“When people could not honor monarchs
In their presence,
Since they lived at a distance,
They imagined their appearance from far away.
They made a visible image of the king,
Whom they honored.
Thus by their zeal
They might flatter the absent one as though present.
Then the ambition of the craftsman impelled
Even those who did not know the king
To intensify their worship.
Perhaps wishing to please his ruler,
They skillfully forced the likeness
To take a more beautiful form.
Attracted by the charm of their work,
Now regarded as an object of worship
The one whom shortly before
They had honored as a man.
This became a hidden trap for humankind.
In bondage to misfortune
Or to royal authority,
Bestowed on objects of stone
The name that ought not to be shared.”
How did kings and rulers become gods? Once again this author has an explanation of how this happened. First, some of the subjects never saw the king because they lived too far away. Since they wanted to know what he looked like, a visible image was created. With the passage of time, the artisans made the king look better than in real life. Thus the worship of the king’s image became a worship object to those who never met the ruler or king. Gradually these beautiful objects of stone became objects of worship because of royal authority. The similarity between the ruler and God was now complete. The ruler was a god so that his image should be worshipped. This was particularly true in the Hellenistic times.
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