Religion Past and Present

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City Cult
(1,645 words)

[German Version]

I. Terminology – II. History – III. Archaeology

I. Terminology

The term “city cult” can be understood as a concretization of the veneration of “local gods” (cf. Stolz). There is evidence from the earliest times of municipal settlements with their complex social forms, rites, and feasts concentrated on the local deities' protection and promotion of community (cf. the gods of Sumerian and Babylonian cities described as “king of the city”…

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Hartenstein, Friedhelm, Rüpke, Jörg and Frevel, Christian, “City Cult”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 27 November 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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