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Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic$
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Charles Muntz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190498726

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190498726.001.0001

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The Deified Culture Bringers

The Deified Culture Bringers

Chapter:
(p.133) 5 The Deified Culture Bringers
Source:
Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic
Author(s):

Charles E. Muntz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190498726.003.0005

This chapter further explores Diodorus’s Euhemerism through the gods, or culture bringers, who dominate the first six books of the Bibliotheke and are legitimized by his inclusion of mythology. He contrasts these culture bringers, especially Dionysus and Osiris, with the advance of civilization under a metus hostilis to show the superiority of the former. In doing so, Diodorus establishes the standards for deifying a great leader and elevates his conception of ruler cult above the often debased form practiced by late Hellenistic rulers such as Ptolemy XII of Egypt and Antiochus I of Commagene. Through the medium of the culture bringers Diodorus contributes to the debate at Rome, surrounding Julius Caesar, over deification of great leaders, which can also be seen in contemporary authors such as Cicero, and offers his own justification for why Caesar merits divine status.

Keywords:   Euhemerism, culture bringer, ruler cult, Dionysus, Osiris, Julius Caesar, Deification

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