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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.

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Oriental Religions 13.) Wiesbaden, pp. 136--158. Veil, V. (1986): Die mongolischen Völkerschaften vom 15. Jahrhundert bis 1961. Die Mongolen. Beitrāge zu ihrer Geschichte und Kultur

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Oriental Religions. Wiesbaden, pp. 61 – 136 . Hsee , C. K. – Yang , A. X. – Wang , L. ( 2010 ): Idleness Aversion and the Need for Justifiable Busyness . Psychological Science

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uigurischen Manichäismus an der Seidenstraße. Forschungen zu manichäischen Quellen und ihrem geschichtlichen Hintergrund . [Studies in Oriental Religions 50.] Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz . Moriyasu , Takao 2004b . ‘From Silk, Cotton and Copper Coin to

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