Published on February 19, 2014
The Cult of Claudius I, throughout the Roman world by Keith Armstrong 2014 London
Acknowledgments I am grateful to Miss Cecile Mairat, Miss Rachel O'Dowd, and Miss Eva Skoulariki for transcribing from the original text. I would also like to thank the many people who have helped me to live and given me the energy and encouragement to complete this article. This includes the people of Camden and my late mother Mrs. Nina Armstrong. I am particularly grateful to the kind members of staff at all levels within the British Library in London. ----------I must point out that any factual errors or sentiment unwittingly suggested are my responsibility alone. The punctuation and typeface of the authors quoted have at times been modified. All rights are reserved. The author's moral rights are asserted. No part of this paper may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the author. © Copyright 2014 Keith Armstrong, London.
The Cult of Claudius I throughout Roman world Compitum: A place where two or more roads meet; especially in reference to the countryside. It was customary to erect altars, shrines and small temples on these spots, at which religious rites in honour of the deities who presided over cross-roads, were performed by the country people; whence the word compitum is sometimes used for a shrine erected on such a spot. The illustration comes from a landscape painting in Pompeii. 1 The Romans worshipped a myriad of gods, many of which were borrowed from the Greeks and then renamed and relocated within Roman scenarios. For example, the Greek deity 'Hephaistos' was renamed 'Vulcan', and his parentage and genesis were also altered. As is revealed by Marcus Tullius Cicero (106- 43 BCE) in his ancient book "The Nature of the Gods": 2 From childhood we are familiar with Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, Neptune, Vulcan, Apollo and the other gods in the aspect in which it has pleased the painters and sculptors to present them, not only in form, but in ornament, and age and dress. But the Egyptians and the Syrians and almost all foreign races do not see them in this way. [...] 3 Cicero adds: Then again, we praise the statue of Vulcan at Athens, [...] in which we see the god clothed and standing, with his lameness just hinted at without deformity. So then we have a lame god, if we accept this version of him. Then again, are we to make out that the gods have the names which we have given them? But this means they have as many names as there are languages. You, Velleius, have the same name wherever you go: but Vulcan has different names in Italy, in Africa
and in Spain. The number of different names is limited, even in our religious books: [...] 4 The Roman pantheon expanded through the incorporation of new 'foreign' deities. Other gods were created by deifying mortal men and women. The deification of the founders of Rome provided a mythical precedent for this crossing of the boundary between divine and human status; but it was only with the deification of Julius Caesar and the emperors who followed him that it became a regular practice.5 However, as Naphtali Lewis and Meyer Reinhold state in their edition of Roman Civilization, during the first two centuries of the Roman Empire the official state religion became a mixture of the traditional native rituals. 6 Adkins and Adkins in their Dictionary of Roman Religion consider that the worship of the living emperor, his family and ancestors (also known as 'emperor worship' or 'the ruler cult'), was particularly widespread throughout the Roman empire and was very common in Asia Minor. In the west, deified deceased emperors were closely associated with the cult of Rome. In the eastern (Hellenistic) provinces, before the veneration of emperors, there had been a cult of other Roman leaders. With the expansion of the empire in the late republic, Rome came to rule eastern Hellenistic nations, whose people were accustomed to venerating their living rulers as gods, and who readily transferred their worship to Roman rulers. The earliest instance of the ruler cult applied to a Roman official was that of Marcellus, in whose honour a festival (the Marcellia) was established at Syracuse in Sicily after he had captured the city from the Carthaginians.7 The cult of the emperor was first instituted when Emperor Augustus was deified after his death. Mary Beard states in The Religions of Rome that: From the time of Caesar and Augustus onwards, emperors and some of the members of their immediate families were the most frequent category of recruits to the Roman pantheon. After the death of an Emperor, the senate would take a vote as to whether or not he had been a deserving ruler, who should be formally recognised as a god, though of course the wishes of the dead man's successor would in reality have played a great role in making of the decision. From Caesar onwards, the name of the new god or goddess divus Augustus, divus Claudius and so on [...] 