Top picks

  • Beard, North and Price, Religions of Rome: Volume 2: A Sourcebook (Cambridge University Press); authoritative, readable and easily the most informative non-classical book on Roman polytheism.

  • Ovid, Fasti (Penguin, translated and edited by Boyle and Woodard); contains a wealth of information about ancient Roman religion. The Penguin edition has excellent footnotes. However the Oxford University Press edition is just as readable. Note that it can be heavy going for novices.

  • Cicero, On the Nature of the Gods (Oxford University Press); actually a book on philosophy, but also an invaluable resource on the religio Romana

Other good books to read

  • Apuleius, The Golden Ass (Oxford University Press), wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

  • Beard, The Fires of Vesuvius (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press), worth getting just for the 33 page chapter on religion in Pompeii.

  • Beard, North and Price, Religions of Rome: Volume 1: A History (Cambridge University Press).

  • Cato, On

  • Ferguson, The Religions of the Roman Empire (Cornell University Press).

  • Hughes, Tales from Ovid; 24 Passages from the Metamorphoses (Faber and Faber), this book kicked off my fascination with Roman polytheism; see also the much longer original as translated by Martin and published by W W Norton & Company.

  • North, Roman Religion (Oxford University Press).

  • Rüpke (Ed), A Companion to Roman Religion (Wiley-Blackwell).

  • Scheid, An Introduction to Roman Religion (Indiana University Press).

  • Shelton, As the Romans Did: A Sourcebook (Oxford University Press). This is a very academic books but also surprisingly readable. It contains many fascinating extracts from ancient sources  which illuminate the everyday life of ancient Romans, including a decent sized chapter on religion and philosophy.

  • Turcan, The Gods of Ancient Rome (Routledge), fairly dry and I do not always agree with his conclusions but still an excellent reference book.

  • Warrior, Roman Religion (Cambridge University Press).

Written by M. Sentia Figula; find me at neo polytheist


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