Religion played a major role in the daily life of ancient Romans. This course examines the pervasive role of religion and ritual in all aspects of Roman society from the early Republic to Late Antiquity. After considering the gods, mythology, origins and nature of Roman religion, the course will turn to the relationship between religion and politics (public and provincial religion, priests, emperor worship, forbidden cults and persecutions), ritual activities (sacrifices, votive offerings, prayers, funerals), religious innovations (the mystery religions, Christianity), and the nature of personal religion and superstition (rites of passage, magic, curses and amulets). These topics will be illustrated by relevant texts (manuscripts, papyri and inscriptions) archaeological evidence (temples, shrines, grave markers, burials and grave goods) and Roman religious art (religious symbolism, cult images, catacomb paintings). Students will be confronted by a society in which the boundaries of religious and secular are often blurred or impossible to determine.