• Владимир Д. Михајловић
Keywords: cult of Jupiter Dolichenus, Central Balkans, Severan period, mining territories, sacred sites in Brza Palanka


The paper draw attention to new interpretational frameworks for the spread of the cult of Jupiter Dolichenus which emphasize the role of social networks and connectivity as main reasons for adoption and popularity of the deity, especially among the officers of the Roman army. Using this standpoint the paper has focused on the area of the central Balkans and problematized the questions of increased popularity of the cult in period of the Severi, the appearance of the cult inside mining districts, and the find from Brza Palanka. It has been argued that Septimus Severus has acquainted with the cult aiming to strengthen the connection with the network of the officers of the Danube–Rhine provinces, which has affected the status of the cult in years to come, and additionally increased its popularity among the military and administrative circles. The link between the emperor/dynasty and the cult could have inspired tendencies towards enhanced public communication of the membership to privileged socio–religious network of Dolichenus adherents, which could explain why the majority of dedications in the central Balkans appeared in the period of the Severan dynasty. Similarly, the presence of the cult inside mining districts are not to be explained by intrinsic connection of Dolichenus’ doctrine with mining and ore, but by the role that army and imperial bureaucracy, which were the social categories most inclined to the cult, played in the system of ore exploitation. Finally, the find from Brza Palanka (Egeta), interpreted as small chapel that served for the keeping of cult’s items, is speculated here to be a place where the surviving objects from the temple (located somewhere else in the area of ancient Egeta) were stored after the violent actions against the cult that took place during the reign of Maximinus Thrax.


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20. 05. 2016.