The Romans were well aware of the importance of their own and of foreign divinities, especially at times of war. As a result of this the strategy of war would also include a religious practice called “evocatio”, aimed at neutralizing the enemy divinity and taking “possession” of it.
During the course of invasion the divinity’s temple and cult would be transferred into Rome itself and prayers and sacrifices made in order to entice the divinity over to the side of the Romans.
Obviously they believed the gods would be happy to swap to the side of those who could honour them with the richest of sacrifices! There are a number of examples of this, including the removal of the Dioscuri from southern Italy and general Scipio removing the divinities of Carthage. A similar respect for foreign divinities comes to light when the plague which killed the good emperor Titus is blamed on his unholy desecration of the Jewish “holy of holys”.
Ancient Roman Gods | ancient roman religion | The Gods of Rome and Politics | Christianity in Ancient Rome |
The Gods of Rome and Politics | Supremacy of the Roman Gods | Many Gods into one Roman God | Roman and Foreign Gods at War | Roman Empire Religion | The Emperor Gods of Rome | moral principles of the ancient romans |