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