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Religion of Tibullus

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Title: Religion of Tibullus
Author: Martin, Gladys, 1891-1979
Date: 1913
Publisher: University of Missouri
Abstract: Tibullus is generally considered a poet sincere and devout in his religion; for he is constantly invoking the presence of the divinities, vowing sacrifice to them, and dwelling upon their beneficence to mankind. It is the purpose of this discussion to prove that although he reveals feelings of reverence for the gods in general, in reality he worshiped chiefly rural gods, especially those in whom were personified the elements of nature. Thus in scope his religion differed little from that of the rude untutored Italian peasant to whom the gods of the country were most familiar and all-important. To be sure Tibullus was born and bred a country lad, but it is rather strange that one who must have spent a large part of his later life in Rome, and who ranked high among the educated people of the city should have remained so true to the simple faith of his childhood. We know that he led a varied life, for, in addition to his activities as a literary man in Rome, he followed Messala upon two or three distant campaigns. Nevertheless his religious thought is as simple and peaceful as if he had passed his days in some remote rural district shut off from the broader intercourse of the world. No divinities of Rome or of foreign lands ever lessened his allegiance to the native gods of the country.

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