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March 4, 2013- Mobile Deities.docx

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Classical Studies
CLST 101
Christina Zaccagnino

 Not only Romans moved from place to place, but also gods and goddesses  There were mobile deities, and Rome was populated by many different people with different religious beliefs, making it the sacred capital of the world  Phyrgian goddess Cybele, known in Rome as Magna Mater (the Great Mother) o She was imported into Rome in 204 BC after consulting the Sibylline Books (collection of Oracular responses)  Mithra was an Iranian god, and he was extrethly popular among the soldiers o It was a very popular cult until the 4 century BC (during the Empire) o There was the idea of a rebirth o Everything is related to fertility o The cult occurred in underground rooms, there were many in Rome (Mithraeumplace where cult was performed)  There was always an image of Mithra defeating the bull  During the Empire, there was the arrival of Egyptian gods, and the most important one was Isis o She was always depicted with a rattle like instrument o For the Romans she was the goddess of fertility o The Egyptian gods were not extremely worshipped during the Augustus period o There were multiple temples in Rome dedicated to Isis o She was also a goddess of maternity, so in the Egyptian world there are several representations of her with her son Horus  Another very important Egyptian god was Serapis, who was very different from Isis o Isis was a goddess from the Egyptian Parthenon, and was worshipped in and outside of Egypt o Serapis was an invention of the ruler who took over Egypt after the conquest of Alexandria, so he was not as old as Isis o The creation of him was in order to put together two different gods, and he is related to grain and fertility o He wore the vase used to measure grain as a hat  The cult of Dionysos (worshipped in Rome as Bacchus) o This is the god of the Greeks who had colonies in Italy o Bacchanalia festival in honour of Bacchus o This festival was characterized as a type of frenzy in the city o Followers believed intoxication was a way to have a mystical experience with the god o This frenzy usually was accompanied b
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