Faithlife Sermons

Caligula's Emperor Worship

Notes & Transcripts

(Caligula's regined between A.D. 37 -- A.D. 41. He is a clear type of the Anti-Christ)

           

Caligula's religious policy was a firm departure from the policy of his predecessors. Under Augustus, the Cult of the Deified Emperor had been established and promoted, especially in the western empire, and was generally the first organization established in any new Roman colony. Augustus proclaimed on multiple occasions that he was not himself personally divine; instead the Cult centered around his numen, his personal spirit, and gens, the collective spirit of his family and ancestors. After Augustus, Tiberius seems to have had little interest in the Cult, and its promulgation and expansion seems to have been on a local level and driven by local magistrates, rather than from a central organizational structure.

            Caligula expanded this Cult on an unprecedented scale. The temple of Castor and Pollux on the Forum was linked directly to the Imperial residence on the Palatine and dedicated to Caligula himself; he would appear here on occasions, dressed and presenting himself as a god, and demanding that those in his presence adopt sycophantic methods of acknowledging him. The nature of the Cult of the Deified Emperor changed from honoring the spirits around the Emperor to direct worship of Caligula himself. Likewise, Caligula's policies affected religious practice in the whole of the Empire, not just those practices associated with the Cult. The heads of the statues of many of the gods throughout Rome and the empire were replaced with Caligula's head, including many of the female statues, and Caligula demanded that he be worshipped as an embodiment of these gods, similar to the Hellenistic ruler-cults.

            He ordered that a statue of himself be placed in the Jewish temple but the Herod staled until he died.


Source: /Wikepedia, 9 May 2007

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