This is more or less a dictionary, covering the first chapters of Roma,the Novel of Ancient Rome by Steven Saylor.
numen (veneration of objects)
One of such 'objects' is Fascinus, whose amulet has a special meaning to the Potitii and Pinarii in the novel.
Hercules and Cacus
Cacus is monster that terrorizes the villagers and kills a Pinarius. Hercules appears with his oxen and dog and manages to slay Cacus. In the novel, Hercules becomes the first god to be worshiped. Ara Maxima Herculis (Platner).
Beham, (Hans) Sebald (1500-1550): Hercules killing Cacus at his cave, from The Labours of Hercules (1542-1548). Engraving, 1545. (Wikimedia Commons)