8 There once was a temple to the deified Claudius I (Templum Divi Claudi) on the Caelian Hill in Rome. It faced the Palatine Hill and was a hexastyle temple (a sixcolumned structure consisting of a roof supported by columns at regular intervals) standing on a terrace which formed one of the highest points in Rome. Ernest Nash, in The Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Rome, informs us that the temple itself is marked on a fragment of the Severan marble plan, an early Roman street map of the city of Rome, which was created in around210 CE. 9
Lawrence Richardson Jr., writing in A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, explains: [...] This area in turn seems to have been surrounded by a colonnade on all sides, but through negligence the cutter of this part of the Marble Plan omitted to indicate the columns and cut only the margin. The terrace on which the temple stood measures 180 m deep and 200 m wide and stands to a height of nearly 50 meters above sea level, one of the highest positions in Rome. It is framed on all sides by substructures. [...] 10 Anthony A. Barrett, writing in Agrippina: Sex, Power and Politics in the Early Empire, states that: [...] we do know that it was planned on a grand scale, as can be judged from the remains of the massive platform, measuring 200m x 160m (650 ft x 525 ft) and dwarfing any other sacred precinct in Rome. Part of the retaining wall which supported the great platform of Claudius' temple has survived in the form of a double order of arcades in elaborate rusticated masonry. In the lower section the arches are rectangular, with a cornice supported by short Doric pilasters; the upper ones are rounded, between pilasters. The keystones of the upper arches project considerably and much of the facing is left rough. Within the arches are walls; on the ground they are in brick-faced concrete, cut by a doorway; on the upper level they are in rusticated travertine, with windows to provide light for a range of rooms behind. 11 In spite of its size and the importance of its position, the temple is rarely mentioned in ancient literature that has survived to modern times. Despite the lack of its literary mention, most of the building still stands and can be seen by visitors to Rome today. 12 BRITAIN Adkins and Adkins, in their Dictionary of Roman Religion, refer to another Roman temple in Camulodunum, now known as Colchester, dedicated to the worship of emperor Claudius I. (Although Atkins and Atkins state that the remains of the temple were found under Colchester cathedral, the remains in fact lie beneath an eleventhcentury Norman castle. Furthermore, Colchester has never had a cathedral.) The temple is considered to be the very first stone-and-mortar structure built in Britain. 13 The famous frontage of the British Museum in London, as well as other state buildings, mimic the design of Roman temples, which in turn echo Greek architecture.
It was a very large temple, much bigger than many others in Roman colonies, and was set in a large precinct. The construction of the temple and its dedication possibly took place after the death of Claudius I, and it was dedicated to the divus Claudius. It was levelled along with the sacking of the rest of the town by Boudica and her army in60 - 61 CE, then reconstructed in the following year. 14 Ara turicrema, an altar on which frankincense was sprinkled and burnt. The woodcut from an ancient painting was discovered at the base of the Palatine hill in Rome. It shows a priestess engaged in the duty of sprinkling incense upon a burning altar, which, from its size, appears to have been intended solely for such offerings. 15 In a paper published in the journal Britannia in 1997, Duncan Fishwick narrates in The Provincial Centre at Camulodunum: that: [...] A second catastrophe evidently overtook buildings in the temple precinct and the forum at the end of the second century [CE], though whether the temple itself suffered damage is uncertain. Fires at other centres in the region about this time have been thought to point to some political event as the likeliest cause. [...] 16 Fishwick continues: [...] The most dramatic change was reserved for the later Roman period, when in the aftermath of the Edict of Milan in 313 [CE] the temple façade with its columns was demolished and the structure converted into a basilica that probably served as a reception or entrance hall rather than a Christian church. 17
