Georg Wissowa’s classifications of indigenous and foreign cults gives the best illustration of the obsessive search for the “true” religion of the Romans, of the illusory project of studying their religion in the purest state possible. Now like any culture or language, a religion is never and never can be pure, uncontaminated. It is always the result of mixture, even at the earliest stages we are able to identify. So the sorting out of Roman and non-Roman elements, or for later periods a concept like syncretism as opposed to a “pure” religion, are nonsense.
Graeco Ritu: A Typically Roman Way of Honoring the Gods, John Scheid, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology. Vol 97, Greek in Rome: Influence, Integration, Resistance (1995), pp. 15-31
I have about a billion emails I am trying to get responded to. My head has been off in, well… The Norse Nine Worlds, actually. Not just in the clouds. Those waiting for me will be getting responses by tomorrow afternoon.