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Pagan angels in Roman Asia Minor: revisiting the epigraphic evidence
Anatolian Studies  (IF),  Pub Date : 2016-06-29, DOI: 10.1017/s0066154616000090
G.H.R. Horsley, Jean M. Luxford

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.