Reaching for Divinity. The Role of Herakles in Relation to Dexiosis
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In the Ancient kingdom of Kommagene, the Late-Hellenistic ruler Antiochos I created an immense building project, propagating his position and status. An important part of his project were the so-called dexiosis stelae on which the ruler, dressed in official Iranian attire, is shaking hands with Herakles, shown in a Greek style. Both the use of the Greek hero as well as the gesture dexiosis are interesting aspects of Antiochos fighting for a prominent place amongst the other Hellenistic rulers. By looking at the use of Herakles by other Hellenistic rulers and the appearance of dexiosis in different cultural contexts this thesis aims to find out what message Antiochos wanted to emit with these reliefs throughout his kingdom. The conclusions drawn from the two aspects show that Antiochos was using a strong symbolic language, known to other Hellenistic rulers, to show his own apotheosis.