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date: 29 November 2022



  • Sam Eitrem
  •  and Antony Spawforth


Angels, (ἄγγελοι), ‘messengers’. *Hermes was considered the messenger of Zeus, and named Angelos (once Euangelos). *Iris was ascribed the same function; for *Plato (1) (Cra. 407e, 408b) the two are the divine angeloi. *Hecate was an ‘angel’ because she had contact with the lower world and the dead (Sophron in schol. Theoc. 2. 12); in the early empire Hermes is once named the ‘messenger of *Persephone’ (Epigr. Gr. 575. 1, 1st–2nd cent. ce). By the 3rd cent. ce, with angels playing a large part in contemporary Judaism and *Christianity, they became important too for paganism as intermediaries (along with lesser gods and demons) of the true God, not just in *Gnosticism and *Neoplatonism but also in ‘mainstream’ belief: thus an oracle from *Claros inscribed at *Oenoanda (c.ce 200?) represents even Apollo as an angelic ‘small part’ of God. In the 2nd–3rd cents. ce abstract divinities called angels were worshipped in Egypt and Asia Minor (Lydia, Caria, and Phrygia) under such cult-titles as the Angelic Divine (Θεῖον Ἀγγελικόν) and Good Angel (Ἀγαθὸς Ἄγγελος).


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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