The Imperial Cult in Hispania: the Case of Tarraco
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This essay is a case study of the imperial cult as it manifested in the city of Tarraco in Roman Spain. It begins with a discussion of what the imperial cult itself was and how it developed, through a look at the precedents for the cult and its origins starting from the death of Julius Caesar. The origin of the imperial cult in Spain specifically is then discussed. The architectural evidence for the cult is then examined. There is a focus on the location and dating of a municipal altar and temple, as well as the provincial temple, which has been the subject of scholarly debate for decades. Finally there is a study of the flamines or priests of Tarraco. This is done through the use of epigraphic evidence to discuss what patterns there were in the career of the flamines to gain an understanding of the type of citizen who gained this role, through their family history (if applicable) and the cursus honorum that they followed through their life.