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Main article: Pantheons of Tamriel
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"The Nine say: Above all else, be good to one another."
Ten Commands: Nine Divines

The Imperial Pantheon of the Nine Divines consists of the most important religious order in Tamriel. The religion combines the Eight Divines pantheon created by Alessia with the apotheosized form of the founder of the Third Empire, Tiber Septim (Talos), the ninth Divine. There are six gods and three goddesses. In Cyrodiil, there is a chapel in each major city venerating the divines. There are also wayshrines along the roads that are devoted to the Nine Divines. Many of these gods also appear in various combinations in the pantheons of other cultures.[1]

PantheonEdit

Nine Divines Stained Glass

Imperial PantheonEdit

Including the Nine Divines – the Imperial Pantheon itself also has three additional gods.

  • Morihaus (First Breath of Man) – ancient hero god of the Cyro-Nordics, associated with the Thu'um and Kynareth.[2]
  • Reman (The Cyrodiil/the Worldly God) – culture god-hero of the Second Empire.[2]
  • Shezarr (God of Man) – Cyrodiilic version of Lorkhan, was the spirit behind all human undertaking and is sometimes associated with the founding of the Imperial Battlemages.[2]

Alessia and the Eight DivinesEdit

The Eight Divines as an official religion was instituted by Alessia upon her slave revolt against the Ayleids. She is said to have consciously made a synthesis of Ayleid and Nordic gods, in order to appease both her Nordic allies and the Cyrods and Ayleids she now ruled.[9]

Perhaps coincidentally, the eight Aedra Alessia chose are those Aedra said to have been most active in the creation of the world. When the et'ada realized what Lorkhan had done, and how their divinity was being drained to create Nirn, most of them objected or withdrew. The eight Aedra that make up the divines, however, willingly gave of themselves to complete the act of creation, and are therefore seen as benevolent, in contrast to the more aloof merish deities.[1]

Popular opinion and worshipEdit

Mara Stained Glass

Mara, Mother-deity of the Divines.

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"Praise the Nine!"
Cirroc[src]

Nine Divines quote

As a Cyrodiilic pantheon, the Nine Divines have been most commonly worshipped in Cyrodiil for most of their history. While by the 4th Era the Nords had enthusiastically taken to the worship of the Nine,[6] they had historically had their own pantheon.[2]

Because Talos was not originally one of the Divines, in some religious sects they are referred to as "The Eight And One."[10] Following the signing of the White-Gold Concordat, Talos was effectively removed from the pantheon of the Gods—and The Eight Divines worship resumed. Where required, Thalmor agents from the Third Aldmeri Dominion, ensure that the worship of Talos remains an illegal activity.[11] Emperor Titus Mede II stated in a publication that mortal men such as Talos were never meant to achieve apotheosis. It is for this very reason that the Emperor, and indeed the Empire itself, recognizes that allowing the worship of Talos was a mistake and publicly declares its support of removing Talos worship from Tamriel. It is unknown if whether this public renunciation of Talos' divinity is an act to appease the Thalmor or if this is the Emperor's sincere belief.[12] Whatever the reason, the outlawing of Talos worship is one of the causes of the Stormcloak Rebellion, who see the ban on the worship of Talos as a violation of Skyrim's religious freedom.[13]

Communication with mortals and manifestationEdit

Prior to Alessia's pact with Akatosh, binding her soul to the Amulet of Kings, many Aedra and Daedra were able to fully interact with Nirn and its population. However, even during this period, these eight Aedra are not known to have manifested physically on the planet, but communicated through dreams and visions (as with Alessia). Their interaction with the world is relegated to blessings through their altars and shrines, and the Divines themselves are mostly seen as distant, beyond a few charismatic cults for individual Divines.[14]

GalleryEdit

References

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