There are many cases throughout Roman history where poor religious practices and botched rituals were followed by Roman failure. Perhaps most depressingly was the case with Emperor Julian’s invasion of Parthia. According to Ammianus Marcellinus, while Emperor Julian was in Circesium (a Roman fort city in modern Syria) he received letters from his friend Praetorian prefect Flavius Sallustius “entreating him to suspend his expedition against the Parthians, and imploring him not in such an unseasonable manner to rush on irrevocable destruction before propitiating the gods.”
This was far from the only bad omen that beset Emperor Julian, for an earthquake had struck Constantinople, “which those skilful in divination declares to be an unfavourable omen to a ruler about to invade a foreign country”, among yet more omens I’ll omit for brevity’s sake. The unfortunate result of these is the death of Emperor Julian and the complete failure of his campaign following his death.
So let the following superior understanding be held more in common than the former inferior understanding: in the Cultus Deorum we shall maintain knowledge of the following divine truths:
that all gods are good and are never malicious towards the cosmos nor to one another
that they never lust, never envy, never want, and never desire, as they are whole and thus do not have need to want anything
that any story, myth, fable, or legend that suggests that they do want is to be interpreted by philosophers and theologians and not accepted as literally reflective of a god’s true nature.