Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John: Reading Revelation in the Ruins

By Steven J. Friesen | Go to book overview

2
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.


Rome and Augustus at Pergamon

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

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Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John: Reading Revelation in the Ruins
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John *
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - Religious Criticism 5
  • I - The Logic of Participation 23
  • 2 - Provincial Imperial Cults of Asia Under Augustus and Tiberius 25
  • 3 - Provincial Cults from Gaius to Domitian 39
  • 4 - A Survey 56
  • 5 - Two Case Studies 77
  • 6 - Groups and Individuals 104
  • 7 - Imperial Cults as Religion 122
  • II - Revelation, Resistance 133
  • 8 - Revelation in Space and Time 135
  • 9 - Space and Time in Revelation 152
  • 10 - Working with Myth 167
  • 11 - Communities Worshipping Humans 180
  • 12 - Worship and Authority 194
  • 13 - Revelation in This World 210
  • Glossary 219
  • Notes 225
  • Bibliography 259
  • Index of Ancient Sources 273
  • General Index 281
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