Religion in Rome

The following is taken from Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician, by Anthony Everitt:

“Religion was not so much a set of personal beliefs as precisely laid-down ways of living in harmony with the expectations of the gods. In fact, by the end of the Republic educated men believed less in the literal truth of the apparatus of religous doctrine than in a vaguer notion of the validity of tradition.”  (p. 55.)

How controlling are traditions.

They blind us to any view other than the one we’ve inherited and keep us from examining what, exactly, the source of the tradition was or what it was originally intended to accomplish.