PROVINCIAL IMPERIAL CULTS OF ASIA
UNDER AUGUSTUS AND TIBERIUS
By the end of the first century CE, Asia had established three viable imperial temples sponsored by the entire province. This chapter examines the available evidence for Asia's provincial imperial cults 1 during the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius. The next chapter completes the overview of provincial imperial cults by covering the rest of the first century. I want to develop as complete a picture as possible of these institutions based on the extant materials and to show the part played by provincial cults in the religious discourse of imperial authority in the province.
The practice of establishing provincial temples drew the attention of Roman literati, alerting us to the fact that these institutions were considered an essential part of dominant imperial histories. Dio Cassius recounted the establishment of the first provincial temple at Pergamon in the context of a discussion of events from 29 BCE; he referred to Octavian as Caesar:
At that time Caesar was attending to general matters, and he permitted the establishment of precincts to Rome and to (his) father Caesar—calling him the hero Julius—in Ephesos and in Nicea, for these were then the most distinguished cities in Asia and in Bithynia respectively. He ordered the Romans who