EGYPT Pastophorus A member of a sect belonging to a certain order of the Egyptian priesthood called the Pastophori, because they carried the images of their deities through the public streets in a small case or shrine stopping at intervals to kneel down, while they displayed the image case before them, for the purpose of eliciting charitable donations from the multitude; all which particulars are apparent in the annexed illustration from an Egyptian statue, representing one of these mendicant priests. 18
Claudius I was born twenty years to the day after Emperor Augustus dated the beginning of the Roman occupation of Egypt.19 Koptos (Qift) is located at the point where the Nile Valley is closest to the Red Sea. It is approximately 40 km (25 miles) north of the ancient city of Thebes (Luxor) in Upper Egypt. The significance of Koptos in ancient times was due to its trading position at the end of the lengthy caravan roads. At Koptos there lies the remains of an extensive temple complex, now a desolate group of ruins. Within the temple complex there was a 'Claudius gate, where two stele (upright stone columns) bear commemorative inscriptions that could indicate that the gate was built under Claudius I in honour of the Egyptian gods Isis and Harpokrates. 20 IRAQ Barbara Levick reveals, in her book The Government of the Roman Empire, that a papyrus was found in 1940 near the temple of Artemis Azzanathkona in Dura, on the river Euphrates (now in modern Iraq). It records that an ox was annually sacrificed there to the deified Claudius I on his birthday, the first of August. This papyrus can certainly be dated after 193 CE, it was possibly written in the third century. 21 The sacrifice of an ox
The same papyrus also reveals that there was the sacrifice of another ox on the same day this time to the ill- fated Roman leader and deified Pertinax (126 - 193 CE), who shared the same birthday as Claudius. Emperor Publius Helvius Pertinax's reign lasted for less than three months, and like Claudius, he too was murdered. Pertinax was assassinated by Roman soldiers who then proceeded to privatise the job of emperor by selling the position of emperor to the highest bidder. Meijer and other historians consider this "one of the low points of Roman history". 22
END NOTES Note 1: Rich, Anthony, (Ed.), (1873: 194), Dictionary of Roman and Greek Antiquities, (3rd Ed.), (London: Longmans, Green, & Co.). Note 2: The Greek god Hephaestus also spelled Hephaistos, who was 'cloned' by the goddess Hera and who had his smithy on the volcanic island of Lemnos, while the Roman god Vulcan was the son of Jupiter and Juno and lived on the Lipari Islands, once called 'Volcaniae', the Isles of Vulcan. The Nature of the Gods: Book III. Cicero, Marcus Tullius, (1972, 1978: 215, 216), The Nature of the Gods, [Trans. by Horace C. P. McGregor], (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books). Note 3: Cicero, Marcus Tullius, (1972, 1978: 102), The Nature of the Gods, [Trans. by Horace C. P. McGregor], (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books). Note 4: Cicero, Marcus Tullius, (1972, 1978: 103), The Nature of the Gods, [Trans. by Horace C. P. McGregor], (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books). Note 5: Beard, Mary, et al, (1998: 49), Religions of Rome: Vol. 2., (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press). Note 6: Lewis, Naphtali and Reinhold, Meyer, (1990: 514), Roman Civilization: Selected Readings The Empire, 3rd Ed., (New York: Columbia University Press). Note 7: Adkins, Lesley and Adkins, Roy A., (Eds.), (1996, 2000: 105), Dictionary of Roman Religion, (New York: Oxford University Press). Note 8: Beard, Mary, et al, (1998: 51), Religions of Rome: Vol. 2., (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press). Note 9: Adkins, Lesley and Adkins, Roy A., (Eds.), (1996, 2000: 49), Dictionary of Roman Religion, (New York: Oxford University Press). Richardson Jr., L., (1992: 2, 87), A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, (The John Hopkins University Press). Talbert, Richard J. A., (Ed.), (1985, 2003: 120 map), Atlas of Classical History, (London and New York: Routledge). Note 10: Richardson Jr., L., (1992: 87), A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, (The John Hopkins University Press). Note 11: Barrett, Anthony A., (1996, 2005: 147 - 8), Agrippina: Sex, Power and Politics in the early Empire, (London: Routledge).
