Pottery kiln: A technological approach to Early Eneolithic black-topped production in Transylvania

The present paper uses the parameters revealed by archaeometric investigations of the Foeni group Early Eneolithic pottery from Alba Iulia–Lumea Nouă site, in order to make possible the experimental reconstruction of the black-topped pottery local firing technique. The distinctive features of this fineware category are the well burnished red body, with black (sometimes metallic) look on the rim, as well as on the pot interior. The results indicate the chromatic effect is due to the controlled mixed firing, oxidation and reduction atmosphere, in one step operation technique. This process was carried out using an updraught kiln with a circular base having 0.80 m in diameter and a height of 0.90 m. During firings the temperatures reached did not exceed the temperature indicated by the analyses (700–850°C), and both firing atmospheres had been achieved simultaneously. The experimental samples resembled Foeni vessels completely. The most important aspect of the firing method which we used is the fact that the results are controllable and repeatable.

At the borders of Ancient Dacia. The Danube Gorge sector

The construction of the Dacian Kingdom in the Transylvanian area would not have been possible without the favourable combination between the military and political infrastructure and the exceptional military capacities of certain warlords. The Roman Empire managed to install itself on the entire right bank of the Danube, as part of an Imperial policy. Thus, the Danube became, after lengthy efforts, an important natural obstacle between the Roman world and the “Barbarians”. In our view, a special interest zone for understanding the said phenomena is the Danube Gorge as here, for over a century, the armies of Rome and those of the Dacian kings were in direct and permanent contact, separated only by the great European river. A series of four Dacian forts defended this area, the most important being the one from Divici–Grad, where two curved weapons, typical to Dacian professional warriors were found. It is likely that the garrison stationed here, obviously related to the power centre from the Șureanu Mountains, was composed of elite soldiers, as the weapons, type of fortification tower itself, and geographical position converge towards this hypothesis.

Le système de la vengeance dans les poèmes d’Homère

The article deals with terms connected to revenge in Homeric poems. The examination puts into attention seven ways of revenge: (1) the penal composition; (2) the exile; (3) the setting of chains; (4) the divine punishment; (6) the revenge of a friend in a battle; and (7) the oppression of an individual belonging to a lower social status. The interactions between the tribunals and revenge of private persons are also studied. The judgement court and the revenge of individuals are described by different terms. In the society contemporary to Homer, the court does not interfere in individual revenge.

The concept cum dignitate otium in Cicero’s writings

The paper investigates the social and political concept ‘cum dignitate otium’ in Cicero’s writings. The concept is commonly translated as “leisure with dignity”. The meaning is not so simple. The concept can be either a political or a social category. As a political category, ‘cum dignitate otium’ means “peace with dignity” that the best citizens, optimates, wealthy and powerful statesmen had in the Roman society of Cicero’s times. It was optimates’ activity contrasted to other people’s activities. Cicero also used the concept ‘cum dignitate otium’ in a social sense. It meant “peaceful leisure full of studies” or “peace in private affairs”.

Democratic elements in the Spartan political structure

The article deals with the dynamics of the Spartan statehood. We argue that this development was going in a different direction than, for example, in Athens. In Sparta, where the initial elements of democracy were quite strong, gradually went a process of strengthening of oligarchic principles. Even the Ephorate, which initially functioned as an organ of the Spartan democracy, had lost all of its democratic features by the end of the classical period. We believe that at this time the board of ephors had already become an integral part of the ruling oligarchs. Sources’ analysis shows that in the classic period the state system of Sparta gradually evolved from the traditional “hoplite politeia” to the clannish oligarchy. As a result, the ruling elite became less dependent and accountable to the common people than it was before. If the late Sparta can be called democratic polis, it is only in comparison with the oriental despotism.

Herodotus’ Renaissance return to Western-European culture

Herodotus can be counted among the most important ancient historians. Indeed, his Histories represent the main source for the Graeco–Persian wars. However, the reception of his work has undergone many changes since the time it was written. The following study deals with Herodotus’ reception in the time of the Renaissance. The author tries to answer and explain two basic questions that are narrowly connected with his name. The first problem relates to his veracity. The study addresses the question of how he was accepted by humanists — was he considered a faithful historian or a less trustworthy storyteller? The second problem relates to him as a pagan author being accepted by Christians. The author focuses on the mechanism which enabled this unusual combination.