Roman Mythology

Mythology of the Roman Republic

How did Roman mythology change in the Imperial period?

As the Roman Empire grew in the period following the ascendency of Octavian—Caesar Augustus—so did the scope of Roman mythology. As the Romans continued to absorb rather than to eradicate the mythologies and religions of the people they conquered, by the end of the Imperial period, Roman mythology was quite different from the “Greco-Roman” mythology outlined in most textbooks. The Imperial myth that stands out above all others is an addition to the Roman founding myth of Romulus and Remus. This was the myth of Aeneas, eventually given full narrative form by the poet Virgil.


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