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Author Topic: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?  (Read 2703 times)

CountessCarmilla

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To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« on: September 22, 2014, 05:40:59 am »
This question could sound stupid, but I'm curious and I do not intend to hurt anyone's faith.

Do you consider deification of emperors or their family in your regular worship? The first which comes to mind is Julius Caesar who has been deified before his death and received strong popular worship after his murder.

If yes, are your rituals to deified people different than the ones you perform to other gods?

DavidMcCann

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Re: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2014, 01:20:54 pm »
Quote from: CountessCarmilla;159767
This question could sound stupid, but I'm curious and I do not intend to hurt anyone's faith.

It's a good question. I'd consider some emperors, like Julian, as heroes, although I don't actually venerate any myself, but not as gods. As for Caesar, his "deification" by the Senate was purely political as far as I'm concerned.
Minorities are almost always in the right.
They haif said. Quhat say they? Lat thame say!

Castus

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Re: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2014, 07:02:24 am »
Quote from: DavidMcCann;159794
It's a good question. I'd consider some emperors, like Julian, as heroes, although I don't actually venerate any myself, but not as gods. As for Caesar, his "deification" by the Senate was purely political as far as I'm concerned.


Which, I should note, makes it no less a valid instance of deification.

Quote
Do you consider deification of emperors or their family in your regular worship? The first which comes to mind is Julius Caesar who has been deified before his death and received strong popular worship after his murder.


The veneration of the Divine Emperors was a large part of my domestic cultus as a pagan. Especially the Divine Julius, who originally turned me on to the Religio Romana and was the central object of my devotion. However I was in the decided minority of cultores, the majority of which are influenced by the Republican-era of Nova Roma and tend to quietly ignore the Divine Julius and the deified emperors.

"He had barely finished, when gentle Venus stood in the midst of the senate, seen by no one, and took up the newly freed spirit of her Caesar from his body, and preventing it from vanishing into the air, carried it towards the glorious stars. As she carried it, she felt it glow and take fire, and loosed it from her breast: it climbed higher than the moon, and drawing behind it a fiery tail, shone as a star."
-from Metamorphoses by Ovid

Quote
If yes, are your rituals to deified people different than the ones you perform to other gods?


Yes. The ritual I performed for the Dii Imperii was performed within a priestly context and was for Byzantium Novum, a Byzantine-flavoured organisation with a pagan priesthood. My regular household rituals for the gods and the lares and penates were done as a regular Joe, and under the auspices of Nova Roma.
“Castus, meanwhile, goes straight for the bad theology like one of those creepy fish that swims up streams of pee.” — Darkhawk

AineLlewellyn

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Re: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2014, 07:40:26 am »
Quote from: Castus;160103
Which, I should note, makes it no less a valid instance of deification.

 
Excellent note. As far as I'm concerned, a deified emperor or other mortal is deified.

Louisvillian

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Re: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2014, 07:50:48 am »
Quote from: CountessCarmilla;159767
Do you consider deification of emperors or their family in your regular worship?
In some instances, yes. I consider them in a similar way that a Christian may consider a Saint: a human being who, through great deeds and piety, gained favour enough for apotheosis and a welcoming into the divine fold. They are perhaps not as powerful or as independent as the gods themselves, but they can be supplicated and propitiated. So, I do celebrate the deeds of certain deified Emperors, by way of feast days in their honour.
While I am primarily Hellenic in my belief and practice, I am of the conviction that the United States, as a deliberate successor to the Roman republican tradition, is protected by Roman gods. I feel it is my civic duty to honour these gods, and I feel it is only proper to honour them in their customary way.
For similar reasons, I also venerate the genii of deceased Presidents.

Quote from: ainellewellyn;160104
Excellent note. As far as I'm concerned, a deified emperor or other mortal is deified.
I believe that the Roman state had an especial relationship with their gods, and declarations by the Roman government regarding the proper conduct of religion could be "held true in Heaven" so to speak. If the state deified a person, the gods may have seen it fair to hold true to that as part of the mutual give-and-take between the state and the gods of Rome.
But that part is just speculation, and perhaps a bit of theological wrangling to make it all make sense to me.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 07:51:13 am by Louisvillian »

LumberingLumberjack

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Re: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2014, 09:50:28 am »
Quote from: CountessCarmilla;159767
This question could sound stupid, but I'm curious and I do not intend to hurt anyone's faith.

Do you consider deification of emperors or their family in your regular worship? The first which comes to mind is Julius Caesar who has been deified before his death and received strong popular worship after his murder.

If yes, are your rituals to deified people different than the ones you perform to other gods?

One thing that immediately shot to mind when i was reading this is the Temple Of Antinous.
Antinous was the Emperor Hadrian's companion/lover, who was deified after his death (added bonus for drowning in the nile, effectively making him a part of the Kemetic pantheon by association)
His cult back in the day was a massive one, to the point it was considered a serious contender by the then fledgling Christianity, and he sill has a strong following of gay neo-pagans thanks to the Temple Of Antinous and its founder P. Sufenas Virius Lupus.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 09:51:55 am by LumberingLumberjack »

DavidMcCann

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Re: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2014, 12:51:05 pm »
Quote from: ainellewellyn;160104
Excellent note. As far as I'm concerned, a deified emperor or other mortal is deified.

