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The Romans had a practical attitude to religion, as to most things, which perhaps explains why they themselves had difficulty in taking to the idea of a single, all-seeing, all-powerful god.


In so far as the Romans had a religion of their own, it was not based on any central belief, but on a mixture of fragmented rituals, taboos, superstitions, and traditions which they collected over the years from a number of sources.


To the Romans, religion was less a spiritual experience than a contractual relationship between mankind and the forces which were believed to control people's existence and well-being.


The result of such religious attitudes were two things: a state cult, the significant influence on political and military events of which outlasted the republic, and a private concern, in which the head of the family oversaw the domestic rituals and prayers in the same way as the representatives of the people performed the public ceremonials.


Every head of a household was a priest, and there were various household gods. The most well known where Vesta, the goddess of the Hearth, and Janus, the god of the Door.

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