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Pagan angels in Roman Asia Minor: revisiting the epigraphic evidence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 June 2016

G.H.R. Horsley*
Affiliation:
University of New England, Australia
Jean M. Luxford
Affiliation:
University of New England, Australia

Abstract

Franz Cumont's influential article on pagan angels in Revue de l’histoire des religions, published just over a century ago in 1915, remains the point de départ for work on that subject. The present essay offers a brief evaluation of some of its features, and then concentrates on Greek epigraphic evidence from Asia Minor in the Roman imperial period. Most of these texts were not published when Cumont wrote, or else he treated them briefly since his focus lay largely on ancient philosophical discussions about angeloi by both insiders and outsiders to the Christian movement; and geographically he ranged more widely than we have chosen to do. The main aim of the present essay, however, is to test the widely-accepted hypothesis of A.R.R. Sheppard (1980/1981) that Jewish influence on pagan notions of angeloi is visible in these inscriptions even though that influence was applied by non-Jews in a confused manner.

Özet

Yüzyıl kadar önce 1915 tarihinde Revue de l’histoire des religions dergisinde yayınlanan Franz Cumont’un pagan melekler ile ilgili yazdığı etkileyici makale halen bu konunun esas kaynağı olarak kabul edilir. Makalemizde bu çalışmanın bazı özelliklerinin kısa bir değerlendirilmesi sunulmakta ve daha sonra Roma İmparatorluk döneminde Anadolu’dan ele geçen Yunanca epigrafik kanıtlar üzerinde yoğunlaşılmaktadır. Cumont makalesini yazdığında, bu metinlerin çoğu yayınlanmamıştı ve kendisi daha çok Hıristiyanlık hareketine içeriden ve dışarıdan gelen melekler hakkındaki antik felsefi tartışmalar üzerine yoğunlaştığından bu metinlere kısaca değinmişti. Ayrıca Cumont bizim seçtiğimizden çok daha geniş bir coğrafi alanı ele almıştı. Ancak bu makalemizin temel amacı, A.R.R. Sheppard tarafından öne sürülen ve geniş ölçüde kabul görmüş olan hipotezi (1980/1981) test etmektir. Sheppard’ın tezine göre, her ne kadar şaşırtıcı bir şekilde Yahudi olmayanlar tarafından uygulansa da, bu yazıtlardaki meleklerin pagan özelliklerinde Yahudi etkileri görülmektedir.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The British Institute at Ankara 2016 

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