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Document Details :
Title: Apollo and the Emperors (II)
Subtitle: The Evolution of the Imperial Cult at Sagalassos
Author(s): TALLOEN, P. , WAELKENS, M.
Journal: Ancient Society
Volume: 35 Date: 2005
Part II of this contribution on the imperial cult at Sagalassos deals with the establishment of emperor worship in the Pisidian city and its evolution in time. At first glance, the imperial cult seems to have been a late phenomenon in local religious life, the first high priest of the emperors only appearing under the Flavian dynasty. Such a course of events is contradicted not only by the prominent position of Sagalassos within Pisidia — where early imperial sanctuaries were already established in neighbouring cities — but also by the numerous monuments for Julio-Claudian rulers in the city. The paper therefore contends that there was already some kind of veneration of the new overlords using the local cult of Apollo, and that this veneration gradually developed into an independent imperial cult. Once firmly established, the frequency and intensity of the imperial cult in the wider area of Sagalassos appears to have been closely linked to the imperial agenda. Through solar henotheism, the emperor became the representative of the supreme god on earth, which eventually allowed the veneration of the imperial image to continue into the Christian era.