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By the end of the regal period Rome had developed into a city-state, with a large plebeian, artisan class excluded from the old patrician gentes and from the state priesthoods. The city had commercial and political treaties with its neighbours; according to tradition, Rome's Etruscan connections established a temple to Minerva on the predominantly plebeian Aventine; she became part of a new Capitoline triad of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, installed in a Capitoline temple, built in an Etruscan style and dedicated in a new September festival, Epulum Jovis.[149] These are supposedly the first Roman deities whose images were adorned, as if noble guests, at their own inaugural banquet.

Rome's diplomatic agreement with its neighbours of Latium confirmed the Latin league and brought the cult of Diana from Aricia to the Aventine.[150] and established on the Aventine in the "commune Latinorum Dianae templum":[151] At about the same time, the temple of Jupiter Latiaris was built on the Alban mount, its stylistic resemblance to the new Capitoline temple pointing to Rome's inclusive hegemony. Rome's affinity to the Latins allowed two Latin cults within the pomoerium:[152] and the cult to Hercules at the ara maxima in the Forum Boarium was established through commercial connections with Latium confirmed the Latin league and brought the cult of Diana from Aricia to the Aventine.[150] and established on the Aventine in the "commune Latinorum Dianae templum":[151] At about the same time, the temple of Jupiter Latiaris was built on the Alban mount, its stylistic resemblance to the new Capitoline temple pointing to Rome's inclusive hegemony. Rome's affinity to the Latins allowed two Latin cults within the pomoerium:[152] and the cult to Hercules at the ara maxima in the Forum Boarium was established through commercial connections with Tibur.[153] and the Tusculan cult of Castor as the patron of cavalry found a home close to the Forum Romanum:[154] Juno Sospita and Juno Regina were brought from Italy, and Fortuna Primigenia from Praeneste. In 217, Venus was brought from Sicily and installed in a temple on the Capitoline hill.[155]

Livy attributed the disasters of the early part of Rome's second Punic War to a growth of superstitious cults, errors in augury and the neglect of Rome's traditional gods, whose anger was expressed directly in Rome's defeat at Cannae (216 BC). The Sibilline books were consulted. They recommended a general vowing of the ver sacrum[156] and in the following year, the burial of two Greeks and two Gauls; not the first nor the last of its kind, according to Livy.

The introduction of new or equivalent deities coincided with Rome's most significant aggressive and defensive military forays. In 206 BC the Sibylline books commended the introduction of a cult to the aniconic Magna Mater (Great Mother) from Pessinus, ins

The introduction of new or equivalent deities coincided with Rome's most significant aggressive and defensive military forays. In 206 BC the Sibylline books commended the introduction of a cult to the aniconic Magna Mater (Great Mother) from Pessinus, installed on the Palatine in 191 BC. The mystery cult to Bacchus followed; it was suppressed as subversive and unruly by decree of the Senate in 186 BC.[157] Greek deities were brought within the sacred pomerium: temples were dedicated to Juventas (Hebe) in 191 BC,[158] Diana (Artemis) in 179 BC, Mars (Ares) in 138 BC), and to Bona Dea, equivalent to Fauna, the female counterpart of the rural Faunus, supplemented by the Greek goddess Damia. Further Greek influences on cult images and types represented the Roman Penates as forms of the Greek Dioscuri. The military-political adventurers of the Later Republic introduced the Phrygian goddess Ma (identified with the Roman Bellona, the Egyptian mystery-goddess Isis and the Persian Mithras.)

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