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Introduction: The Words Of Angels

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Chapter Summary

The oracle of Apollo at Claros reported that the All-Seeing Aether was the true god, and that one should pray to him at dawn, facing to the east. Literary and epigraphic evidence indicates that the Clarian oracle responded to theological inquiries by promoting a henotheism that equated manifestations of the supreme god and stated that the Olympians were angeloi who were a small part of the supreme god. The inscription at Oenoanda indicates that the Clarian oracle's advocacy of a supreme god and angelic mediators influenced religious practice, not only the thoughts of late antiquity's intellectual elites. The second Christian source for the oracle's response is the late-fifth century Theosophy of Tubingen.The oracular response recorded at Oenoanda and its reception by Christian apologists indicates that the term angelos was a term that both Hellenes and Christians used to describe a celestial intermediary.

Keywords:aether; angels; Christians; Hellenes; Oenoanda; oracle of Apollo; Theosophy of Tubingen



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