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Type: Thesis
Title: Divine Emperors and Italy: Emperor Worship in the Italian Peninsula (Excluding Rome)
Author: Antoniou, Alex Andrew
Issue Date: 2018
School/Discipline: School of Humanities : Classics, Archaeology & Ancient History
Abstract: This thesis investigates the evidence for worship of the Roman emperors (living and deified), their divine predecessors and the living or deified household of the emperors, in the Italian peninsula, excluding the city of Rome itself. A wide range of evidence is covered – literary, archaeological, epigraphic, numismatic and artistic – across a wide chronological timeframe – from the later years of the first-century BCE, into the fourth-century CE. Such a wide scope is considered in order to build as accurate a picture of emperor worship in Italy as is possible, given the limitations of the evidence, and in order to appreciate some of the continuities or disparities of that evidence. Evidence of worship that is regarded as municipal (worship that was intended for the benefit of an entire Italian city) and collegial (where members of a circumscribed group came together in worship) will be considered. This study focuses on reasserting the religious identity of Italians under the principate through analysis of their engagement with emperor worship. While the institutions of emperor worship have often been viewed in an imperialist light, this thesis offers a new perspective by highlighting how Italians used the institutions of emperor worship to form and negotiate their identity under the emperors and the principate. The institutions of emperor worship can be viewed as potent religious gifts. These religious gifts were exchanged with the emperors and their households on the ‘real’ level – directly to the emperors themselves – and also on the ‘divine’ level – to the emperors and their households as important new gods within the Graeco-Roman pantheon. Thus, it will be demonstrated that emperor worship was used as a powerful tool, on both the municipal and collegial levels, in the formation and negotiation of the identity of Italians under the principate.
Advisor: O'Hea, Margaret
Clarke, Jacqueline
Dissertation Note: Thesis (MPhil) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2018
Keywords: Emperor worship
Roman Italy
imperial cult
Provenance: This thesis is currently under Embargo and not available.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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