Imperial Cults: Religion and Politics in the Early Han and Roman Empires

Rebecca Robinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Book/ReportBook or reportpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Imperial Cults: Religion and Politics in the Early Han and Roman Empires is a comparative study of the transformation of imperial cult and imperial authority in the early Han and Roman empires. The book begins with a simple observation: that during the reigns of the Emperor Wu of Han and Octavian Augustus of Rome, the rulers undertook substantial reforms to their respective systems of cult, at a time when they were reshaping the idea of imperial authority and consolidating their own power. Imperial Cults demonstrates that the reforms to cult were a fundamental part of this imperial consolidation. Employing a comparative methodology, Imperial Cults demonstrates some of the common strategies employed by the two rulers in order to centre religious and political authority around themselves. Both rulers incorporated new men into their religious institutions, expanded the reach of their imperially sponsored cult, and refashioned important ceremonies to demonstrate and communicate the unprecedented achievements of each ruler.

    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages208
    ISBN (Electronic)9780197666074, 9780197666067
    ISBN (Print)9780197666043
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2023

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Arts and Humanities(all)

    User-Defined Keywords

    • comparative ancient history
    • religion in the ancient world
    • statecraft in the ancient world
    • Han China
    • Roman empire
    • Han Wudi
    • Augustus

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