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THE ANCIENT MYTHOLOGY IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT
The book offered to attention of the reader represents three independent essays joined by common idea. This attempt is nonconventional for Russian science about antiquity to consider the antique myth not only as component of religious world outlook, that was made already repeatedly in the domestic scientific literature by the philosophers and philologists, but also as the phenomenon of a political history, and besides to show the reception of the classical myth not only in an epicentre of an antique civilization, but also on its peripherals, both its supporters, and opponents1.
The Greek myths and their heroes are known rather well., Much less we know about role played the mythology in this or that period of the Greek history and place it held in life of the separate people as well.
The research of mythology of the ancient Greeks has a durable history. The collection of information about most ancient periods of the Athenian history begun by the ancient Greeks themselves. As the pioneers of this direction we can name the playwrights using known mythological plots. Among them best known are playwrighters Eschyles, Sophocles, Euripides. The valuable items of information on the Athenian kings and the heroes contain works of the Greek historians Herodotes, Thucydides, philosopher Aristotle. The latter was an author of many compositions, in which it is possible to find mentions both about the heroes of an antiquity, and about the mentioned above characters.
Not smaller value for learning of the history and mythology have also works of the late Greek authors: “Geography” by Strabo, numerous works of the historian and philosopher Plutarch, “the Description of Greece” by Pausanias, and also assigned to Apollodores “the Mythological Library”.
The learning of mythology of ancient Greeks started simultaneously with research of their history. Originally the mythology was surveyed mainly in historical and religious context. In the middle of our century there are some directions for studying various aspects of becoming and evolution of the Greek mythology. One of the scholars survey mythology mainly as the constituent of mentality of the ancient Greeks2. Others tend to outline boundaries of “myth” and “knowledge”3. Thirds links the mythology with religious ritual4. The contextual studying of the Greek mythology began recently5. However learning of mythology in a historical context was not practically undertaken, if let alone small units in survey of P. Cartledge6. Thus, the present section is invoked to fill a blank, existing in modern research science.
First — introductory — section of this essay are deal with problems of interrelation of a history and mythology. The author pays attention to a huge role of the heroic myth. The heroes were the most esteemed mythological characters. A question on evolution of mythological consciousness is staked here during long historical period — from archaic age up to the epoch of Pericles.
Next chapter devoted to the analysis of the Athenian mythological tradition. The mythology represented the corpus of the items of information applying for historical reliability. For example. The items of information on the Athenian kings, in section are made attempts to clarify a degree of credibility of mythological tradition.
In third, most extensive part of the unit, is regarded an issue about a role of mythology and separate mythological characters in concrete historical events. The speech here goes about such persons, as Solon, Pisistrates, Kimon and Pericles.
The second section of the books presented by
Roman Dalmatia covered not only the Adriatic coast of Croatia, but practically all Bosnia and Herzegovina, and also west of modern Serbia. Here during I Century
East neighbour of Dalmatia — Upper Moesia — included the most part of modern Serbia, territory of former Yugoslavian republic of Macedonia, and also the northwestern part of modern Bulgaria. These two provinces were similar not only by the fact of durable presence of a Roman troops in their territory, but also by those circumstances, that legion garrison of the Upper Moesia was formed, mainly, at the expense of translation there of troops from Dalmatia. Resettlers from Dalmatia were involved in mastering of a province Moesia. Since second half of the I Cent.
The territory of these provinces is selected as the object of research not accidentally. From most ancient times the western part of the Balkan peninsula was for a rendezvous point of various civilizations and cultural traditions. In particular, in an antiquity here passed boundary between the Greek and Roman spheres of cultural influence. The attempt to define cultural self-identification placed here soldiers of Roman army, to understand, as far as is deep in their consciousness the images of Roman and Greek mythology were implanted, to observe paths of distribution connected with them iconography the learning of various assemblies of the inscribed monuments will help us. Most appreciable, besides three parts of the third volume “Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum”, are the assemblies “Der Antiken Inschriften aus Jugoslawien”, prepared by B. Saria and V. Hoffiler (Zagreb, 1938) and “Inscriptiones Latinae quae in Iugoslavia… reperta”, published in three parts by A. and J. Sasel (Ljubljana, 1963, 1978, 1986). Since 1976 in Belgrad under edition of F. Papazoglou the issuing a multivolume series “Inscriptiones latines de la Mesie Superioure”, proceeding till now began. Systematic issuing of the Roman epigraphics from Bosnia — Herzegovin a in the age of XIX—
The epigraphic material from adjacent provinces is used also. The territory of former Upper Pannonia is rich by the Roman inscriptions especially. Composition of this province included grounds of modern Austria, Hungary, Slovenia. This territory became one of the first advanced posts of Roman military presence in the Balkan-Danube locale. The Roman troops placed in Upper Pannonia were closely connected to Roman garrison of Dalmatia and Upper Moesia. The special attention deserves the assemblies of epigraphical material from Carnuntum — legion camp on Danube in vicinities of Vienna existing about 400 years7, and also from veteran colony Savaria8.
We have involved also the epigraphical material from a Roman province Noricum, surrounding a part of modern Austria and Slovenia. Here was a Roman colony Celeia, settled by the numerous veterans and delivering a plenty of the soldiers in Roman army9.
The numismatic data presented in monographic researches by
The representation of the Roman phaleras is a subject of our special attention. Though the special researches on the given sort of sources are absent, there are depleting researches on separate groups of phaleras, where the appropriate illustrative material14 is presented.
In spite of the fact that in the scientific literature there are numerous publications concerning separate aspects of spiritual culture (not only religion) of army and the population of frontier provinces of Roman empire, the links on which the reader will find at reading the chapters of the second unit of the book the special researches devoted to a place of antique mythological tradition in mentality of army of Roman empire till now were not.
In the first chapter undressed the features of Roman mythology as a whole are parsed and the main stages of development “of the Roman myth” are taped. The second chapter is devoted to a place of antique mythology in imperial propagation. The characters and images of antique mythology in official propagation intended for army are parsed. Besides the problem of perception “of the Roman myth” in soldier’s mass on an extent I—
The third section of the work prepared by A. Ju. Bratukhin is devoted to the reception of antique mythology in the early Christian patristic literature. The works of the apologists of a christianity II—
In the first chapter undressed the main directions in interpretation of the antique myths by the Christian apologists are taped. In the second chapter the motives of different treatment by the early Christian writers, first of all, Tertullianus of Greek, Roman, Eastern myths are taped. In third, conclusive chapter the author researches a problem of adequacy of perception by the early Fathers of Church of antique mythology.
The monography is distinguished with stylistic variety. The authors of the first and second part — historians, whereas the third part is written by the philologist. The authors would like to hope, that the style of presentation, characteristic for historical works, is successfully supplemented by a manner, inherent in the philologists, of fulfillment of operation.
Some words about the authors of this book.
A. Ju. Bratukhin is also the pupil of university of Sankt-Petersburg. He has completed doctoral studies on the faculty of classical philology under the direction of the professor
The section “Antique mythology and army of imperial Rome” is prepared by