The papers assembled in this selection of studies range in subject matter from early Judaic magic to an inscribed monument of the Neo-Classical period. The principal emphasis of the collection is nevertheless on religious developments under the High Roman Empire: problems arising from the interpretation of oriental cults imported from the Hellenistic East but primarily the development of imperial cult, the one universal religion of the empire before the coming of Christianity. The essays divide into five categories: Divinity and Power; The Imperial Numen; The Imperial Cult: Review and Discussion; Rituals and Ceremonies; Ainigmata. The titles of the individual articles speak for themselves but readers may also find the preface of interest in so far as it sets out the author's ideas on the controversial nature of the emperor's divinity. While this is a topic deserving of a book in its own right, the preface together with the points raised by individual studies within the overall framework may go some way to repairing this defficiency.
Duncan Fishwick is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta, Canada.
Contents: Preface; Part I Divinity and Power: Votive offerings to the emperor; Prudentius and the cult of Divus Augustus; Ovid and Divus Augustus; Seneca and the temple of Divus Claudius; Soldier and emperor; A silver aedicula at Merida; The deification of Claudius. Part II The Imperial Numen: The imperial numen in Britain; Numen Augusti; Le numen imperial en Afrique romaine; Numinibus Aug(ustorum); Numen Augustum; Numinibus domus divinae. Part III The Imperial Cult: Review and Discussion: Review of S.R.F. Price, Rituals and Power. The Roman Imperial Cult in Asia Minor; A critical assessment: on the imperial cult in Religions of Rome. Part IV Rituals and Ceremonies: The Cannophori and the March festival of Magna Mater; Hastiferi; Pliny and the Christians: the rites ad imaginem principis; Un don de statues d'argent A Narbo Martius; Imperial processions at Augusta Emerita. Part V Ainigmata: An early Christian cryptogram; The Talpioth ossuaries again; On the origin of the Rotas-Sator square; Un code secret A Shugborough Hall?; Indexes.