The Greek culture of dialogue and of political decision-making process at Hellenistic Kings’ court

The article deals with the problem of the political decision-making process at the court of the Hellenistic Kings. The Hellenistic Kings possessed a strong power and vast material and human resources. They took the administrative, legislative, juridical, military and other branches of power in their hands. Nevertheless in many cases when we have the possibility to follow the decision–making process one can notice that many kings preferred the collective forms of searching for the best solution of the state problems. The Hellenistic Kings involved courtiers who were their advisers and consultants in the decision-making process and in many cases were open for dialogue and for free discussions, for the alternative opinions of the advisers. The phenomenon of collective discussion could be easily explained as a political pragmatism, when dialogue, discussion or a brain-storm give much better result to find the right solution and to avoid mistakes. At the same time dialogue and discussion were the immanence of the Greek culture, the Greek cultural “code”. The culture of dialogue and discussion was highly developed in a Greek world. It influenced the education, the cultural and political life, etc. The Hellenistic Kings were educated according to the Greek tradition and they transferred the culture of dialogue and discussion into the political life of the state. Thus political pragmatism was combined with the features of Greek culture.

Cicero on the gods and Roman religious practices

The article analyses Cicero’s attitude to gods, religion, divination, and superstition. Cicero follows tradition in acknowledging the existence of the gods, considering them immortal, blissful, animate, and anthropomorphic. He is ambivalent about the interaction between the gods and people. Cicero considers religion important for the Roman people because this was the popular belief — it was not his own viewpoint. Cicero thinks that people obtain divination from the gods. According to Cicero, there are two types of divination: artificial (auspices, haruspices, divination by lightning, stars, and other signs of nature) and natural (predictions in a dream, in a state of ecstasy, before death). In relation to divination, we see how multi-dimensional Cicero’s beliefs were: as a philosopher, he can accept or deny divination; as a Roman politician, he regards divination as an important instrument of the Roman religious rituals. Cicero opposes superstition to religion in his theological works, but in his secular works, he uses superstition and religion as synonyms.

Jewish society and family tradition in funerary inscriptions

The aim of this article is to present the Jewish social and family values in Antiquity, as they can be perceived mostly through a reading of the funerary inscriptions. Details regarding the care and feelings towards the deceased, as well as wishes for the potential violators of the tombs are also envisaged. The content of the epitaphs also provides precious information on the names, titles and the age of the deceased, on the causes of death, and the epithets denoting close relationships between the members of the family.

La population dans les villages situés entre Sacidava et Axiopolis

The author presents the epigraphic record of the countryside in the region Sacidava–Axiopolis (Lower Moesia). The population is not attested as living in organized structure like uici. However, the presence of military forces indicates a civilian population living in the proximity of military camps. The mention of Thracians recruited in the Roman army demonstrates that there was an indigenous organization before the Roman conquest. The veterans are also installed in the region, like Roman citizens inhabitants of Durostorum and Tomis, who had bought rural properties. Axiopolis was a harbour, and the existence of an association of nautae implies a quite cosmopolite population in the rural milieu of this town.

Neoplatonic Asclepius: Science and religion at the crossroads of Aristotelian biology, Hippocratic medicine and Platonic theurgy

In the first part of the paper, I will briefly discuss certain peculiarities of the medical profession in antiquity. In his Philosophical History (fr. 80–84 Athanassiadi) Damascius narrates about a philosopher, named Asclepiodotus, whose interests ranged from Platonic philosophy to Aristotelian natural sciences. Asclepiodotus’ instructor in medical matters, a son of a doctor from the island of Rhodos, Iacobus, is pictured by Damascius as an exemplary figure (fr. 84), who, unlike many of his contemporaries, always tested the opinions of others and gained a reputation of an extremely successful physician, although the methods of treatment, ascribed to him by Damascius, are highly reminiscent of those presented as the Pythagorean by Iamblichus (On the Pythagorean way of life 244). In this respect both Iacobus and Asclepiodotus are conformed to the best standards of medical ethics, and pass the test set by Galen in his “On examination by which the best physicians are recognized”, except perhaps by the fact that they preferred to base their activities on such authorities as Aristotle and the Methodist Soranus rather than on a list of the “dogmatists” proposed by Galen. In the second part of the paper, dedicated to the cult of Asclepius in Late Antiquity, I will look at various kinds of evidence taken from the Neoplatonic philosophers. Having discussed first the principal philosophical interpretations of Asclepius found in Apuleius, Aelianus, Macrobius, Julian, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus, Damascius, etc., we turn to Proclus’ attitude to Athena and Asclepius as reflected in Marinus’ Vita Procli and finally discuss the cult of Eshmun as found in Damascius. The textual data are supported by archaeological evidence from the “House of Proclus” in Athens.

A new exploratory project: The ethnoarchaeology of salt in the Inner Carpathian area of Romania

This new ethnoarchaeological research project focuses on the inner-Carpathian area of Romania. The archaeological and ethnographic vestiges of salt exploitation in this area are among the most consistent in Europe. They are closely interconnected and reveal the continuity of salt exploitation in the same locations from prehistory to the present. From the methodological point of view, the project avail itself of the experience gained and validated by the projects carried out under the aegis of the “Al. I. Cuza” University of Iași and of the National Museum of the Eastern Carpathians in collaboration with prominent research centres from France, UK, US, and Germany. The new project will tackle a number of new issues, including the reconstruction of the prehistoric salt-exploitation techniques that employed wooden installations such as those unearthed in a number of archaeological sites from northern Transylvania and Maramureș, the transport of salt along streams with limited discharges, and others. New research methods will also be tested, such as the virtual simulation of certain salt-exploitation technological processes.

Indigenous naming practices in the Western Mediterranean: the case of Iberian

The Iberian language is directly attested by ca. 2250 inscriptions spanning the period from the 5th century BC to the 1st century AD, distributed between Eastern Andalusia and Languedoc. Although it must be considered a non-deciphered language, a large number of personal names have been identified in Iberian texts. The document that enabled the understanding of the basic structure of Iberian names is a Latin inscription from Italy (the Ascoli Bronze) recording the grant of Roman citizenship to Iberians who had fought for Rome during the Social War (90–88 BC). The study of this document paved the way for the identification of Iberian names in texts written in local languages, on the one hand, and in Latin and Greek epigraphic and literary sources on the other. This paper provides a state-of-the-art overview of research on Iberian onomastics, by synthesising the main recent achievements along with the remaining lines of research; it also investigates our understanding of the grammatical and syntactic structure of Iberian names, and analyses the evolution of Iberian naming patterns under Roman domination, by taking into account both Iberian and Latin documents.

People of Carthago Noua (Hispania Citerior). Juridical status and onomastics

The conquest of Carthago Noua in the summer of 209 BC was a traumatic moment of change for the Punic capital on the Iberian Peninsula. Literary sources tell us about its unique geographical position and its flourishing economy based on mining and port activities, but do not mention its political situation. What happened to their citizens? What was their legal status until the promotion to Roman colony at the end of the Republican era? In order to look for an answer to this problem, an onomastic database has been created, identifying the inhabitants of Carthago Noua with epigraphic mentions since 209 BC until the end of 1st century BC. Getting over the traditional separation between prosopography and epigraphy, this study seeks to make an interdisciplinary analysis with the main characteristics of both disciplines. The results show us a profoundly Romanized society since its conquest where the names of the Roman gentes were transmitted through the Republican era to the Empire on duo/tria nomina structures, which could only exist under specific legal conditions. This gives us important clues to explore the legal status of the city in the Republican era, probably a Latin colony.