This book examines the connection between political and religious
power in the pagan Roman Empire through a study of senatorial
religion. Presenting a new collection of historical, epigraphic,
prosopographic and material evidence, it argues that as Augustus
turned to religion to legitimize his powers, senators in turn also
came to negotiate their own power, as well as that of the emperor,
partly in religious terms. In Rome, the body of the senate and
priesthoods helped to maintain the religious power of the senate;
across the Empire senators defined their magisterial powers by
following the model of emperors and by relying on the piety of
sacrifice and benefactions. The ongoing participation and
innovations of senators confirm the deep ability of imperial
religion to engage the normative, symbolic and imaginative aspects
of religious life among senators.
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