Apotheosis It is a term derived from Latin apotheōsis and that finds its most remote origin in a Greek word that can be translated as "deification" . The concept may refer to the granting of the dignity of gods to the heroes .
The apotheosis consisted, in the ancient world, in a ceremony who invested some mortal (like an emperor or other monarch) with divine characteristics. This supposed that those virtuous men, after their death, ascended to a proper category of the gods. It is important to note that in many cultures apotheosis was also practiced with the figures that ruled, kings, queens, princes and princesses who were wished to remember for some kind of memorable action performed during their tenure.
The Greeks, for example, not only offered solemn and majestic funerals to the great mens of their time, but they also raised them and gave them divine honors through apotheosis.
Beginning and end of apotheosis rituals
These types of ceremonies have their origin in Ancient Greece and have been inherited by other cultures, such as the Roman one. However, in the case of the Greeks, the deity to the hero was granted through an oracle, while the Romans did so through a decree of the Senate.
There was in turn an extreme relationship between the worshiped figures and the constellation; to the point that it was believed that when one of them died he would take a place in the sky. When Julio César died, for example, a paradoxical event took place; the moment he was killed a new comet was circulating in the sky, the stella crinita. This gave even stronger to the already people's belief of this man's deity that had been taken from them. The faith of the people was asserted by the evidence and the apotheosis acquired an irrevocable force. From Caesar, the rest of the emperors that succeeded him were automatically placed on a pedestal, considered gods for the people .
When Christianity is established and a large number of adherents are achieved, the divinity of these public figures is questioned; suddenly it seemed as if the people stopped believing that they could exist human creatures with supernatural powers . However, what happened was that power and respect began to be deposited in bishops and saints and not in those who ruled the regions.
Acceptions of the term today
The notion, at present and by extension of this classical meaning, is used to name the exaggerated exaltation or flattery of a person : "The apotheosis of the singer in his homeland became evident from the last series of concerts offered at the local theater", "The truth is that I have my feet on the ground and I don't believe in any apotheosis, beyond people's good intentions", “Some officials celebrate the apotheosis of their superiors with the intention of achieving promotion”.
It is worth mentioning that today the term apotheosis is used to refer to a manifestation of great enthusiasm that takes place at some point in an event, celebration or other type of collective act. We leave two representative examples of this last case: "With the last goal of the striker, came the apotheosis", “The public screamed and clapped in the middle of the apotheosis”.