Note 12: Richardson Jr., L., (1992: 88, 453), A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, (The John Hopkins University Press). Note 13: Adkins, Lesley and Adkins, Roy A., (Eds.), (1996, 2000: 49), Dictionary of Roman Religion, (New York: Oxford University Press). Clarke, David T. D., (1966: 11) The beginnings of Roman Colchester: Camulodunum and the Temple of Claudius (Colchester: Colchester Corporation : Museum and Muniment Committee). Note 14: Fishwick, Duncan, 'The Provincial Centre at Camulodunum: Towards an Historical Context', Britannia, 28 (1997), 49 - 50. Note 15: Rich, Anthony, (Ed.), (1873: 48), Dictionary of Roman and Greek Antiquities, (3rd Ed.), (London: Longmans, Green, & Co.). Note 16: Fishwick, Duncan, 'The Provincial Centre at Camulodunum: Towards an Historical Context', Britannia, 28 (1997), 49 - 50. Note 17: A more detailed discussion of the history and the archaeology of this temple can be found in the journal; Drury, P. J., and others, 'The Temple of Claudius at Colchester Reconsidered', Britannia, 15 (1984), 7 - 50. Fishwick, Duncan, 'The Provincial Centre at Camulodunum: Towards an Historical Context', Britannia, 28 (1997), 49 - 50. Note 18: Rich, Anthony, (Ed.), (1873: 479), Dictionary of Roman and Greek Antiquities, (3rd Ed.), (London: Longmans, Green, & Co.). Note 19: Octavian, later known as [Emperor] Augustus, dated his rule of Egypt from 1st of August, 30 BCE the day he entered Alexandria. As he himself tersely put it in his Res Gestae: 'I added Egypt to the empire of the Roman people'. Egypt became an imperial province [...]. Bagnall, Roger S., Rathbone, Dominic W., (2004: 16), Egypt From Alexander to the Copts: An Archaeological And Historical Guide To Graeco-roman And Christian Egypt, (London: The British Museum Press). Note 20: Bagnall, Roger S., Rathbone, Dominic W., (2004: 214 - 216), Egypt From Alexander to the Copts: An Archaeological And Historical Guide To Graeco-roman And Christian Egypt, (London: The British Museum Press). Note 21: Levick Barbara, (1985: 135 - 5) The Government of the Roman Empire- A Sourcebook, (London & Sydney: Croom Helm).
Note 22: Meijer and other historians consider this as 'one of the low points of Roman history'. Meijer points out that: [...] The soldiers believed they had everything under control and were not about to let anyone tell them what to do. In their unbridled greed and lack of discipline they went so far as to sell the leadership of the Empire to the highest bidder. It is almost impossible to imagine, but it really did happen: the auctioning of the emperorship. The 'lucky' victor in this contest was Didius Julianus, who only lasted for sixty-six days before he too was executed. Michael Grant comments in his volume History of Civilisation - The World of Rome that it was a shameful episode in the history of Rome. Didius Julianus had set a sinister precedent when he bought the throne by auction from the Praetorian Guard. The fierce, extremely capable north African Septimius Severus (193 - 211 CE), governor of Upper Pannonia on the Danube, only asserted his claim against the nominees of rival armies after four years of civil war which were as ruinous as the wars after Nero's death. Levick Barbara, (1985: 135 - 5) The Government of the Roman Empire- A Sourcebook, (London & Sydney: Croom Helm). Meijer, Fik, (2004: 66 - 70), Emperors Don't Die in Bed, [Trans. from the Dutch by S. J. Leinbach], (London: Routledge). Grant, Michael, (1960: 18, 93), History of Civilisation -The World of Rome, (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson). Talbert, Richard J. A., (Ed.), (1985, 2003: 161 map), Atlas of Classical History, (London and New York: Routledge).
Media by Keith Armstrong Classical history Claudius_I_and_the_Etruscans_by_Keith_Armstrong Discusses the connection between Emperor Claudius I and the Etruscans and later deterioration of the Etruscans in late antiquity. https://www.academia.edu/5874305/Claudius_I_and_the_Etruscans_by_Keith_Armstrong_ http://www.slideshare.net/yourkamden/claudius-i-and-the-etruscans Emperor Claudius I the man: his physical impairment and reactions to it by Keith Armstrong "Challenges the suggestion that both Emperor Claudius I and Franklin Delano Roosevelt had Polio. Both world leaders had major physical impairments before they came to public office." http://www.academia.edu/4779256/Emperor_Claudius_I_the_man_his_physical_impairment_and_reac tions_to_it_by_Keith_Armstrong