Friday, July 14, 2017

Rasmussen on Emperor-cult architecture at Herculaneum

THE HOLY LAND PHOTOS' BLOG: Emperor Worship at Herculaneum (Carl Rasmussen).
As Christianity spread into the Roman World, one of the major, growing, cults that it faced was the worship of the ascended, deified, Roman Emperors—and eventually the worship of living Emperors. It is well–known that this practice forms part of the background for the book of Revelation and also for many additional passages found in the New Testament.

So, where did all this take place? To my knowledge, there is only one almost completely preserved structure known where this occurred. It is called the Sacellum (chapel/temple) of the Augustales (priests in charge of Emperor Worship) that was excavated at Herculaneum—near Pompeii. In this and the following post, I will share some images of this very unique structure.
There are many past PaleoJudaica posts on the site of Herculaneum, which was destroyed and buried at the same time as Pompeii by the eruption of Vesuvius. (Start here and follow the links.)

But most of those posts have to do with the carbonized library of scrolls uncovered at Herculaneum and efforts to decipher them. It's nice now and then to have a post on the architecture of the site. Emperor worship was, of course, a touchy subject for both Jews and early Christians in the Roman Empire.

A thematically related post is here. And some of this post on the 2016 Divine Sonship Symposium at St. Andrews is relevant.

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