Cassius Dio (51.20.6-8) and the Worship of the Living Emperor in Italy

In: Mnemosyne

Abstract

This article challenges accepted interpretations of Cassius Dio (51.20.6-8) concerning the worship of the living emperor in Rome and the Italian peninsula. I offer a new interpretation of this frequently discussed passage by demonstrating that Dio was keen to emphasise that Augustus, as Dio’s model emperor, was not himself responsible for the temples and cults raised to him in Rome and Roman Italy. I also briefly explore the beneficial consequences of this interpretation in our wider study of emperor worship in the Italian peninsula.

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