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Also known as DI-MANES

The deified dead. Turn your dead relations into Gods today

In other words, ancestor worship with a Roman twist.

Not content with having deities for every conceivable occasion, object and concept, the Romans even turned themselves into Gods. This was a typically self-indulgent exercise as you might imagine.

To become a God, all you had to do was die. Preferably leaving a few pots of gold behind to remind your relatives of their noble duty.

It was quite easy. You just got worshipped a bit. Nothing in JUPITER's league, of course. Perhaps the merest mention during a list of invocations. A smallish statue in your honor bearing the legend 'Dis Manibus' (to the Divine Souls). Modest shrine facilities.

Of course, by definition, if something is worshipped it must therefore be a deity in the opinion of its worshipper. So when the Romans worshipped their ancestors, they were quite literally turning them into Gods.

This practice was in everyone's interest. In return for a little consideration, the dead could look kindly upon the living and ensure health and happiness all round. And with the prospect of divinity to look forward to, death may well have lost its sting.

With such a mutually beneficial system, even the bitterest of family feuds could turn out nicely in the end.

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Article last updated on 12 January 2013
Authors: Peter J Allen and Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.

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Godchecker's article on Manes is based on material from ancient texts, original references and our own research. We strive for accuracy and update regularly with new information. If you spot a mistake please contact us and we'll try to fix it.

Suggested further reading...
Name : MANES
Location : Italy and Western Europe
Gender : Both male and female
Type : Deity
Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : DI-MANES
Popularity index : 297

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