Vestiges of Roman Cult Religion and Household Deities in the Northern Barbaricum: A study of statuettes and other anthropomorphic figures from Barbaricum, Britannia Superior and the Roman heartlands
Sammanfattning: This text serves as a fresh approach to the study of Roman influence on the Scandinavian region. This is achieved through the medium of various bronze statuettes, both from the Roman Empire itself as well as in the form of locally-produced anthropomorphic figures. The study concentrates on four specific regions of Europe; Italy, southern Britain, Denmark, and southern Sweden. All of these areas maintained some form of connection to the Roman Empire during the Roman Iron Age 0-400 CE, whether directly due to Roman conquest, or as a result of the mass production and monetary wealth of the Roman Empire. Military alliances with the tribal societies of the northern Barbaricum resulted in Celtic mercenaries returning with a multitude of Roman prestige goods. Among these goods were objects associated with the Roman cults, particularly in relation to the concept of private cult worship and domestic religion. By comparing Scandinavia with the province of Britannia Superior; a region famous for its Romano-Celtic civitas and communities, the study is posed to understand this interaction between Roman and “celt”. The imitation of Roman originals by local craftsmen is not a contemporary area of research within Scandinavian archaeology, though this study endeavours to connect their religious symbolism to the more Roman tradition of guardian household deities. Based on the writings of several foregoing scholars, and in combination with the physical archaeological material, this text details and analyses a number of renowned artefacts connected to Iron Age religion and the cults of Roman religion, with the overall intention of understanding their spiritual significance in a new light as well as proposing new discursive practices for the topic of Romanisation in general.
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