Show Summary Details
Page of

date: 16 October 2021

p. 71. The ancient worldlocked

p. 71. The ancient worldlocked

  • Owen Davies


According to ‘The ancient world’, burial evidence points to three main models of our earliest religious beliefs: the notion of the earth mother; veneration of the dead, and by extrapolation ancestor worship; and animism. Elements of these can also be found in the religions of the historic world. Many forms of religious worship were practised across the Greco–Roman world. While state religion provided a unifying expression of Roman identity across the Empire, syncretism was common. However, Christians did not want to join in. In the first few centuries of the Church, Christian theologians were particularly critical of three practices they saw as defining paganism: polytheism, sacrifice, and idol worship.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.