Harvey, Jr Religion and memory at Pisaurum , and A. Ando, Diana on the Aventine, in H. Cancik and J. Rpke eds , Die Religion des Imperium Romanum , In such systems, fundamental binding aspects of communal culture such as religion and often even language are understood not simply as non-statal the object of individual choice, while communities of individuals like-minded in respect to religion are constituted as private at law but those choices are often protected through precisely the states guarantee of individual right.
Scholars whose self- understandings are formed by their constitution within such states are predisposed to understand individuals as more completely atomized and to view a wider array of constituents of identity as objects of choice and negotiation. Citizens of republics, on the other hand, are bound to each other and the state by networks of entitlements, obligations, and cultural commitments communally understood and jurally defined as entailed by citizenship.
These might be debated and revised in the public sphere, but they are not subject to individual negotiation at the same level. It is the co-existence in France of Republican citizenship and individual rights that gives French jurisprudence on the law on persons its distinctive flavour.
Graf ed. Das Paradigma Roms , translated by P. Purchase in C. Ando ed. Quelques rflexions gnrales, in M. Dondin-Payre and M. Raepsaet-Charlier eds , Cits, Municipes, Colonies.
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Les processus de municipalisation en Gaule et en Germanie sous le Haut Empire romain , The former is concerned with Roman attempts to devise rituals by which to reify and articulate in gesture on-going anxieties about the increasing internal heterogeneity of the Roman community; the latter studies the reception and practice of Roman religion in communities of Roman citizens notionally autonomous at the level of public law in what were, in Roman terms, the borderlands of Roman religion.
Beard, North, Price and Rives, though concerned betimes to distinguish a specifically Roman religion from religions practised by non-Roman peoples within the Empire, nevertheless ultimately concede primacy to a normative, analy - tic conception of religion, on the one hand, and to the fact of Empire, on the other. With - out specific defence perhaps of the form, these cultures and not others were ultimately embraced by the empire by virtue of sufficient similarity along some axes, religion included, so as to enable mutual recognition the rationale for studying all forms of religion practised within the Roman Empire would seem to rest upon one or the other or both of two propositions: that the Empire was eventually endowed with a cultural koin that embraced specific tenets or presuppositions of religion, or, more problematically, that the Empire became important in the history of religion when it enabled the spread of Christianity.
But the latter, essentially Providentialist claim, made already in the second century c. Such claims for the religious-historical importance of the Roman Empire were made initially to justify a form of domestic religious politics and later to mobilize certain practices at the level of imperial foreign policy. Debunking them would seem an important task for scholarship on religion in Late Antiquity, but it has not figured large in that field. Rpke is alone among those employing Roman in a non-juridical sense in mounting a defence, in material, economic and demographic terms, for the political-geographic boundaries he sets for his inquiry.
That said, even treating Republican textual evidence, and without drawing any broad methodological conclusions regarding the Romanness of Italian religious traditions before the Social War, Scheid has elsewhere shed remarkable light on Roman religion, and especially Roman religious law, by adducing the evidence of leges sacrae from altars initially constructed on peregrine soil Scheid, Oral tradition and written tradition in the formation of sacred law in Rome, in C.
Ando and J. In any event, our ability to write a history of Italian religion should be significantly enhanced by the on-going project Fana, templa, delubra. Gatti and M. Romana Picuti, was published in Rome by Quasar in Of far greater moment, the cogency of Scheids method and conclusions, and indeed his overall portrait of Roman religion, may soon be tested against evidence for the religious life of Roman colonies as never before, with results that may recursively affect our under - standing of religion at Rome itself.
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For in addition to the remarkable, fragmentary lex sacra discovered at Carthage and published by Lilliane Ennabli in , Sergio Garca-Dils de la Vega, Salvador Ordez Agulla and Oliva Rodrguez Gutirrez have announced the discovery of a cult building in the forum at Astigi, constructed shortly after the colonys foundation under Augustus, that housed in some fashion inscribed protocols for religious actions taken there. Ennabli, propos de Mgara, in S. Lancel ed. Garca-Dils de la Vega, S. Ordez Agulla and O. To state the matter as baldly as possible, these argue that far from having elaborated an understanding of Roman religion on the basis of all the evidence whatever that would mean and then developing a rule of evidence on the basis of that understanding, Scheid has brought to bear upon Roman material a dogmatic view of orthopraxic religion.
From this perspective, Scheids rules of evidence effect an a priori exclusion from the history of religion of much of what was very precisely religious in the intellectual life of Romans. At what point in the passage from acts and the rules governing them to reflection on the meaning of acts do we pass from the fundamental knowledge the technological savoir-faire necessary to the continuance of praxis to individual, metaphysical, and existential speculation so removed from praxis as to be a gloss upon it?
