Posts by Stefan Caliniuc:

Complex Genealogies in Mesopotamia: From Mesilim to Tukultī-Ninurta I

The current article examines four case studies of complex genealogies in Mesopotamia from the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE. The first three case studies are focused on the complex genealogies used by 3rd millennium BC kings in the Early Dynastic Period III, in Lagaš II, and in the period of 3rd Dynasty of Ur. The fourth case study deals with Assyrian king Tukultī-Ninurta I (1242–1206 BCE).

On the Lineage of King Telepinu

Sources on the reign of the Hittite king Telepinu, including the principle source in the form of an edict issued by the king himself, are unfortunately taciturn about his relationship to previous kings. Such information that we do have hints at two possibilities: he was either a son or a son-in-law of Ammuna, a previous ruler. He is tied to Huzziya I, a usurper, but the latter’s position in the dynasty is uncertain as well. This article makes the case for the view that Telepinu married into the royal family rather than being born into it, and Huzziya I was a lower-rank son who had to eliminate higher-standing candidates in order to ascend to the throne.

Manipulating Genealogies: Pheidon of Argos and the Stemmas of the Argive, Macedonian, Spartan and Median Kings

The article focuses on the manipulations of the genealogy of a legendarily famous Argive king or tyrant Pheidon ruling during the Greek Archaic Age (eighth to sixth century BC). The ancients did not possess any precise knowledge about his dating, which caused variable attempts to locate him in time. On the other hand, he became a target of different synchronisations which led to the manipulation not only of the Argive data, but also the genealogies of the Macedonian, the Median and the Assyrian kings. The discussion will reveal how genealogical evidence, or pseudo-evidence, was forged and manipulated for arriving at ostensibly historical accounts which, although possibly based on genuine traditions, produced visions of the past which in many points clearly did not correspond to the truth.

Der Mythos im Dienst der Politik: das Beispiel der euripideischen Tragödie Ion

The author analyzes the Euripidean tragedy Ion. In this article an attempt was made to explain some important elements, such as the date, when the play could have been staged, and political situation of Athens in that time. Essential question were mythical innovations in this tragedy. The author looks for sources of these innovations and their influence on propaganda meaning of Ion. Regarding the problem of date, when the tragedy was staged, there were additionally made some methodological remarks. Very helpful in that chapter were auxiliary sources, such as another literary sources and epigraphical sources.

A Genealogy of Pythagoras

This article deals with different traditions of the genealogy of Pythagoras of Samos (c. 570–480 BC). It shows how three versions of Pythagoras’s lineage were combined in antiquity. Firstly, Pythagoras could be seen as the son of human parents who themselves descend from Ancaeus, the mythical founder and first king of Samos who is closely connected with both Greek and Near Eastern mythology. Secondly, there is the tradition that Pythagoras was the son of a human mother and Apollo, which goes together with the important role that this deity played in the religion of Pythagoreanism from the very start. Finally, the Pythagorean doctrine of metempsychosis holds another possibility in explaining Pythagoras’s genealogy that connects him directly with the shamanistic motif of the soul-journey. A distinct analysis of the sources shows that the symbiosis of all three traditions was obviously the most common way of explaining Pythagoras’s genealogy.

The Origin Myths as a Possible Basis for Genealogy of the Inca Imperial Dynasty in Ancient Peru

This article discusses whether the Peruvian myths could help to confirm the thesis of the possible origin of the Inca imperial dynasty of pre-Columbian Peru from the Tiahuanaco culture, and shows that the purpose of the official ideology of the Incas was to justify the descent of the imperial dynasty directly from the gods. In the focus are origin myths of the Incas and archaeological data. Manco Capak who supposedly ruled the Inca at the time of their arrival at the Cuzco Valley, became the first half-legendary ruler of the country and started the official Inca dynasty. Two versions of origin myth end with the account of building Cuzco city by Manco in the name of Viracocha the Creator and Inti the sun god. The founding of city in the name of two gods could be interpreted in a manner uniquely provident and theocratic for the history of the Andean state Tahuantinsuyu: Viracocha had provided that Manco’s tribe will rule the world, and Manco started to carry it out at the will and guidance of god Inti. Thus, the civilisational mission of the Inca found a theological explanation as well. The ethnocentric and imperialist origin myth formed the ideological foundation for establishing so-called early totalitarian state. Ancient Peruvian myths can also be effectively seen in the context of genealogical interpretation of the imperial dynasty of Incas.

