See also:god, to deify), literally deification . The
See also:term properly implies a clear polytheistic conception of gods in contrast with men, while it recognizes that some men
See also:cross the dividing
See also:line . It is characteristic of poly-theism to blur that line in several ways . Thus the
See also:ancient Greek religion was especially disposed to belief in heroes and demigods . Founders of cities, and even of colonies, received worship; the former are, generally speaking, mythical personages and, in strictness, heroes . But the worship after
See also:death of
See also:historical persons, such as Lycurgus, or worship of the living as true deities, e.g .
See also:Lysander and
See also:Philip II. of Macedon, occurred sporadically even before
See also:Alexander's conquests brought Greek
See also:life into contact with
See also:oriental traditions . It was inevitable, too, that ancient monarchies should enlist polytheistic conceptions of divine or
See also:half-divine men in support of the dynasties; " Seu deos regesve canit deorum Sanguinem," Horace (Odes, iv . 2, 11 . 12, 13) writes of Pindar; though the reference is to myths, yet the phrase is significant . In the East all such traits are exaggerated, a result perhaps rather of the statecraft than of the religions of
See also:Egypt and
See also:Persia . Whatever
See also:part vanity or the flattery of courtiers may have played with others, or with Alexander, it is significant that the dynasties of Alexander's various successors all claim divine honours of some sort (see
See also:PTOLEMIES, SELEUCID
See also:DYNASTY, &c.) .
See also:Theocritus (Idyll 17) hails
See also:Ptolemy Philadelphus as a demigod, and speaks of his
See also:father as seated among the gods along with Alexander . Ancestor worship, or reverence for the dead, was a third factor . It may
See also:work even in
See also:Cicero's determination that his daughter should enjoy " afro wocc "—as he writes to Atticus—or receive the "
See also:honour " of consecratia (fragment of his De Consolatione) . Lastly, we need not speak of mere sycophancy . Yet it was
See also:Verres was worshipped before he was impeached ! The Romans had, up to the end of the Republic, accepted only one official
See also:apotheosis; the god
See also:Quirinus, whatever his
See also:original meaning, having been identified with
See also:Romulus . But the emperor
See also:Augustus carried on the tradition of ancient statecraft by having
See also:Julius Caesar recognized as a god (divus Julius), the first of a new class of deities proper (divi) . The tradition was steadily followed and was extended to some ladies of the imperial
See also:family and even to imperial favourites . Worship of an emperor during his lifetime, except as the worship of his
See also:genius, was, save in the cases of Caligula and
See also:Domitian, confined to the provinces . Apotheosis after his death, being in the hands of the
See also:senate, did not at once cease, even when
See also:Christianity was officially adopted . The Latin term is consecratio, which of course has a variety of senses, including
See also:burial . (Inscription in G .
Boissier, La Religion romaine; Renier, Inscriptions d' Algiers, 2510.) The Greek term Apotheosis, probably a coinage of the Hellenistic epoch, becomes more nearly technical for the deification of dead emperors . But it is still used simply for the erection of tombs (clearly so in some Greek inscriptions, Corpus Inscripi . Graec . 2831, 2832, quoted in Pauly-Wissowa, s.v . Apotheosis) . Possibly there is a trace of ancestor worship even here; but the two usages have diverged . The
See also:squib of the philosopher
See also:Seneca on the memory of
See also:Claudius (d . A.D . 54), Apocolocyntasis (" pumpkinification "), is evidence that, as early as Seneca's lifetime, apotheosis was in use for the recognition of a departed emperor as a god . It also indicates how much contempt might be associated with this pretended worship . The
See also:people. sans Suetonius (Jul . Caes. c .
88), fully believed in the divinity of Julius Caesar, hinting at the same
See also:time that this was by no means the case with the majority of the apotheoses subsequently decreed by the senate . Yet we learn from Capitolinus that
See also:Marcus Aurelius was still worshipped as a
See also:household divinity in the time of
See also:Diocletian, and was believed to impart revelations in dreams (Vit . M .
See also:Ant. c.18) .
See also:Antinous, the favourite of
See also:Hadrian, was adored in Egypt a century after his death (
See also:Origen, Contra Celsum, iii . 36), though, according to Boissier, his worship never had official sanction . The ceremonies attendant on an imperial apotheosis are very fully described by Herodianus (bk. iv. c . 2) on occasion of the obsequies of Severus, which he appears to have witnessed . The most significant was the liberation, at the moment of kindling the funeral pyre, of an eagle which was supposed to bear the emperor's soul to
See also:heaven .
See also:Sharp-sighted persons had actually beheld the ascension of Augustus (
See also:Suet .
See also:August. c. zoo), and of Drusilla,
See also:sister of Caligula . Representations of apotheoses occur on several
See also:works of
See also:art; the most important are the apotheosis of
See also:Homer on a
See also:relief in the
See also:Townley collection of the
See also:British Museum, that of Titus on the arch of Titus, and that of Augustus on a magnificent
See also:cameo in the Louvre .
See also:China at the
See also:day many Taoist gods are (or are given out as) men deified for service to the state . This again may be statecraft . In India, the (still unexplained) rise of the
See also:doctrine of transmigration hindered belief . Apotheosis can mean nothing to those who hold that a man may be reborn as a god, but still needs redemption, and that men on
See also:earth may win redemption, if they are brave enough . Curiously,
See also:Buddhism itself is ruled by the ghost or shadowy
See also:remainder of belief in transmigration—Karma . Apotheosis may also be used in wider senses . (a) Some (e.g .
See also:Spencer) hold that most gods are deified men, and most myths historical traditions which have been grotesquely distorted . This theory is known as Euhemerism (see
See also:EUHEMERUS) . It is needless to say that the attitude of those holding the Euhemerist theory is at the farthest
See also:pole from belief in apotheosis . According to the latter, some men may become gods . According to the former, all gods are but men; or, some men have been erroneously supposed to4ecome gods .
The Euhemerist theory mainly appeals to ancestor worship — a fact of undoubted importance in the
See also:history of religion, especially in China and in ancient Rome . In India, too, a dead
See also:person treated with funeral honours becomes a
See also:guardian spirit—if neglected, a tormenting demon . But whether the
See also:great gods of polytheism *ere really transfigured ancestors is very doubtful . (b) Again, there is a tendency to offer something like worship to the founders of religions . Thus more than human honour is paid to Zoroaster and
See also:Buddha and even to the founders of systems not strictly religious, e.g. to Confucius and Auguste Comte . It is noticeable that this kind of worship is not accorded in rigidly monotheistic systems, e.g. to Moses and Mahomet . Nor is it accurate to speak of apotheosis in cases where the founder is in his lifetime regarded as the incarnation of a god (cf . All among Shiite Mahommedans; the Bab in Babism; the Druse Hakim) . Most Christians on this ground repudiate the application of the term to the worship of Jesus Christ . Curiously, Apotheosis is used by the Latin Christian poet, Prudentius (c . 400), as the title of a poem defending orthodox views on the person of Christ and other points of doctrine—the affectation of a decadent age . (c) The worship paid to
See also:Saints, in those Christian churches which admit it, is formally distinguished as dulia (t ovXeta) from true worship or latria Xarpeia) .
Even the VirginMary, though she is styled
See also:Mother of God and
See also:Queen of Heaven, receives only dulia or at most hyperdulia . (R . G.; R .
APOTHECARY (from the Lat. apothecarius, a keeper of...
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