apotheosis

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apotheosis

(əpŏth'ēō`sĭs), the act of raising a person who has died to the rank of a god. Historically, it was most important during the later Roman Empire. In an emperor's lifetime his genius was worshiped, but after he died he was often solemnly enrolled as one of the gods to be publicly adored. Apotheosis is closely related to ancestor worshipancestor worship,
ritualized propitiation and invocation of dead kin. Ancestor worship is based on the belief that the spirits of the dead continue to dwell in the natural world and have the power to influence the fortune and fate of the living.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Apotheosis

 

the concluding triumphant mass scene of a show, festival concert program, or circus performance, which glorifies the people, the hero, some event, or the like. The apotheosis is usually monumental in character and marked by nobility and grandeur. A classic example of an apotheosis is the concluding scene of Glinka’s opera Ivan Susanin. The apotheosis was extensively used in the old historical-mythological operas (for example, in the French “lyric tragedies” by Lully). An apotheosis may also be an independent part (usually without a text) of any kind of show, festival, procession, or the like. Such apotheoses are constructed on the basis of expressive groupings or expressive poses of the characters (for example, a “tableau” or a “scene without words”). These employ a striking decor, costumes, stage properties, and so on. In Russia the master of effective independent apotheoses was K. F. Val’ts, set designer and the man in charge of the stage machinery at the Bolshoi Theater.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

apotheosis

the elevation of a person to the rank of a god; deification
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005