apotheosis

apotheosis (əpŏthˌēōˈsĭs) [key], the act of raising a person who has died to the rank of a god. Historically, it was most important during the later Roman Empire. In an emperor's lifetime his genius was worshiped, but after he died he was often solemnly enrolled as one of the gods to be publicly adored. Apotheosis is closely related to ancestor worship.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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