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Arx Aeternae Dominationis: Emperor Worship Rituals In The Construction Of A Roman Religious Frontier

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Chapter Summary

The practice of emperor worship started in Rome after the divinization of Caesar, and is included in the complex and long process of the accumulation of powers by the Emperors. This chapter concentrates on the imperial importance of emperor worship, specifically in its constitution as a religious trait share by all people ruled by Rome. This role of the imperial cult as an integrator is illustrated with many examples. However, this characteristic becomes even clearer if one considers the hatred shown to the imperial cult by peoples that did not want to be integrated in the Empire. The relations between Christians and the imperial power prove the use of the sacrifices to the Emperor. The chapter highlights one of the best examples of how provincial rulers fought against Christians during the Roman Principate, that is the famous letter of Pliny to Trajan and the subsequent answer from the Emperor.

Keywords: emperor worship; Roman religious trait



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