|Religion and the Roman Empire
The Roman Empire is credited with many things due partially to their ability to share, spread, and adapt culture. Rome was successful because it both conquered and shared the fruits of conquest with the conquered. Religion was one part of the culture that demonstrated the tolerance of Romans. For example, at the time of Jesus’ birth, paganism could be divided into three spheres: the official state religion, the traditional cults of the hearth and countryside, and the new mystery religions from the East. Even though the official religion in the Roman Empire began as Pagan, it ended as Christianity when Emperor Theodosius declared it as the official religion in A.D. 380. The following examines two works of fiction that deal with religion during the Roman Empire.
The Golden Ass, by Apuleius, is a story of Lucius who talks his lover, the servant of a witch, into stealing him a potion that will temporarily turn him into an owl. Unfortunately it is the ...