- Main article: Pantheons of Tamriel
The Imperial Pantheon of the Nine Divines consists of the most important religious order in Tamriel. The religion combines the eight Aedra with the apotheosized form of the founder of the Third Empire, Tiber Septim (Talos). 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. These Aedra also appear in various combinations in the pantheons of other cultures.
- Akatosh – The Dragon God of Time and chief god of the pantheon
- Arkay – God of the Cycle of Life, Death and Mortals.
- Dibella – Goddess of Beauty
- Julianos – God of Wisdom and Logic
- Kynareth – Goddess of Air
- Mara – Goddess of Love, the Mother Goddess.
- Stendarr – God of Mercy and Justice
- Talos – Hero-god of Mankind, God of Might, Honor, State, Law, , Man, War and Governance[source?]
- Zenithar – God of Work and Commerce, Trader God
The Nine VirtuesEdit
- Akatosh – Humility
- Arkay – Piety
- Dibella – Inspiration
- Julianos – Learning
- Kynareth – Ambition
- Mara – Compassion
- Stendarr – Justice
- Talos – Civility
- Zenithar – Work
- Main article: Aedra
Alessia and the Eight DivinesEdit
The Eight Divines as an official religion was instituted by Alessia, the first saint upon her slave revolt against the Ayleids. She is said to have consciously chosen a mixture of Ayleid and Nordic gods, to help aid her subjects, but simultaneously appease her powerful northern allies.[source?]
Perhaps coincidentally, the eight Aedra Alessia chosen are those Aedra said to have been most active in the creation of the world. When the Aedra 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. In doing so, they were left weakened and confined to their own planes, which mortals on Nirn see as the planets.[source?]
Popular opinion and worshipEdit
The worship of the Divines is not universally accepted, even in Tamriel. In particular, most Dunmer reject them outright, having been turned from the path of Aedra worship during the Dawn Era by the Daedric Prince Boethiah. The other mer worship some of the same Aedra, in particular Akatosh, who appears in almost every culture's mythology. The elves choose to worship other Aedra, however, those who withdrew from creation in time to save their divinity, and who the elves believe guided them in the early years of their existence. The Nords also had their own pantheon until somewhere in the Fourth Era. They revered their own gods instead of the Nine.[source?]
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 in extreme circumstances, through mortal avatars infused with their divine spirits. Of particular note is that Akatosh did not appear himself to Alessia to seal his pact with her; instead, it was Lorkhan who came in person, something he was presumably able to do because of his close connection with Nirn itself.[source?]
Because Talos was not originally one of the Divines, in some religious sects they are referred to as "The Eight And One." As of 4E 201, Talos was effectively removed from the pantheon of the Gods—and The Eight Divines worshiped resumed. Thalmor agents from the Third Aldmeri Dominion, per the White-Gold Concordat, ensure that the worship of Talos remains an illegal activity. Emperor Titus Mede II publicly 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. 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.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Varieties of Faith in the Empire
- ↑ Dialogue with Helgird
- ↑ Ingame description in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
- ↑ Dialogue with Torasa Aram
- ↑ Nords Arise!
- ↑ Guide to the Imperial City
- ↑ Dialogue with Heimskr
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 For my Gods and Emperor
- ↑ Dialogue with The Prophet
- ↑ The Great War (Book)
- ↑ The Talos Mistake
- ↑ Nords Arise!