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Unwritten Rome$
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T.P. Wiseman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780859898225

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780859898225.001.0001

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The Games of Hercules

The Games of Hercules

(p.187) Chapter Ten The Games of Hercules
Unwritten Rome

T.P. Wiseman

Liverpool University Press

The games of Hercules are known only from a coin issue of 78 BC, which gives them equal status with the great annual ludi for Apollo and the Great Mother, and from two late-republican inscriptions, which imply small-scale games supervised not by aediles but by local magistri. They evidently took place in the Circus Flaminius, where Sulla built a new temple to Hercules Custos. If the temple and the games were in gratitude for the god's help in Sulla's civil-war campaigns in 88 and 83 BC, it is possible that the anti-Sullan reaction of 70-67 BC was the context for the demotion of Hercules’ games to merely local significance, an example of the ideological sensitivity of the Roman ludi.

Keywords:   Sulla, Hercules Custos, Circus Flaminius

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