Interesting facts on snake worship in Roman times
In the ancient world the primary of many gods was the Sun. Bacchus, the
god of wine was a Sun god, as was Mithra. Bacchus was also another name
for Nimrod, who was the original Sun god, deified after he died. Baal too
was a Sun god, the list is endless.
Symbols for the Sun god included snakes (serpents) and fire. Fire worship
was symbolic for the Sun god. This today lives on in pagan and
denominational buildings when candles are lit, even on a bright day.
The snake or serpent was worshiped as a representation of the great god,
lord Sun, along with fire.
Dragons were believed by the Greeks to be great sources of knowledge and
wisdom and were considered sacred creatures with oracular abilities by
both Greeks and Romans. Small non-venomous snakes were commonly kept in
Roman households, where they no doubt kept the mouse and rat population in
check and they were called dracunculi, or little dragons.
Treated as pets, they slept in various nooks and crannies and were fed at
the table like dogs or cats. Serpents were to be found at shrines, where
they transmitted their great wisdom through the mouths of priestesses.
Python was the name of one such serpent-dragon, which guarded the shrine
at Delphi until Apollo killed him.
All around the world the serpent, or snake worship, as a representation of
the Sun God was universal. But what I find so horrific is that on entering
a Roman home you would have been greeted by one or more pet snakes,
looking for both affection and scraps of food. Such creatures were revered
in that society. Maybe it helps us to understand the situation Paul found
himself in when bitten in Acts 28, and his returning the creature to the
fire where it died, who was a representation of the Fire God, Lord Sun.