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The evolution of Imperial and post-Imperial monarchy in a religious context during the transition from a pre-Christian to a Christian Roman Empire and after

Bryan, Glyn Picton 2014. The evolution of Imperial and post-Imperial monarchy in a religious context during the transition from a pre-Christian to a Christian Roman Empire and after. MPhil Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

This dissertation traces the evolution of the religious context of monarchy in a Roman and post-Roman context. Beginning with the formation of the Imperial cult and progressing on to certain other aspects of the relationship between emperors and the divine it seeks to show how the religious aspect of monarchy evolved during the rise of Christianity, as well as the role the Church played in the formation of a Christian definition of monarchy. It then goes on to show how this definition was applied to the Germanic kings who ruled over the early post-Roman successor states in the West. Although emperors were largely defined by the political and military powers they held, there was also the religious aspect of their role which helped give then authority in the religious sphere of public life. Furthermore, the creation of the Imperial cult venerated deceased and divinised emperors as well as the genius of the one in office at the time, so the emperors of Rome enjoyed a very high religious status, with sacrifices and temples being dedicated to the various divi. As Christianity rose to prominence it challenged the established place of the emperor in the religious life of the Empire, and eventually supplanted the pagan ideal of an emperor with its own Christian notion of a god-appointed ruler. This idea became embedded in Christian Roman religious thought, although significant vestiges also remained of the pagan past. The migration of Germanic tribes into the Roman Empire and their growing influence on it meant that Germanic kings and other notables rose to prominence. Many were converted to Christianity along with many of their followers, and the Church applied its Christian definition of monarchy to these kings as it had done previously to the emperors, especially when Germanic kingdoms emerged in the 5th century on former Roman territory. This, along with the continued use or adoption of other Roman practices resulted in a certain degree of continuity between the Roman Empire and the Germanic kingdoms.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:39
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/59843

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