Exciting fact! I discovered just lately that if you run a search on DuckDuckGo for the term “Dolichenus”, my web page on Jupiter Optimus Maximus Dolichenus comes up fifth in your list of results. (When I ran a Google search, I was also in the top ten—but Google does so much skewing and tracking of your search history that this could mean anything or nothing.) I announce these results with a bit of a swagger, since I have to admit, I’m rather proud of that page, and I’m currently trying to acquaint myself with additional scholarly literature on IOM Dolichenus with the likely consequence of expanding the page further. In fact, I’ve lately been mulling over the possibility of expanding the page into a larger online Dolichenum, or shrine to IOM Dolichenus and his associated deities (who include Juno Dolichena, the Castores, Isis, Serapis and the Heliopolitan Mercury).
Now you might be asking yourself two questions: (A) Who actually searches on the term “Dolichenus”, and (B) who is this Jupiter Optimus Maximus Dolichenus? The answer to question (A) includes, but is hopefully not limited to, myself. The answer to (B) is that he is a Roman manifestation of the great Hittite god of northern Syria and Commagene, the central character in the first widespread ‘Oriental’ mystery cult in the West—an eternal, hypercosmic god of the first importance. I got to be interested in him, naturally, through his connection with the religion of the Treveri and of Upper Germany, for Mainz was an important cult centre of his, particularly among the Roman legionaries who made the city home (and intermarried with the locals for generations). Undoubtedly part of his appeal for me is also the Turkish connection; as a German American in Turkey, I could hardly help but be intrigued by this god from Turkey* who met with such a welcome in Germany. Over the years, my respect for this great god has only grown as I have learned more about him.
Incidentally, UPG backed up by several ancient inscriptions (and divination on my part) indicates that this is a particularly good time of year to do cult to Jupiter Optimus Maximus Dolichenus.
* Here I mean “Turkey” according to its current boundaries. The city of Doliche (now within the limits of Gaziantep) was in ancient times in Commagene, which for some purposes could be considered part of Syria. Incidentally, I used to have a housemate from Antep—a thoroughly charming person—and I’ve often enjoyed Antep cuisine, although I unfortunately never visited the city myself.