http://www.slideshare.net/yourkamden/claudius-the-man-his-physical-impairment-and-reactions-to-it India and Sri Lanka in the time of the Roman Julio-Claudians by Keith Armstrong http://www.academia.edu/3995659/India_and_Sri_Lanka_in_the_time_of_the_Roman_JulioClaudians_by_Keith_Armstrong http://www.slideshare.net/yourkamden/claudius-the-man-his-physical-impairment-and-reactions-to-it A few words about the word the 'claudius': An etymological journey; five short essays on the word 'claudius' by Keith Armstrong http://www.academia.edu/3631405/A_few_words_about_the_word_the_claudius_An_etymological_jo urney_Five_short_essays_on_the_word_claudius-_Keith_Armstrong http://www.slideshare.net/yourkamden/a-few-words-about-the-word-claudius-keith-armstrong Etymology
The Old English Origin of the Word Cripple Revised by Keith Armstrong Linguistics, Etymology, Anglo-Saxon, Bible Studies, Disability Studies, Latin, Lindisfarne Gospels, Old English http://www.academia.edu/3631339/The_Old_English_Origin_of_the_Word_Cripple_Revised__Keith_Armstrong http://www.slideshare.net/yourkamden/the-old-english-origin-of-the-word-cripple-revised-ke A history of the word handicap extended by Keith Armstrong Linguistics, Etymology, Disability Studies, history, US & UK English, biology, Oxford English Dictionary, eugenics, euthanasia, 1915, The Atlantic Monthly,history of sport http://www.academia.edu/4444987/A_history_of_the_word_handicap_extended_Keith_Armstrong http://www.slideshare.net/yourkamden/a-history-of-the-word-handicap-extended-by-keith-armstrong http://www.academia.edu/3987594/A_history_of_the_word_Handicap_Revised_and_expanded_by_Ke ith_Armstrong A few words about the word the claudius An etymological journey five short essays on the word claudius by Keith Armstrong Claudius or Claudia as a personal or first name, The word 'claudius' and it many meanings in Latin, The word 'claudius' as used in Old and Medieval English, The word 'claudius' in the Cymraeg-Welsh language, The word claudius as used in Anatomical Biological and Medical terms http://www.academia.edu/3631405/A_few_words_about_the_word_the_claudius_An_etymological_jo urney_Five_short_essays_on_the_word_claudius-_Keith_Armstrong http://www.slideshare.net/yourkamden/a-few-words-about-the-word-claudius-keith-armstrong
Transport Travelling behind Bars - rail travel in 1980's http://youtu.be/b_ys8-5wWyM https://vimeo.com/77252859 http://www.slideshare.net/yourkamden/travelling-behind-bars-by-keith-armstrong Early 19th Century bicycles http://youtu.be/TKYhVLbJ6vg https://vimeo.com/76308242 https://vimeo.com/76295533 Bicycles and manual wheelchairs - a short history http://youtu.be/NpFaAAo3UPE https://vimeo.com/76080069 Transport & Disability Issues (Audio) - Transport & building design USA http://youtu.be/TcMFvbk0IoMn Voices on accessible public transport part one (Audio) Transport issues USA http://youtu.be/hB4IDSzB-oM Voices on accessible public transport part two (Audio) Transport issues USA http://youtu.be/9IAmGR1CQXk A Review of the Alder Valley North Careline Accessible Bus Service 1986 by Keith Armstrong London's first hourly accessible bus service http://www.academia.edu/4331215/A_Review_of_the_Alder_Valley_North_Careline_Accessible_Bus _Service_1986_by_Keith_Armstrong http://www.slideshare.net/yourkamden/a-review-of-the-alder-valley-north-careline-accessible-busservice-1986-by-keith-armstrong
By Keith Armstrong in Classics and Roman ... his physical impairment, and reactions ... © Copyright 2013 Keith Armstrong, London Tiberius Claudius ...
Roman Imperial Theology ... of the Imperial Cult in the West. • See: Richey, Roman Imperial Ideology and ... put in prominent places throughout the ...
Livy dates the earliest Roman gladiator games to 264 BC, ... Claudius, characterised by his ... Throughout the Roman world, ceramics, ...
Roman Imperial Theology ... –The official start of the Imperial Cult in the West. •See: Richey, ... [Keith Hopkins, ...
... then in the very heart of the Roman Empire in the first century. ... Claudius expanded Roman ... Keith Bradley, Professor of Greek and Roman ...
A Gospel for Credulous Pagans. ... prosperity and religious toleration of the Roman world. ... Marcionites were soon to be found throughout the Roman Empire.
Michael S. Armstrong, ... Keith Hopkins, A World Full of Gods: Pagans, Jews and Christians in the Roman World.
Under Claudius, the empire invaded ... which separated the Roman world from what was ... The pervasive exercise of Roman law throughout Western Europe led ...