Chernyshov L. V. The cult of Hercules-Magusanus and the construction of Batavian identity (.pdf)

 

The article examines the role of Hercules cult in the creation of the Batavian identity in the context of the Roman Empire. Based on the analysis of the Roman narrative tradition and archaeological sources, the paperpresents the idea that the Hercules cult was a powerful integrating force of the emerging Batavian community. The Roman Hercules represented the ideas and values which had particular appeal for the Batavians. Those were martial and pastoral values. Hercules was identified with the native god, Magusanus. The Hercules-Magusanus myth was a vital component in the process of integration into the Roman world. The author argues that the Hercules cult played a role in the ethno-genesis of the Batavians. Hercules-Magusanus was a key element in the system of relations between the Batavian elites and the Romans. The cult was one of the Romans’ instruments for controlling the Lower Rhine frontier and the Batavian loyalty. The analysis of a social and ethnical situation in the Rhine delta of the 1st century BC is presented. The main focus of the research is made on the changes in the social structure of the Batavians in 1st century AD.

 

Key words: mythology, romanization, identity, the Germans, Hercules.

 

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