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Blood of the ProvincesThe Roman Auxilia and the Making of Provincial Society from Augustus to the Severans$
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Ian Haynes

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199655342

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655342.001.0001

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Distinct Cult Communities within the Auxilia

Distinct Cult Communities within the Auxilia

(p.227) Chapter 14 Distinct Cult Communities within the Auxilia
Blood of the Provinces

Ian Haynes

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines another element of religion in the Roman auxilia, the so-called Approved Cults. Here, it appears a sense of regimental community was fostered through identification not simply with Rome, but with the gods of the peoples among whom a particular regiment was raised. It is interesting to note that this practice was not seen as in conflict with the incorporation of diverse peoples into the Empire; rather, it served as a vehicle to facilitate it. Crucially, however, it was not dependent on special recruitment practices for its operation — the practice operated even when the supply of men from a unit’s place of origin dried up. Analysis of this phenomenon illuminates our understanding both of the evolution of identity in Roman provincial society and of the way diverse religious sentiment could be directed towards imperial interests.

Keywords:   approved cults, Intercisa, Elagabalus, Micia, Jupiter Turmasgades, Caelian Hill, Empel, Hercules Magusanus

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