By Ittai Gradel
Whereas Roman faith worshipped a few gods, one type particularly aroused the fury of early Christians and the sweetness of students: the cult of Roman emperors alive or lifeless. was once the divinity of emperors a glue that held the Empire jointly? have been rulers comparable to Julius Caesar and Caligula easily mad to anticipate such worship of themselves? Or used to be it relatively a phenomenon which has purely been rendered incomprehensible via smooth and monotheistic principles of what faith is--or should still be--all about?This publication offers the 1st examine of emperor worship one of the Romans themselves, either in Rome and in its heartland Italy. It argues that emperor worship used to be certainly completely according to Roman spiritual culture, which has been normally misunderstood via a posterity imbued with appreciably various notions of the connection among people and the divine.
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Extra resources for Emperor Worship and Roman Religion (Oxford Classical Monographs)
But the overall number of republican inscriptions from Roman Italy is small, and practically non-existent from the private sphere. Thirdly, archaeological sources are likewise of little help, for several reasons. They are too damaged to show traces of private cult generally (if we had a republican Pompeii, conditions 8 Thus Hanson (1959, 50) and Muth (1961), denying the existence at any stage of a ‘pure’ Roman religion; cf. 200 . 34 Before the Caesars would of course be diﬀerent). Yet the typical elements in house cults, as known primarily from Pompeii, seem, from the scanty references in the literary sources of the republican era, to have remained fairly constant over the centuries.
Verbices maialesque . . Atque harum hostiarum omnium inviolati sunt tauri, quae pars scilicet caeditur in castratione’. For types of bovines, note also Varro, Rust. 2. 5. 6. 24 Introduction of communicating with the gods, such as found among the Epicureans or Sceptics, did not usually lead to rejection of the sacriﬁcial systems. 24 It is not adequate simply to ascribe this to love of honours or outright cynicism, a view which prejudices ritual and traditionalist values in favour of philosophical theology.
In geographical terms, my investigation will cover Roman Italy, the Roman heartland in the early empire. The state cult in Rome, an integral part of the ‘constitution’ of the Roman state, will receive the most thorough treatment; the state cult presents complicated problems peculiar to this ‘constitutional’ sphere, and my investigation will, I hope, add some new dimensions to the history of the development of the principate. For the same reason my main emphasis will be on the early empire, the formative phase of the principate.
Emperor Worship and Roman Religion (Oxford Classical Monographs) by Ittai Gradel