Chapter

Rome, Pessinous, and Battakes: Religious Encounters with the East

Hugh Bowden

in Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199600755
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738791 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600755.003.0014
Rome, Pessinous, and Battakes: Religious Encounters with the East

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter examines the visit of Battakes, priest of the Mother of the Gods at Pessinous, to Rome in 102 bc. It argues that the cult of Magna Mater in Rome had originally been imported from Pergamon. Whatever the precise purpose of his embassy, Battakes will have used the shared cult of the Mother as a reason for closer ties to be established between Rome and Pessinous. The Roman tradition that the cult of Magna Mater was introduced from Pessinous developed in the wake of Battakes' visit. The whole episode suggests that Roman religion in the second century bc was not, as scholars have generally argued, becoming increasingly conservative, but remained open to eastern influence.

Keywords: Battakes; Magna Mater; Pergamon; Pessinous; Roman religion

Chapter.  4668 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.