Jupiter Dolichenus

Jupiter Dolichenus

Dolichenus was a syncretic deity originating from the ancient city of Doliche, located in what is now modern-day Turkey. This deity was assimilated into Roman religion and became popular among the Roman military.

The cult of Dolichenus centred around a god who was often associated with Jupiter (the Roman equivalent of Zeus) due to the similarities in their roles as sky gods and wielders of thunderbolts. However, it’s important to note that Dolichenus is not a specific aspect or variant of Jupiter but a distinct deity in his own right.

The cult of Dolichenus typically focused on the worship of a stone or wooden cult image of the deity, often depicted as a standing figure holding a thunderbolt or a double-axe. Dolichenus was revered as a powerful and protective god, associated with war, strength, and victory. The cult of Dolichenus was particularly popular among the Roman military, as the god was believed to provide aid, protection, and success in battles.

Carnuntum Archaeological Museum, by Following Hadrian, CC BY-SA 2.0

The worship of Dolichenus spread throughout the Roman Empire, and temples dedicated to the deity can be found in various locations, including Britain, Germany, and Italy. These temples often featured elaborate reliefs and inscriptions depicting the god and showcasing military motifs and scenes of triumph.

It is worth mentioning that the worship of Dolichenus declined with the fall of the Roman Empire, and much of the information about this deity comes from archaeological remains and inscriptions rather than extensive mythological or literary sources.


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