Foreign Priests in Rome

Eric M. Orlin

in Foreign Cults in Rome

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199731558
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866342 | DOI:
Foreign Priests in Rome

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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

Chapter.  12184 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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