Apotheosis - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 13 pages of information about Apotheosis.
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Apotheosis

APOTHEOSIS is the conferring, through official, ritual, or iconographic means, of the status of a god upon a mortal person. The Greek verb apotheoun appears first in the writings of the historian Polybius, which date from the second century BCE. The noun apotheōsis is found for the first time in Cicero, though it may have existed already in the classical Greek world. It is during the Hellenistic epoch, however, that apotheōsis takes on new forms that display the stamp of the Roman cult of emperors and of the dead.

Origins

Even though the immortal and blessed condition of the gods differentiates them radically from human nature, the Greeks regarded as "divine" (theios) the person whose outstanding qualities set him or her individually apart from the commonplace. The heroization of founders of cities or of benefactors and peacemakers assured them posthumously a kind...

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This section contains 3,809 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
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Encyclopedia of Religion
Apotheosis from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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