In the old days, the Romans worshipped their political leaders.  Thank goodness we don’t do that anymore.  Oh, wait a minute…

Anyway, their leaders would sometimes become “gods”.  There was a verb for the process. Apotheon: to deify, to make someone a god.

In the book of Acts, chapter twelve, we see an example of apotheon. 

King Herod sits down in his royal robes and starts giving a speech.  Pretty soon the people begin shouting, “This is the voice of a god, not a man!”  And… then, he died.  Right in front of them.  Must have been a quite shock to the people tuning Herod into a god.  I wonder if they immediately deapotheoned him.  (I made that word up, by the way.) 

From apotheon, English derives the word apotheosis.  (I did not make that word up.  Apotheosis is a real live English word.) 

Apotheosis means two things.  First, apotheosis is the elevation of a person, perhaps even to godlike status.  Second, apotheosis is a model of excellence, the highest point, the zenith, the gold standard, or perfection.

Smile if someone says to you today, “You know, around here, your work is the apotheosis.”  Don’t hit them.  They are complimenting you.


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