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Blessings for the sailors. The cult of the Great Gods of Samothrace in the Mediterranean context between the Hellenistic and Roman Ages

Published: 26 November 2021

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to underline some cultic features of the cult of the Great Gods of Samothrace, in its development between Hellenistic and Roman Age. In this regard, we analyze the mythological background of this cult, with particular reference to Trojan war and Aeneas saga and the influences on the cultic performances and ideology in Roman age. Our main goal is to show, through an analysis of the different syncretic cults (Dioskuroi, Penates, Lares) and the archaeological data, how the metaphors of sea and sailing influenced the transmission of this soteriological cult in Rome and how these cultural changes represent a weighty argument to demonstrate the very important revolution introduced by the Samothracian cult in the religious thought of classical world.
Keywords: Great Gods / Roman Age / cultic / Samothrace / Hellenistic and Roman

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