Community Structure, Economy and Sharing Strategies in the Chalcolithic Settlement of Hăbășești, Romania

This study considers a broader analysis conducted at the community level at Hăbășești. The community is presented as a social institution made up of interactions beyond the household level. The spatial configuration of the settlement, different aspects of the dwellings, the distribution of activities at the settlement level and possibly the social structures associated with the dwellings are discussed here.

Settlement Spatial Distribution from Late Chalcolithic to Early Hallstatt in the Cracău-Bistrița Depression

The various geographical features had a major impact on the behaviour of prehistoric communities, which can be determined by identifying a series of characteristics and preferences regarding the geographical location of the settlement and the resources exploited. In a well-defined space, the population, as well as the development of human groups, is determined by the micro- and macro-regional geographical characteristics. The use of this type of analysis in the study of Cracău-Bistrița Depression, between the late Chalcolithic and the early Hallstatt, will contribute to a better knowledge of this segment of archaeological research in Romania. The present approach, combined with a high number of thorough field researches, can generate predictive models, thus contributing to a more complex overview of the archaeological characteristics, but also of geographical, geological conditions, etc. preferred by prehistoric communities in this area and beyond.

Prehistoric Gorgoneia: a Critical Reassessment

The purpose of this research is to investigate, re-evaluate and synthesize earliest images depicting the Gorgoneion (gorgon’s head) and Gorgon (whole-body). These figures refer to prehistory covering a wide chronological frame in the Aegean World. Ten artefacts in total comprising of pottery, masks, seals are examined simultaneously for the first time. A detailed, critical evaluation of their dating, and the trade connections between mainland Greece and the Aegean are discussed. The issue is about making a symbol of the deceased introduced much earlier than the Archaic and later antiquity, showing the evolution of this form and the associated mythology has deep roots in the remote past. The forms of the Gorgon of the Archaic period depict a monster demon-like bellows, with feathers, snakes or spiral tentacles in the head, tongue protruding from the mouth and tusks. Snakes are the predominant element of this gorgon, which composes the gargoyle’s hairstyle. This figure is identified and appropriately assessed from a dozen of images in pottery and semiprecious stones, in the wider prehistoric Aegean, making the related myths on Gorgon-Medusa interwoven with myths that have had a wide reflection throughout the later ancient times.

La perception du sceptre en Grèce de l’époque d’Homère et de Mycènes à la lumière des parallèles de l’Orient Antique

The symbols of royal power look like being similar to each other in various cultures of the Ancient World, but this resemblance may hide the regional specifics from the researchers. Early Greek sceptre and Hittite kalmus are considered to be equivalents of mace and of shepherd’s crook. However, this theory is not very convincing. Analysing the textual attestations of the Ancient Greek sceptre and Hittite kalmus, we have found out that these objects were considered as close to throwing weapon and therefore associated with a bolt of lightning, the symbol of the storm god. Archaeological evidences make clear that the symbols of power like sceptre have their origin in a weapon similar to spear.

Die Hypomeiones in Sparta

The article is devoted to the analysis of the structural changes in the civic community of Sparta at the end of the 5th–beginning of the 4th century ВС. The analysis of the sources shows that the civic community began to disintegrate and the new social group of Hypomeiones appeared just in this period. The author considers in detail questions connected with the reasons, time of appearance and status of this category of the Spartan citizenry. Particular attention is paid to the mechanism by which full citizens have lost some of their rights and have fallen down the social ladder, becoming Hypomeiones. The author examines all the sources related to this issue and shows as much as possible the extent to which this topic has been dealt with in Russian and Western historiography.

