In this book, Claudia Moser offers a new understanding of Roman
religion in the Republican era through an exploration of sacrifice,
its principal ritual. Examining the long-term imprint of
sacrificial practices on the material world, she focuses on
monumental altars as the site for the act of sacrifice. Piecing
together the fragments of the complex kaleidoscope of Roman
religious practices, she shows how they fit together in ways that
shed new light on the characteristic diversity of Roman religion.
This study reorients the study of sacrificial practice in three
principal ways: first, by establishing the primacy of sacred
architecture, rather than individual action, in determining
religious authority; second, by viewing religious activities as
haptic, structured experiences in the material world rather than as
expressions of doctrinal, belief-based mentalities; and third, by
considering Roman sacrifice as a local, site-specific ritual rather
than as a single, monolithic practice.
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