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For example, did Julius Cesar or Augustus believe in the existence of Jupiter? Is there some consistent evidence in writings that they truly believebelieved in the Roman gods? Or maybe they thought that the mythology they promoted through temples, worship and so on was helpful for stability, perhaps part of the "panem et circenses" logic?

Although I gave particular examples of Roman rulers, I am not interested onin what this or that particular emperor or cesarcaesar believed per se, but rather onin whether something systematic can be said about this issue.

My question is motivated by reading about the persecution of Christians in the Roman empire. Christians were asked to adore the Roman gods in public, or else face death. If the Roman elite did not truly believe in their gods, it could be argued that they were using this public confession purely as a mean of keeping the stability of the empire, rather than also defending their own faith.

For example, did Julius Cesar or Augustus believe in the existence of Jupiter? Is there some consistent evidence in writings that they truly believe in the Roman gods? Or maybe they thought that the mythology they promoted through temples, worship and so on was helpful for stability, perhaps part of the "panem et circenses" logic?

Although I gave particular examples of Roman rulers, I am not interested on what this or that particular emperor or cesar believed per se, but rather on whether something systematic can be said about this issue.

My question is motivated by reading about the persecution of Christians in the Roman empire. Christians were asked to adore the Roman gods in public, or else face death. If the Roman elite did not truly believe in their gods, it could be argued that they were using this public confession purely as a mean of keeping the stability of the empire, rather than also defending their own faith.

For example, did Julius Cesar or Augustus believe in the existence of Jupiter? Is there some consistent evidence in writings that they truly believed in the Roman gods? Or maybe they thought that the mythology they promoted through temples, worship and so on was helpful for stability, perhaps part of the "panem et circenses" logic?

Although I gave particular examples of Roman rulers, I am not interested in what this or that particular emperor or caesar believed per se, but rather in whether something systematic can be said about this issue.

My question is motivated by reading about the persecution of Christians in the Roman empire. Christians were asked to adore the Roman gods in public, or else face death. If the Roman elite did not truly believe in their gods, it could be argued that they were using this public confession purely as a mean of keeping the stability of the empire, rather than also defending their own faith.

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Did Roman Empire elite believe in their gods?

For example, did Julius Cesar or Augustus believe in the existence of Jupiter? Is there some consistent evidence in writings that they truly believe in the Roman gods? Or maybe they thought that the mythology they promoted through temples, worship and so on was helpful for stability, perhaps part of the "panem et circenses" logic?

Although I gave particular examples of Roman rulers, I am not interested on what this or that particular emperor or cesar believed per se, but rather on whether something systematic can be said about this issue.

My question is motivated by reading about the persecution of Christians in the Roman empire. Christians were asked to adore the Roman gods in public, or else face death. If the Roman elite did not truly believe in their gods, it could be argued that they were using this public confession purely as a mean of keeping the stability of the empire, rather than also defending their own faith.