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Economy of the Sacred in Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor$
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Beate Dignas

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199254088

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199254088.001.0001

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The Cults under Hellenistic Rule

The Cults under Hellenistic Rule

(p.36) Chapter 2 The Cults under Hellenistic Rule
Economy of the Sacred in Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor


Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the Hellenistic rulers’ attitudes towards religious matters in Asia Minor, with the goal of clarifying common values and underlying religious concepts such as patterns of religious propaganda and activities, common situations (for example kings as the addressees of appeals when sacred matters were at stake), and a consensus about religious administration in general. There is no doubt that the number of royal benefactions affecting the cults in Asia Minor was very large. In most cases the kings’ deeds were accompanied by words, which explained the motive and purpose of such a grant. Political success depended on a benevolent treatment of sanctuaries: the kings feared divine power and were very keen that gods should side with them. The chapter also analyses inscriptions, focusing on the overall purpose of the leases and the role of the gods in the transactions.

Keywords:   cults, Hellenistic rulers, sanctuaries, Asia Minor, religious administration, inscriptions, common values

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