The Sociolinguistic Research of the Cult of Jupiter Dolichenus
Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Summary:Jupiter Dolichenus was a Roman god, a so-called 'Oriental deity' whose mystery cult gained popularity in the 2nd century AD, reached a peak under the Severi in the early 3rd century AD, and died out shortly after. As for Jupiter Dolichenus, he is sometimes referred to by scholars as 'Baal of Doliche' or 'Dolichenian Baal'.1 The name Baal is derived from the term Ba'al, meaning 'owner' or 'lord', and the word must have been used as a title for gods in general. Over six hundreds monuments
... hundreds monuments – mainly inscriptions – of the Dolichenian cult have come to light from the Eastern and Western parts of the Empire. The name Jupiter with the epithet Dolichenus – from the original name of Doliche – appears in inscriptions in many incorrect forms including Dolichenius, Dolychenus, Dolochenus, Dolicenus, Dolcenus, Dulcenus, Dolucens.Which of the above epithets reflects the original Syrian form and tradition? Is it possible that Dulcenus is the original and correct form of the deity's name, or is it just another vulgar change which appeared separately in time and space? This paper tries to prove the latter with the help of the LLDB. The Dolichenian cult is thought to have first been introduced by Syrian merchants and auxiliary soldiers, including troops from Commagene (the province that includes Doliche). In the light of the names of the priests of Jupiter Dolichenus, Speidel2 states that the Jupiter Dolichenian cult in the army was largely supported by Syrians and other Orientals.