Kalokagathia: to a Question on Formation of an Image of the Ideal Person in Antiquity and During Modern Time

This paper is devoted to the analysis of the phenomenon of kalokagathia, developed by the Greek writers and philosophers in 5th–4th centuries BC The term kalokagathia combines two adjectives, with kalos designating outward, and agathos — inward perfection. The resulting neologism—a word-combination—denotes a predicate of perfection, with no existing synonyms to express the notion of virtue in the Greek lexicon at that time. For the upbringing of the ideal person, leisure (schole) was necessary, which in this slaveholding society was available to all free citizens. The author of the paper emphasises that during the Archaic period kalos kagathos was the self-determination of aristocracy, while during the Classical period the term acquired more generalized semantic value and was applied to worthy citizens of all strata of society. The specificity of the term kalokagathia was most fully developed in the writings of Thucydides and Xenophon. Thus, in Sparta kalos kagathos designated the ideal soldier, whereas in Athens — the ideal person and the citizen. The author of paper considers it difficult to give an adequate translation of the terms kalokagathia and kalos kagathos; therefore, it would be more rational to transliterate both of them. In the modern-day society, the concept of the ideal person appears to be in demand again, mainly within the framework for developing therapeutic sports and education system for the younger generations.

On the Representation and Self-representation of the Argead Rulers (before Alexander the Great): the Title Basileus

In this article, the author considers the use of the title basileus in relation to the Macedonian monarchs before Alexander the Great. He shows that the evidence we have does not prove the point that the Argeads ruling prior to the reign of Philip II bore the formal title basileus. As to Philip, it is not ruled out that some epigraphic documents attest the employment of the title basileus under him. Nevertheless, none of them can be regarded as irrefutable proof in the relation, and therefore it has to be recognized that at the present the question of Philip’s use of the official title basileus remains open.

Remarks on the so-called Plotinus’ Sarcophagus (‘Vatican Museums’, inv. 9504)

In this article, we offer some philosophical notes on the so-called Plotinus sarcophagus, currently exhibited in the ‘Vatican Museums’ (inv. 9504), which has been dated to the end of the third quarter of the 3rd century. Since the sarcophagus in question has been the subject of discussion among experts since the 1920s, our aim is to contribute to the scientific debate with a number of philosophical remarks to assist in the interpretation of the iconographic representation of the teacher teaching, accompanied by two Muses, but also to make particular reference to certain passages taken from the On the Life of Plotinus, written by his disciple, Porphyry, three decades after the death of his teacher.

Some Considerations on the Praefectus ripae legionis primae Ioviae cohortis et secundae Herculiae musculorum Scythicorum et classis in plateypegiis

This article examines the passage XXXIX, 35 from Notitia Dignitatum, the only literary source referring to the fleet commander in the Roman province of Scythia. The document mentions the praefectus of the fleet and two types of naval units under his control. Several questions can be raised about the status of the commander, the place where he or she resided, the nature and attributions of the fleet. Although the text has been studied by many historians, several reading proposals being advanced, the issue of the military fleet on the Scythian border remains open.

‘Rock Salt Around the Clock’. Ethnoarchaeological Research Concerning Traditional Extraction of Salt for Animal Consumption

In Romania, an EU Member State since 2007, there are several mountainous areas with enduring ancient practices of animal husbandry and exploitation of salt resources. Here, shepherds quarry rock salt from outcrops two to three times per year as nutrients for their sheep flocks, for which they travel up to 20–30 km. Salt thus becomes an essential element for increasing the spatial parameters of pastoral mobility. Complex ethnological models emerged within a broader research project (cf. ethnosalro.uaic.ro), opening new windows to understanding the prehistorical or historical pre-mining phase of rock salt exploitation.