Foreign Cults in Rome: Creating a Roman EmpireDe (autor) Eric Orlin
en Limba Engleză Hardback – 30 Sep 2010
to outside influences to explore how installing foreign religious elements as part of their own religious system affected their notions of what it meant to be Roman. The inclusion of so many foreign elements posed difficulties for defining a sense of Romanness at the very moment when a territorial
definition was becoming obsolete. Using models drawn from anthropology, this book demonstrates that Roman religious activity beginning in the middle Republic (early third century B.C.E.) contributed to redrawing the boundaries of Romanness. The methods by which the Romans absorbed cults and priests
and their development of practices in regard to expiations and the celebration of ludi allowed them to recreate a clear sense of identity, one that could include the peoples they had conquered. While this identity faced further challenges during the civil wars of the Late Republic, the book suggests
that Roman openness remained a vital part of their religious behavior during this time. Foreign Cults in Rome concludes with a brief look at the reforms of the first emperor Augustus, whose activity can be understood in light of Republican activity, and whose actions laid the foundation for further
adaptation under the Empire.
Its value lies ... in the overview that it provides, bringing together well- and lesser-known episodes from the period during which Roman expansion brought inevitable tensions in its wake, to explore these tensions in terms of choices made over which deities to include, and over when, where and how to pay them cult. ... a positive contribution to our understanding of the Roman Republic.
Eric Orlin is Professor of Classics at the University of Puget Sound