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The Making of Angels in Late Antiquity: Theology and Aesthetics

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 ALATA project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the ALATA project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "ALATA" about.

church    neoplatonician    aggelos    innovative    egypt    412    period    theologian    inherited    exchange    texts    religious    world    mediterranean    vith    winged    entire    pagan    thought    did    personifications    beings    representation    turning    provides    always    byzantium    helps    base    focusing    thinking    dionysius    intellectual    erotes    works    appropriation    point    definition    construction    takes    had    spread    pass    fascinating    phenomenon    hierarchical    intermediary    empire    medieties    function    ad    fact    images    coptic    pseudo    proclus    ce    turn    islam    conflict    shift    re    conversion    neo    ancient    ml    status    rises    backbone    legacy    of    human    eastern    gnosticism    palestine    christian    onto    invisible    messenger    aesthetics    orthodox    regions    trace    syriac    mostly    485    theorization    schools    exist    divine    interacts    question    angel    elaborates    chief    angels    platonism    languages    material    conception    religions    place    judaism    greek    areopagite    visible    ultimately    antiquity    image    idea    identity    explore    syria    culture   

Project "ALATA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: PARIS
postcode: 75006
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Total cost 185˙076 €
 EC max contribution 185˙076 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2017
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-CAR
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-09-01   to  2020-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    SORBONNE UNIVERSITE FR (PARIS) coordinator 185˙076.00


 Project objective

Focusing on the making of Angels is an innovative way to approach the religious fact in ancient Mediterranean. The idea of intermediary beings is widely spread in the human conception of the divine; however, it did not always exist in the terms we are used to. The current project aims to explore that long and complex construction whose turning point takes place in Late Antiquity, more specifically in the V-VIth c. CE. The legacy of Pagan angels inherited from the Classical world interacts with the other religions and schools of thought throughout the Empire (Judaism, Gnosticism, Neo-Platonism) to build the definition, function and image of Christian Angels which will in turn pass onto Byzantium, and towards Islam. This phenomenon mostly rises in the Eastern regions of the Empire (Egypt-Syria-Palestine). In the three most relevant languages to study the development of the concept, Angel means “messenger” (Greek aggelos; Coptic aggelos; Syriac ml’k’). The backbone of our research is the theorization of Angels as a hierarchical system which the Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, chief theologian of the Orthodox Church, elaborates on the Medieties of the Neoplatonician Proclus (AD 412-485). This provides the base to evaluate the impact that such an intellectual shift had on material culture, more specifically for what concerns the status of images. Not only in texts but also on works of art of the period can one trace the conversion of the Pagan Erotes to some winged personifications which result as Christian Angels. How to make visible the invisible? The representation of Angels helps thinking the entire question of Aesthetics in Late Antiquity, a fascinating process of exchange, conflict and ultimately (re)appropriation of its own identity.

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The information about "ALATA" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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