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21 III // Saints and statistics in Anatolia (and beyond): making sense of aggregated epigraphic data

Abstrakt 

In my Thursday talk I am going to pose a question whether statistical analysis makes more harm than good when it comes to the study of inscriptions related to the cult of the saints. First, I will present general remarks on the prospects and dangers of employing basic statistical analysis in epigraphy. From this we will proceed to a description of problems one faces in an attempt to study the chronological distribution of dated and confidently datable inscriptions collected in my book (Inscribing the Saints in Late Antique Anatolia, JJP Suppl. 34, Warsaw 2018). The third key issue revolves around the qualitative analysis and geographical distribution of the attestations of saints’ cults in Asia Minor, the presumed existence of a great religious division they may underpin, and the interplay between the epigraphic and hagiographical evidence, which may reveal patterns of the transmission of cults normally clouded to historians working on literary sources (based on a case study of Saints Julitta and Kyrikos, the child-martyr of Tarsus).