The Cult of Castor and Pollux in Ancient Rome
The Dioscuri first appeared at the Battle of Lake Regillus in 496 BC to save the new Republic. Receiving a temple in the Forum in gratitude, the gods continued to play an important role in Roman life for centuries and took on new responsibilities as the needs of the society evolved. Protectors of elite horsemen, boxers and sailors, they also served as guarantors of the Republic's continuation and, eventually, as models for potential future emperors. Over the course of centuries, the cult and its temples underwent many changes. In this book, Amber Gartrell explores the evolution of the cult. Drawing on a range of methodological approaches and a wide range of ancient evidence, she focuses on four key aspects: the gods' two temples in Rome, their epiphanies, their protection of varied groups, and their role as divine parallels for imperial heirs, revealing how religion, politics and society interacted and influenced each other.