November 19 - Worship of Roman Emperors • Precedents for...

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Unformatted text preview: November 19, 2007 Worship of Roman Emperors • Precedents for emperor-worship o Greek (via NE, Egypt) Hero cult: successful individuals (generals, artists, athletes) Alexander: adopts divine aspects of Persian kingship • Use of divinity for political purposes (outside Greece) Ptolemies: adopt native ruler cult of pharaohs • Mythical precedents for emperor-worship o Deification of semi-divine general/founder figures Aeneas/Jupiter Indiges Romulus • Historical precedents: Scipio Africanus o Hero of 2 nd Punic War; old distinguished family o “favorite of the gods” theme Sleeps with snake as infants (compare Hercules) Dogs at Jupiter’s temple don’t bark at him o Supernatural power: gods advise in dreams o Public relations: literary patronage, coins (iconography) o Assumes title of imperator (Jupiter cult title) • Rituals o Personal “deification” of manes Paterfamilias Cicero’s daughter Tullia (plan for shrine) o Triumph: military hero honored like god Sacrifice to Jupiter Optimus Maximus o Sacred kingship ( rex sacrorum ) Belief that leaders of long ago had divine connections • Teleology, cyclicity (return of Golden Age) o Mysteries/philosophy: spiritual rebirth Emperor in effect reborn as a higher being...
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course CLT 3371 taught by Professor Marks during the Fall '07 term at University of Florida.

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November 19 - Worship of Roman Emperors • Precedents for...

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