Cult, Ritual, Divinity and Belief in the Roman World: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Cult, Ritual, Divinity and Belief in the Roman World

1st Edition

By Duncan Fishwick


338 pages

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The papers assembled in this selection of studies range in subject matter from early Judaic magic to an inscribed monument of the Neo-Classical period. The principal emphasis of the collection is nevertheless on religious developments under the High Roman Empire: problems arising from the interpretation of oriental cults imported from the Hellenistic East but primarily the development of imperial cult, the one universal religion of the empire before the coming of Christianity. The essays divide into five categories: Divinity and Power; The Imperial Numen; The Imperial Cult: Review and Discussion; Rituals and Ceremonies; Ainigmata. The titles of the individual articles speak for themselves but readers may also find the preface of interest in so far as it sets out the author's ideas on the controversial nature of the emperor's divinity. While this is a topic deserving of a book in its own right, the preface together with the points raised by individual studies within the overall framework may go some way to repairing this defficiency.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Part I Divinity and Power: Votive offerings to the emperor; Prudentius and the cult of Divus Augustus; Ovid and Divus Augustus; Seneca and the temple of Divus Claudius; Soldier and emperor; A silver aedicula at Mérida; The deification of Claudius. Part II The Imperial Numen: The imperial numen in Britain; Numen Augusti; Le numen impérial en Afrique romaine; Numinibus Aug(ustorum); Numen Augustum; Numinibus domus divinae. Part III The Imperial Cult: Review and Discussion: Review of S.R.F. Price, Rituals and Power. The Roman Imperial Cult in Asia Minor; A critical assessment: on the imperial cult in Religions of Rome. Part IV Rituals and Ceremonies: The Cannophori and the March festival of Magna Mater; Hastiferi; Pliny and the Christians: the rites ad imaginem principis; Un don de statues d'argent à Narbo Martius; Imperial processions at Augusta Emerita. Part V Ainigmata: An early Christian cryptogram; The Talpioth ossuaries again; On the origin of the Rotas-Sator square; Un code secret à Shugborough Hall?; Indexes.

About the Author

Duncan Fishwick is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta, Canada.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
RELIGION / History