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How Did Omens And Prophesy Influence Citizens And Government In Ancient Greece And Rome?

836 words - 4 pages

Alexander the Great states, “Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.” In this way, Alexander shows the belief of fate in ancient times. By looking at this mindset, the beliefs of these ancient people can be seen. These ancient people also had a strong belief in the omens and prophecies given by the gods. In both Greek and Roman times, omens and prophecies structured the lives of these ancient people through their tradition, stories, and way of living.
Both Roman and Greek religions were influenced by omens and sacrifice. In Greece, religion revolved heavily on sacrifices because these ancient people hoped to turn the favor of the gods. This favor was highly valued because ...view middle of the document...

A theme that arose from this was the following of each person’s individual fate. One hero that visited oracles often was Romulus, who was the first kind of Rome. One of these prophesies was that Rome would grow due to military conquest. In order to do this, Romulus enlisted three thousand footmen and three hundred units of cavalry. The result of the newly gained military power allowed Rome to grow to be larger than any other civilization at the time (Dryden).
This caused events related to Romulus and Remus to be later considered as holidays due to their many great achievements. One major event was the foundation of Rome on April 21. To honor this, no sacrifices were offered on this day. In the opposite way, dogs are sacrificed throughout the year to honor the wolf that gave birth to Romulus and Remus. Also, a feast dedicated to the mother wolf is called Lupercalia (Dryden). This worship for the great wolf is evident in the art from this period. One of these pieces of art, the Capitoline She-wolf, is very evident and shows the great wolf as it nurses the two Roman Heroes. Since a wolf cannot actually be the mother to human children, this can also be seen as an omen. The wolf in this story is most likely meant to be a symbol of the strength that Romulus and Remus have. This strength can be shown and sent to the city of Rome itself. (Musei Capitolini) The foundation of Rome is...

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