By Anna J. Clark
This e-book explores a facet of the way Romans thought of themselves. Its topic is 'divine qualities': characteristics like harmony, religion, desire, Clemency, Fortune, Freedom, Piety, and Victory, which got 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 traits weren't easily given cult simply because they have been intrinsically very important to 'Romans'. They quite grew to become 'Roman' via claims, counter-claims, appropriations and explorations of them by means of varied participants. The assets introduced into life through cult (temples, altars, coin pictures, statues, passwords, votive inscriptions) have been noticeable and obtainable to a huge variety of individuals. Divine traits have been proper to a broader social spectrum than is generally well-known, and this has vital results for our knowing of Roman society.
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Additional resources for Divine Qualities: Cult and Community in Republican Rome (Oxford Classical Monographs)
For the most part these abstract deities were of genuine Roman origin’4 falls into obvious traps. It both homogenizes ‘Greek’ identity as a monolithic concept, and divides ‘Greek’ and ‘Roman’ in a way that echoes, rather than problematizes and analyses, claims in ancient texts. It fails to acknowledge the many other groups in the context of which, and in relation to which, traditions about Roman values were built up: communities in Italy (Samnites, Tarentines), Macedonians, and Carthaginians.
Increasingly personal identiWcation with certain divine qualities in Caesar and Pompey’s competition, to an even greater extent than during Marius’ time, was made possible by their control of a great number of resources. This allowed correspondingly greater control over the ways in which those resources could be exploited and interpreted. The more eVective the appropriation, however, and with it control over which connotations of the divine qualities were evoked, the more acute the need to live up to the claimed association.
See below Ch. 5 n. 61 for one Varronian etymology. 27 Dench (2005), 103; see also Walsh (1961), Luce (1977), Moore (1989), Levene (1993), Feldherr (1998), Chaplin (2000). 28 As we shall see in later chapters, Cicero and others certainly made a number of claims involving divine qualities in speeches in years under investigation here. Not all accounts of the foundation of cults to divine qualities, moreover, seek to explain the motivation behind the installation of a particular cult in ways that relate obviously to the quality in question.