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Early Caesars Worship System and Background

Since he was assassinated before his plans fully ripened, it is difficult to state with certainty just how far he intended to carry the emperor worship cult.

Weinstock states that what Caesar had in mind was to advertise "a grand scheme of ruler cult for his empire." Ogilvie says that "Caesar, before his assassination, had determined to claim divine status for himself . . . but his motives for doing so are not wholly clear. He may well have felt that it would help to . . . justify the absolute monarchy which he realised was the only answer to Rome's perennial quarrels and disputes." Grant disagrees. He says that Caesar had no interest in becoming a hereditary king surrounded by a panoply of divine attributes. He says "he had no need whatever to take such an unpopular step since his perpetual dictatorship already gave him all the powers he needed."

One can, however, see a logical progression. As a hard headed realist, some of the honors and perquisites of office Caesar rejected were not essential to his central goal of gaining undisputed political power and were less important than the titles he did accept such as Imperator (Emperor), Parens Patriae (Father of his country) and Dictator perpetuo (Dictator for life). Others, however, appeared to appeal to his personal sense of vanity or had symbolic import, such as the privilege of riding in a chariot drawn by white horse, sitting on a golden throne, the creation of an empty golden chair at the theater and having his golden statute carried in the procession of the gods and placed on the couch of the gods at the Circus. If Julius Caesar had not become a god by the time of his death, he was close to becoming one. Weinstock views "Caesar as an imaginative and daring religious reformer, who created and planned new cults, accepted extraordinary honours, and died when he was about to become a divine ruler."

Manipulation of Emperor Worship under Augustus

Octavian, Caesar's adopt...

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Early Caesars Worship System and Background. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 04:47, September 21, 2017, from
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