This Roman Life, Episode 5: Cults, Festivals, Holidays and Entertainments

A lot can be said about a society based off of their religious and entertainment practices. In Ancient Rome this came in the form of cults, some illegal, others legal, and festivals like Saturnalia and the festival of Jonas and in dinner parties and games.


Full transcript



Carson, Gary. “The Cult of Dionysus – The God of Wine.” The Ancient World Review.     September 14, 2017. Accessed May 2, 2019.

Henrichs, A. 2015 “Dionysus.” Oxford Classical Dictionary. 2 May. 2019.

Limoges, Sarah. “Expansionism or Fear: The Underlying Reasons for the Bacchanalia Affair of 186 B.C.”

North, John. 2016 “Bacchanalia.” Oxford Classical Dictionary. 2 May. 2019.

Rutgers, Leonard. Roman Policy towards the Jews: Expulsions from the City of Rome during the First Century C.E. In: Classical Antiquity, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Apr., 1994), pp. 56-74’, University of California Press. Republished by permission.

Schalit, Abraham, and Shimon Gibson. “Dionysus, Cult of.” In Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed.,    edited by Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik, 674-675. Vol. 5. Detroit, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. Gale Virtual Reference Library (accessed May 2, 2019).

Schmitz, Leonhard, and William Smith. “Bacchanalia.” A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1875, 413-14. Accessed May 2, 2019.*/Bacchanalia.html


Thomé, Pierre A. “Mithraism.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. May 08, 2019. Accessed May 10, 2019.

ReligionForBreakfast. YouTube. April 18, 2017. Accessed May 10, 2019.

“In Our Time, The Cult of Mithras.” BBC Radio 4. December 27, 2012. Accessed May 10, 2019.


Cartwright, Mark. “Saturnalia.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. May 08, 2019. Accessed May 4, 2019.

“Did the Romans Invent Christmas?” BBC News. December 17, 2012. Accessed May 4, 2019.

“Saturnalia.” Historia Civilis. Accessed May 4, 2019.

Smith, R. Scott, and Christopher Francese. Ancient Rome: An Anthology of Sources. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2014.


Andrews, Evan. “5 Ancient New Year’s Celebrations.” December 31, 2012. Accessed May 6, 2019.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Janus.” Encyclopædia Britannica. February 14, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2019.

“Lares.” Wikipedia. April 25, 2019. Accessed May 7, 2019. “Liberalia: Celebrating Maturity.” Rome Across Europe. February 24, 2017. Accessed May 7, 2019.

Wasson, Donald L. “Janus.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. February 06, 2015. Accessed May 6, 2019.

“Armilustrium.” LacusCurtius • Rome – The Armilustrium (Platner & Ashby, 1929). April 03, 2019. Accessed May 10, 2019.*/Armilustrium.html.


Aldrete, Gregory. Daily Life In the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii, and Ostia. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008

Miller, Cynthia. “Ancient Board Games.” May 10, 2017. Accessed May 2, 2019. “Ed­­o Ergo Sum: “Foodie Hipsterism in the Roman Empire.” Eidolon. Nov 23, 2016. Accessed Apr 23, 2019.

Morgan, Kori. “Ancient Roman Taverns” accessed May 10, 2019.

JV99. “Visiting the Baths in Ancient Rome.” University of Kent. March 15, 2016. Accessed March 4, 2016.

Music Source:

Background sound source: