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Using Chicago style with footnotes and only citing academic sources (papers/academic books):Greek Hero Cult to the Cult of Roman Emperors. Hero cults were one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion. In Homeric Greek, “hero” (, hrs) refers to the mortal offspring of a human and a god. By the historical period, however, the word came to mean specifically a dead man, venerated and propitiated at his tomb or at a designated shrine, because his fame during life or his unusual manner of death gave him power to support and protect the living. A hero was more than human but less than a god, and various kinds of supernatural figures came to be assimilated to the class of heroes; the distinction between a hero and a god was less than certain, especially in the case of Heracles, the most prominent, but atypical heroGreek philosophies had significant influence in the development of Imperial cult. Stoic cosmologists saw history as an endless cycle of destruction and renewal, driven by fortuna (luck or fortune), fatum (fate) and logos (the universal divine principle). The same forces inevitably produced a str (saviour) who would transform the destructive and “unnatural disorder” of chaos and strife to pax, fortuna and salus (peace, good fortune and well-being) and is thus identified with solar cults such as Apollo and Sol Invictus. Livy (in the early to mid 1st century BC), and Lucan (in the 1st century AD) interpreted the crisis of the late Republic as a destructive phase which led to religious and constitutional renewal by Augustus and his restoration of peace, good fortune and well-being to the Roman people. Augustus was a messianic figure who personally and rationally instigated a “golden age” – the pax Augusta – and was patron, priest and protege to a range of solar deities. The Imperial order was therefore not merely justified by appeals to the divine; it was an innately natural, benevolent and divine institution.The Imperial cult of ancient Rome identified emperors and some members of their families with the divinely sanctioned authority (auctoritas) of the Roman State. Its framework was based on Roman and Greek precedents, and was formulated during the early Principate of Augustus. It was rapidly established throughout the Empire and its provinces, with marked local variations in its reception and expression.