Is there such a point?
The Religious History of the Roman Empire
Scheid obviously answers the latter question in the affirmative. Indeed, he has done so for many years, com - mencing perhaps with an essay also carrying the title Quand faire, cest croire, written with Marc Linder and published in Archives de sciences sociales des religions 81, and continuing with Religion romaine et spiritualit ARG 5 , and Les sens des rites. Lexemple romain EntrHardt 53 , About these developments in Scheids work I offer two reflections only. First, they have been provoked by scholarship on Roman religion written simultaneously with his own and by readings performed by Scheid on further orthopraxic religions.
Where Roman religion is concerned, the interlocutor most often identified by Scheid is not unexpectedly Mary Beard, whose remarkable article on the Parilia gets due recognition in these pages.
Quel regard sur les paganismes d’époque impériale ?
I note in passing that Beard, too, articulates her agenda in terms of rules of evidence: literary 10 To clarify, I might gesture at three prominent and quite distinct reactions to interpretive models like Scheids that understand religion as embedded and consequently assign great heuristic value to inferences from statal ritual: in addition to Mary Beards essay on the Parilia, consider J.
Norths The development of religious pluralism, in J. Lieu et al. Tatums Roman religion: fragments and further questions, in S. Byrne and E. Cueva eds , Veritatis Amicitiaeque Causa.
Clark , Beard, North and Tatum, each in her or his own way, foreground the interpretive, affective and cognitive acts made by or assumed to have been made by individuals, whether as viewers of state ritual or practitioners of domestic cult: more than that, for on varied grounds each understands those acts as essential components of a phenomenology of Roman religion.
I note, too, that if less in his own work, then in his work as an advisor Scheid has bridged some of the gap between himself and Beard: Francesca Prescendis fine thesis, Dcrire et comprendre le sacrifice. Les rflexions des Romains sur leur propre religion partir de la littrature antiquaire embraces in two parts both a normative recon - struc tion of Roman sacrificial rites along with a Roman vocabulary for describing such , and an exploration of Roman literary accounts of the origin and meaning of a sacrificial rites constituent elements.
That said, Prescendi organizes her review of the exegeses offered in the ancient world following the order of appearance of any given gesture within the overall rite This is not, I would stress, an unknowing stance: it follows upon an assumption that the rite was historically stable and may indeed, should at the level of analysis be regarded as ontologically distinct within the historical contingencies of a cultural system from the interpretive and cognitive stances of the rites participants and viewers.
In other respects, like others in the field, Scheid has moved in recent years away from attempts to distinguish Roman religion radically from Christianity asserting, e. Scheid and Jasper Svenbro, Le comparatisme, point de dpart ou point darrive? Boespflug and F. Dunant eds , Le comparatisme en histoire des religions , My second reflection on these developments in Scheids work is the simple observation of at once an impasse and an agenda in scholarship.
For once articulated in terms of funda - mental definitions what is Roman religion and what counts as evidence for it? That said, provoked in part by disquiet at just this impasse, a number of individuals notably Andreas Bendlin, Corinne Bonnet, Jrg Rpke, and Greg Woolf, as well as John Scheid himself are now working, and betimes collaborating, on research into the place of the individual in the religions of the Empire, within a number of distinc - tive interpretive frameworks.
Brent Nongbri, Dislodging embedded religion: a brief note on a scholarly trope, Numen 55 : ; and Clifford Ando, Cities, gods, empire, forthcoming. Scheid is treating the topic in his lectures of at the Collge, La religion, la cit, lindividu. La pit chez les Romains. Bendlins arguments must for the moment be accessed in Looking beyond the civic compromise: religious pluralism in late republican Rome, in E. Egelhaaf-Gaiser and A. Schfer eds , Religise Vereine in der rmischen Antike.
Untersuchungen zu Organisation, Ritual und Raumordnung , For Scheid turns in his second chapter away from the recuperation of an ideal sacrifice to the study of innovation within a single ritual, that of Dea Dia, across a century and a quar - ter, based on particularly detailed accounts in the acts of the Arval Brethren from , and c. Here Scheid argues at once for two things: a the existence of an underlying set of Dumzilian rules governing the organization of ritual action; and b the continu - ing vitality and intelligibility of those rules, as attested by the internal coherence of their manipu la tion across time.
Those suspicious of Scheids language, to the effect that the sens implicite of Roman rites lay in their reification of une sorte dnonc fondamental qui concernait le systme des choses, qui rappelait le statut respectif des mortels et des immortels, a sort-of fundamental statement concerning the system of things, that calls to mind the respective status of mortals and immortals , would do well to read this chapter, for the system he unpacks is stunning both for its simplicity and for the elegance of its actualization in ritual practice.
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