Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About usNews and EventsNews articles

Gewoner dan gedacht. De hellenistische heerserscultus van Antiochos I van Commagene

09 June 2011

PhD ceremony: Ms. M.P. Schipperheijn, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Title: Gewoner dan gedacht. De hellenistische heerserscultus van Antiochos I van Commagene

Promotor(s): prof. J.N. Bremmer, prof. O.M. van Nijf

Faculty: Theology and Religious Studies


King Antiochos I of Commagene, a small Hellenistic kingdom on the western banks of the Euphrates, has initiated a Hellenistic ruler cult during his thirty year reign in the first century BC. This ruler cult, which used both Iranian and Greek cultural and religious traditions for its sanctuaries and theology, has been considered the odd one out by scholars of Hellenism and ancient religions; a lack of sources and a focus on the iconography of the cult initiated this response. In her thesis Marlies Schipperheijn shows that the ruler cult of Antiochos does not represent the exception, but the mainstream.

Ruler cult, the worship of a ruler as a god, was a development within Hellenism that flourished after the conquests of Alexander, but had its roots well before that time. Later on, Roman emperors adopted these traditions for their own imperial cults. By comparing the cult of Antiochos on three main issues, rituals, participants and theology, Schipperheijn has investigated the traditional status of the cult. On all three points, the cult of Antiochos has proved to be in keeping with existing religious and political traditions. The cult and kingship of Antiochos resembled most the monarchies and ruler cults of other minor Hellenistic kingdoms such as Pergamon. By viewing the Commagenian cult as typical in stead of abnormal, a great amount of material is available for the study of Hellenistic religious developments in the first century BC.


Last modified:15 September 2017 3.40 p.m.
printView this page in: Nederlands

More news

  • 11 July 2019

    Major companies’ annual reports too vague about climate impact

    Many major Dutch companies publish extensive information about climate impact in their annual reports. However, very few companies provide concrete, detailed information about their own CO2 emissions, the impact of climate change on their business...

  • 08 July 2019

    UG permanently closes Yantai project

    The University of Groningen (UG) has permanently closed the project aimed at creating a branch campus in Yantai. Discussions were held with China Agricultural University, the city of Yantai and the Province of Shandong.

  • 03 July 2019

    Cheap train tickets boost public transport use but reduce customer satisfaction

    Offers of cheap single train tickets through retailers such as Kruidvat or Etos have a positive impact on the number of kilometres travelled by rail. This impact is much bigger than that of more general TV, newspaper or magazine advertising. However,...