The article is devoted to the analysis of the historiographical background of the category of the so-called oriental cults/oriental religions created in the 19th century and developed by Franz Cumont. We discuss the role of this term in 20th-century historiography with the focus on the works of Tadeusz Zieliński that are important to the reception of the oriental cults metaphor. We argue that the concept of oriental cults/oriental religions in its original version is not an effective or useful research tool. However, as a historiographical concept it has fulfilled its role in a threefold way: firstly, it drew scholars’ attention to the vitality of ancient religious experience, secondly, it established the fact that Roman religion was a living organism, naturally adapted to changing political, social and cultural conditions, thirdly, it helped to understand the principles behind the construction of metaphors in the academic discourse.
uigurischen Manichäismus an der Seidenstraße. Forschungen zu manichäischen Quellen und ihrem geschichtlichen Hintergrund . [Studies in OrientalReligions 50.] Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz . Moriyasu , Takao 2004b . ‘From Silk, Cotton and Copper Coin to