The Cult of Silvanus: A Study in Roman Folk Religion
This book will interest students of Roman history, comparative religion, Latin epigraphy and folklore. The author collects and analyzes the enormous epigraphic and archaeological evidence for the cult of Silvanus, the Roman god of agriculture and forests. Silvanus is an important focus of investigation because his private and popular character sets him apart from other deities of the state pantheon.
Six chapters and a conclusion trace the origin, spread, development and final suppression of the cult. Silvanus' nature as a Roman god and his identification with indigenous deities in the provinces are carefully examined. The evidence for temples, priests, collegia and sacred groves is presented along with a detailed treatment of the god's adherents and iconography.
This study adds to our imperfect knowledge of Roman domestic religion as practised by the lower classes. It challenges the widely-held view that private cult was somehow subordinate or inferior to civic paganism.
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adherents Africa agricultural altar Ancient appears Augustus Britannia Celtic century Chapter CIL III CIL IX CIL VI CIL VIII CIL XII common connection cult Dacia Dalmatia dedications deity depicted Deus Diana divinities Domesticus early Empire epigraphic epithet especially evidence Faunus female festival forest freedmen Gaul Germania god's goddesses gods Greek grove hand Hercules holds iconography identified imperial important indicate individual inscriptions Italy Jupiter known late Latin mention Moesia Narbonensis native Numidia offerings origin Ostia pagan Pannonia Paris perhaps period Peter pine Plautus popular practice probably provinces rarely records refer Region Relief Relief of Silvanus Religion religious remains representations rites ritual Roman Rome sacred Sanctus Servius shows Silvanus Silvester slaves social sometimes statue suggests temple tree venerated women worship