apotheosis


apotheosis
/euh poth'ee oh"sis, ap'euh thee"euh sis/, n., pl. apotheoses /-seez, -seez'/.
1. the elevation or exaltation of a person to the rank of a god.
2. the ideal example; epitome; quintessence: This poem is the apotheosis of lyric expression.
[1570-80; < LL < Gk. See APO-, THEO-, -OSIS]

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Elevation to the status of a god.

The term recognizes that some individuals cross the dividing line between human and divine. Ancient Greek religion was disposed to belief in heroes and demigods, and historical figures were sometimes worshiped as gods. Until the end of the republic the Romans accepted only one apotheosis, identifying the god Quirinus with Romulus. The emperor Augustus ordered Julius Caesar recognized as a god and thus began a tradition of deifying emperors.

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      elevation to the status of a god. The term (from Greek apotheoun, “to make a god,” “to deify”) implies a polytheistic conception of gods while it recognizes that some individuals cross the dividing line between gods and men.

      The ancient Greek religion was especially disposed to belief in heroes and demigods. Worship after death of historical persons or worship of the living as true deities occurred sporadically even before the conquests of Alexander the Great brought Greek life into contact with Oriental traditions. Ancient monarchies often enlisted polytheistic conceptions of divine or semidivine individuals in support of the dynasties. Ancestor worship, or reverence for the dead, was another factor, as was also mere flattery.

      The corresponding Latin term is consecratio. The Romans, up to the end of the republic, had accepted only one official apotheosis, the god Quirinus having been identified with Romulus (Romulus and Remus). The emperor Augustus, however, broke with this tradition and had Julius Caesar recognized as a god; Julius Caesar thus became the first representative of a new class of deities proper. The tradition established by Augustus was steadily followed and was extended to some women of the imperial family and even to imperial favourites. The practice of worshiping an emperor during his lifetime, except as the worship of his genius, was in general confined to the provinces. Apotheosis, after his death, being in the hands of the Senate, did not at once cease, even when Christianity was officially adopted. The most significant part of the ceremonies attendant on an imperial apotheosis was the liberation of an eagle, which was supposed to bear the emperor's soul to heaven.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Apotheosis — (from Greek ἀποθεόω, apotheoō to deify ), deification or divinization is the glorification of an individual to a divine level.AntiquityPrior to the Hellenistic period, imperial cults were known in Ancient Egypt (pharaohs) and Mesopotamia (since… …   Wikipedia

  • Apotheosis — • Deification, the exaltation of men to the rank of gods Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Apotheosis     Apotheosis     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Apotheosis — Ap o*the o*sis (?; 277), n. pl. {Apotheoses}. [L., fr. Gr. ?, fr. ? to deify; ? from + ? to deify, ? a god.] 1. The act of elevating a mortal to the rank of, and placing him among, the gods; deification. [1913 Webster] 2. Glorification;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • apotheosis — (n.) 1600s, from L.L. apotheosis deification, from Gk. apotheosis, from apotheoun deify, make (someone) a god, from apo special use of this prefix, meaning, here, change + theos god (see THEA (Cf. Thea)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • apotheosis — ► NOUN (pl. apotheoses) 1) the culmination or highest point: science is the apotheosis of the intellect. 2) elevation to divine status. DERIVATIVES apotheosize (also apotheosise) verb. ORIGIN Greek, from apotheoun make a god of …   English terms dictionary

  • apotheosis — [ə päth΄ē ō′sis, ap΄ə thē′ə sis] n. pl. apotheoses [ə päth΄ē ō′sēz΄, ap΄ə thēsēz΄] [LL(Ec) < Gr apotheōsis < apotheoun, to deify < apo , from + theos, god: see THEO ] 1. the act of raising a person to the status of a god; deification 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • apotheosis — index exemplar Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • apotheosis — *paragon, nonpareil, nonesuch …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • apotheosis — [n] glorification deification, elevation, idolization, immortalization; concepts 69,367 …   New thesaurus

  • apotheosis — a|poth|e|o|sis [əˌpɔθiˈəusıs US əˌpa:θiˈousıs, ˌæpəˈθi:əsıs] n [singular] formal [Date: 1500 1600; : Late Latin; Origin: Greek, from apotheoun to make into a god , from apo ( APOCALYPSE) + theos god ] 1.) the best and most perfect example of… …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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