II. Rome‎ > ‎

2.04 Imperial Cult of Rome

The Imperial Cult of Rome was the first-ever “secret society” and the true power behind the Roman Empire. The cult claimed divine authority to rule based on their descendance from the lineage or “Line of Man”, which was sired by Minos of Crete, the founder of the Greco-Roman Empire. Interestingly,
modern scholars found “no distinct category of Imperial cult within the religio-political life of Empire” and that “the Romans themselves used no such enveloping term”. Therefore, it can be ascertained that in the days of the Roman Empire, the power behind the throne so-to-speak (i.e., the “Imperial Cult”) was so top secret and highly classified that even the Roman Senate, governmental officials, and the general public was completely in the dark about who was actually in charge. “The political usefulness of such an [Imperial Cult] implies neither mechanical insincerity nor lack of questioning about its meaning and propriety: [a Roman Empire-wide], unifying cult would necessarily be open to a multitude of personal interpretations but its significance to ordinary Romans is almost entirely lost in the critical interpretations of a small number of philosophically literate, skeptical or antagonistic Romans and Greeks, whether Christian or Hellene”. In other words, Rome and her enemies likely had absolutely no idea that an Imperial Cult existed and that it was Greek in origin.
Roman Senate
In order to hide and protect their power, the Imperial Cult created the Roman Senate (or “see not”) which is a ceremonial group that holds no real power. Like today, the senate was scapegoated when convenient and assassinated when disobedient. With the ever-growing list of horrific deeds done in the name of Rome, hostile nations, grieving families and political assassins were no doubt were a constant threat and therefore it was imperative that members of the Imperial Cult were not publically identifiable. As time went on, the rights (i.e., public sacrifices) and traditions of the Imperial Cult were mimicked by the Roman Senate, governmental officials, and even the general public. According to modern historical accounts, “The Imperial cult was inseparable from that of Rome's official deities, whose cult was essential to Rome's survival and whose neglect was therefore treasonous”. In other words, the pagan rights, holidays and traditions of the Imperial Cult became ingrained into the fabric of Rome. Anyone who opposed these inhumane and sadistic rituals were persecuted and most often killed.