Download Divine Qualities: Cult and Community in Republican Rome by Anna J. Clark PDF

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By Anna J. Clark

This ebook explores a side of the way Romans considered themselves. Its topic is 'divine qualities': features like harmony, religion, wish, Clemency, Fortune, Freedom, Piety, and Victory, which bought public cult in Rome within the Republican interval. Anna Clark attracts on quite a lot of facts (literature, drama, cash, structure, inscriptions and graffiti) to teach that those characteristics weren't easily given cult simply because they have been intrinsically vital to 'Romans'. They quite turned 'Roman' via claims, counter-claims, appropriations and explorations of them by way of diverse participants. The assets introduced into life by way of cult (temples, altars, coin photographs, statues, passwords, votive inscriptions) have been obvious and obtainable to a wide diversity of individuals. Divine characteristics have been appropriate to a broader social spectrum than is mostly famous, and this has vital effects for our realizing of Roman society.

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Extra resources for Divine Qualities: Cult and Community in Republican Rome (Oxford Classical Monographs)

Example text

It was in the maintenance, renewal, and recreation of that importance through such claims that the qualities ‘became’ Roman, rather than their having been unalterably Roman in the Wrst place. 34 Establishing cult, which opened up a wide range of resources, almost inevitably, then, brought the qualities investigated here into important forms of public discourse. Among these forms were theatrical performances and public speeches, including contiones, watched and listened to by a range of diVerent people.

By considering the diVerent ways in which the qualities were engaged with, and the links between attested engagements with these qualities and other interactions now lost to us, we can build up a partial picture of the role this cognitive vocabulary played in the processes by which individuals and groups forged conceptions of community. Such engagements include the foundation and refoundation of the cults to these deities; the stories told and perhaps performed about them; their appearance in performances given and reacted to in theatres; the reporting and consideration of prodigies relating to their temples and statues; the vows made to them; and their articulation in and outside Rome, in a speech in the Forum or on the battleWeld in civil war.

30 DiVerent interpretations of the same ritual, that is, are always available, not only over time, but also concurrently for diVerent participants or observers (and indeed within any given individual). This insight, too, is relevant to all deities. What is particular to the deities to be investigated here is their simultaneous participation in the spheres of Roman religion and of more general discourse: their embodiment of ‘common’ nouns in divine beings. They belong in the wider discursive Weld to an extent that other deities do not.

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