Moses [attributed his ...
  • 56.5k
2 votes

Is there a pre-Christian Roman story of "coming to faith"?

There is the work De Dea Syria which has several such stories, such as that of Stratonice, but it is a Greek book, not a Roman one. In Roman history, there are various one-liners describing divine ...
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2 votes
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Online text of the Officium Parvum

I was able to find a PDF of an 1832 edition. I can't vouch for whether it has typographical errors.
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2 votes
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Understanding a sacrifice in Horace's carmen 1.5

This is how it is read. But as for the “sacrificial” tradition, it is not a sacrifice but a votive offering in a tradition still practised in many parts of the Latin-speaking world. You promise God ...
1 vote

Are there Classical attestations of specifically "Etruscan" deities?

I think there probably are Roman deities that the Romans thought were worshipped by Etruscans. I'm less sure about the "specifically" Etruscan part. So far, I haven't seen a primary source that says ...
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