AT the end of the introductory chapter a promise was made that when we had completed the round of the year, we would sum up our results, sketch in outline the history of Roman religious ideas, and estimate the influence of all this elaborate ceremonial on the life and character of the Roman people. This undertaking I must now endeavour to fulfil, though with doubt and diffidence; for even after the most careful examination of the Calendar, both the character and the history of the Roman religious system must still in great degree remain a mystery. With such knowledge however as may have been gleaned in the preceding pages, the reader may be able to appreciate or criticize a few conclusions of a more general character.
The Roman religion has been ably discussed in general terms by several writers of note in the century just closing. Mommsen's chapters in the early books of his Roman History are familiar to every one. The introduction to Marquardt's volume on our subject is indispensable; and Preller, less exact perhaps, but more sympathetic and inspiring, still holds the field with the opening chapters of his work on Roman Mythology. To these classical works may be added the section on the Roman religion in the second volume of the Religionsgeschichte of Chantepie de la Saussaye, and the first chapter of Boissier's work on the Roman religion from Augustus onwards. Professor Granger Worship of the Romans also contains here and there some suggestive remarks, though as a rule these are not based upon any elaborate investigation of the cult. Lastly I may mention a small but valuable treatise,