Title

You Can(‘t) Sit With Us: Evocatio, Roman Imperialism and the Case of Juno Regina

Presenter

Emma Altman

Abstract

Evocatio, literally a “summoning,” was a religious rite in which Roman commanders invited the tutelary deity of a warring city to move to Rome. There are only five existing accounts of this ritual, and the precise place of evocatio in Roman religio and imperialist thought have yet to be fully investigated. All five instances transpired during the Republic in the context of Rome’s evolving international “empire” (imperium), while the surviving accounts all date to the Empire. Several similar, although distinct, events of physical relocation of deities are also primarily discussed in the Empire. I investigate the roles of foreign gods, whether introduced by evocatio or another practice, and explore Roman conceptions of empire building. Examples include the evocatio of Juno Regina, the journey of the ancient household gods the Penates of Lavinium as detailed in Virgil ’s Aeneid, and the introduction of the cult of Magna Mater.

Faculty Sponsor

Sarah Davies

Sponsor Department/Programs

History

Tracks

Politics of Power

Terms of Use

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Location

Olin 130

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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You Can(‘t) Sit With Us: Evocatio, Roman Imperialism and the Case of Juno Regina

Olin 130

Evocatio, literally a “summoning,” was a religious rite in which Roman commanders invited the tutelary deity of a warring city to move to Rome. There are only five existing accounts of this ritual, and the precise place of evocatio in Roman religio and imperialist thought have yet to be fully investigated. All five instances transpired during the Republic in the context of Rome’s evolving international “empire” (imperium), while the surviving accounts all date to the Empire. Several similar, although distinct, events of physical relocation of deities are also primarily discussed in the Empire. I investigate the roles of foreign gods, whether introduced by evocatio or another practice, and explore Roman conceptions of empire building. Examples include the evocatio of Juno Regina, the journey of the ancient household gods the Penates of Lavinium as detailed in Virgil ’s Aeneid, and the introduction of the cult of Magna Mater.

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