I don't get it. You can say that some-one has achieved divine status by their efforts, or that the gods have conferred it on them. Who gave Roman Senate the power to be aware of either situation?
Minorities are almost always in the right.
They haif said. Quhat say they? Lat thame say!

AineLlewellyn

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Re: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2014, 07:09:04 pm »
Quote from: DavidMcCann;160244
I don't get it. You can say that some-one has achieved divine status by their efforts, or that the gods have conferred it on them. Who gave Roman Senate the power to be aware of either situation?

 
Because it was something they did? It was part of that culture?

I'm not going to pick and choose which Emperors I consider divine because I don't like the circumstances surrounding their deification. No thanks. (I can also say that someone achieved divine status for whatever reasons I want, thanks? I'm going to follow what the Romans said when I'm practicing Roman polytheism, though.)

AineLlewellyn

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Re: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2014, 07:12:37 pm »
Quote from: LumberingLumberjack;160227
he sill has a strong following of gay neo-pagans thanks to the Temple Of Antinous and its founder P. Sufenas Virius Lupus.

 
This is kind of a mischaracterizing of the Ekklesia Antinoou... It is neither focused on or oriented for neo-Pagans or gay people. It's just a group for worshiping Antinous. The group has many gender-variant people and is open to any orientation, and it is more based in historical celebrations than any neo-Pagan celebrations or practices. There certainly are gay neo-Pagans in the group, but I would hardly say that they are the majority...

LumberingLumberjack

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Re: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2014, 11:35:32 pm »
Quote from: ainellewellyn;160270
This is kind of a mischaracterizing of the Ekklesia Antinoou... It is neither focused on or oriented for neo-Pagans or gay people. It's just a group for worshiping Antinous. The group has many gender-variant people and is open to any orientation, and it is more based in historical celebrations than any neo-Pagan celebrations or practices. There certainly are gay neo-Pagans in the group, but I would hardly say that they are the majority...

Ah sorry, my only expirience with Antinous worship was through the Temple Of Antinous, I wasn't aware there were other faiths focused on him, I didnt mean to misrepresent his followers.
 Thanks for the list, It makes me wonder if there are any other Deified mortals that have dedicated communities.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 11:36:28 pm by LumberingLumberjack »

SunflowerP

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Re: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2014, 11:49:36 pm »
Quote from: LumberingLumberjack;160227
(added bonus for drowning in the nile, effectively making him a part of the Kemetic pantheon by association)

 
Coincidentally, I was just last night reading PSVL being very specific about this: that's not just 'added bonus'; that's the means of apotheosis. Hadrian didn't deify his young lover; the Nile did that - what Hadrian did was establish Antinous' cultus.

(The post I was reading is this one, for those interested; the relevant bit is near the end of the post, with a bit more in comments - it seems likely that PSVL has also addressed this in a post or article that's more specifically topical to this thread, but that's the one I chanced upon so recently, so that's the one I'm linking.)

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SunflowerP

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Re: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2014, 11:56:47 pm »
Quote from: LumberingLumberjack;160294
Ah sorry, my only expirience with Antinous worship was through the Temple Of Antinous, I wasn't aware there were other faiths focused on him, I didnt mean to misrepresent his followers.

 
Well, but you misrepresented the ones you were explicitly speaking of. The Ekklesia Antinoou that Aine referred to is PSVL's organization.

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AineLlewellyn

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Re: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2014, 12:33:00 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;160297
Well, but you misrepresented the ones you were explicitly speaking of. The Ekklesia Antinoou that Aine referred to is PSVL's organization.

Sunflower

 
Yes! So I was just hoping to clear that up. Also, I spoke up in part because I know many people think that PSVL is a gay man, and e is not, e is metagender and I'm unsure on orientation...but that assumption many people make about eir is very prevalent and unfortunate, especially because some people actively ignore PSVL's gender. Which I don't think the other poster was! But, it is something that should be noted, given some tendency to label Antinous as the 'gay man's' god, or even a god exclusive to gay men, which is not true.

Anyway, I obviously have a lot of feels about this, being part of the Ekklesia!

Also, as is noted above, Antinous was deified because he drowned in the Nile. Hadrian spread his cultus very passionately, however, as we can see.

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Re: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2014, 01:02:21 am »
Quote from: ainellewellyn;160300
Also, I spoke up in part because I know many people think that PSVL is a gay man, and e is not, e is metagender and I'm unsure on orientation...but that assumption many people make about eir is very prevalent and unfortunate, especially because some people actively ignore PSVL's gender.

 
To quote PSVL directly: 'Or, more as a kind of rebus of both gender and sexual orientation, metagender means “I never met-a-gender I didn’t like.” ;)' (from eir A Note on Pronouns page).

Since e is also very outspoken about gender issues and binarism (and since I was seeing explications about EA not being specifically a 'gay pagan' organization just in the process of looking for the article I was reading last night, without seeking out EA info!), I think you were quite right to speak up about it; it appears to be an active issue and a common mischaracterization.

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Louisvillian

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Re: To Roman Polytheists: Do you worship deified mortals too?
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2014, 03:08:07 am »
Quote from: DavidMcCann;160244
Who gave Roman Senate the power to be aware of either situation?

According to Roman tradition and religion? The gods themselves. The state was sacred, and its institutions and magistrates were sacrosanct. This gave them authority to make pronouncements about religious phenomena. If the priests declared that Caesar had become a god, perceived through some divine omen or sign, then it was the Senate's duty to declare it by law and conduct the proper rites.

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