Rimini museums

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Religion in the Empire Period

I culti di età imperiale

Gods and heroes were commonly depicted in Roman public and private environments, particularly under the Empire, in houses, on tombs and objects for daily use.

The houses of Ariminum provide much religious and mythological evidence. The Dionysiac theme was widespread, with Eros, Dionysus, Priapus, and Silenus representing the benevolent forces of nature. We also have Minerva, Fortuna, Asclepius and Orpheus playing his lyre.

Choice of a personal god can be seen on jewels and amulets worn by individuals.

The Romans also fell under the spell of eastern gods, especially Egyptian ones. The craze for Egypt is well documented in Rimini by the statue of Pharoah Psammetichus II and the Nile mosaic showing a human figure with a dog's head (Anubis?).

Reference to Emperor worship can be seen in the figure of Jupiter Ammon, the Egyptian warrior god associated with Roman Jupiter, depicted on a decorative military piece (known as a phalera).

There is evidence of worship of Jupiter Dolichenus in Rimini from the 2nd century A.D. This Syrian god was associated with natural phenomena like thunder and lightening. The two votive altars dedicated to him unearthed in the town centre are evidence of organised worship.