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Foreign Cults in RomeCreating a Roman Empire$
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Eric Orlin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199731558

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199731558.001.0001

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Foreign Priests in Rome

Foreign Priests in Rome

(p.86) 3 Foreign Priests in Rome
Foreign Cults in Rome

Eric M. Orlin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 focuses on three separate sets of foreign priests the Romans installed into the state religion during the third century b.c.e. Etruscan haruspices, priestesses from southern Italy for the new Greek rites of Ceres, and the galli of the Magna Mater all appeared in Rome by the end of the third century. The adoption of priests from alien communities provides an unusual testament of the Roman policy of openness, for few other states were willing to accept foreign practitioners of their own religious practice. At the same time, concerns with Romanness emerged in connection with these changes, both in the discourse concerning these priests and in the rights granted to them, for some were granted Roman citizenship and others were specifically excluded. This chapter thus explores the concerns for both openness and distinctiveness at the same time.

Keywords:   priest, haruspices, galli, Etruscan, Magna Mater, Ceres, Romanness

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