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Romans and divine right

Yoo-hoo!
celandineb, darana, thanatos_kalos, and all you historians and anthropologists (aspiring ones such as erebrandir and yodge included): I have another question for you.

Did Roman emperors, who paid lip service to their own deification, rule by acknowledged divine right?

Again, I'll have to tell you later, in a running edit, why I ask.
Here's the gist of it: My father and I were having a discussion yesterday about why certain cultures seem to have a more ingrained tolerance for totalitarian rule.1 I conjectured that a long period of feudalism and in particular the principle of the "Mandate of Heaven" tended to foster this culture, whereas cultures that received the yoke later tended to throw it off sooner. It was a case of the damnable old frog-in-a-pot syndrome, I claimed. My dad didn't quite buy it, though.

So, I'm trying to get some real historians' viewpoints to corroborate or refute my hypothesis.

1 Yes, that's typical after-dinner conversation here. Does this surprise you? ;-)

--
Banazîr

Comments

darana
Apr. 13th, 2004 07:39 pm (UTC)
Not my era
Sorry I know very little about Roman Emperors.

Though if I recall didn't Rome receive Divine Right only after ehh Constantine or Theodosius?
banazir
Apr. 13th, 2004 10:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Not my era
Sorry I know very little about Roman Emperors.
No problem. Prolly more than I do, at any rate.

Though if I recall didn't Rome receive Divine Right only after ehh Constantine or Theodosius?
Probably. I'm not aware that any Roman emperors actually claimed to rule by the mandate of the Jovian pantheon, at any rate. Constantine I was the first declared Christian emperor, Theodosius the last ruler of both Eastern and Western Empires, so that would make sense.

--
Banazir

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