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., opening new windows to understanding the prehistorical or historical pre-mining phase of rock salt exploitation.

Les importations grecques dans le territoire de Kosovo

The authors analyse all the archaeological finds coming from ancient Greece on the territory of Kosovo, also presenting an overview on the commercial exchanges between the actual territory of Kosovo and Greece, with a particular interest on trade routes. The social differentiation in Dardania at the beginning of the Iron Age made possible the aristocracy’s interest for the luxury products from Greece. The commercial exchanges existed from the Bronze Age. The study also focuses on the influence of Greek products on the local production in Dardania.

A salt production site at Gherla–Valea Sărată (Transylvania). Preliminary report

The article presents the preliminary results of the archaeological and ethnographic explorations of the site with remains of salt exploitation from Gherla–Valea Sărată. The site is located at ca. 1800 m south-west of the city of Gherla, Romania, and covers the valley of a salt creek measuring ca. 3000 m (N–S) × 550 m (E–W). In the northern sector of the site, around a salt water basin that was recently developed, on a surface measuring ca. 70 m (N–S) × 60 m (E–W), there were identified and studied various archaeological remains: traces from structures of wooden poles and wattle, ceramic fragments and a stone axe. They date from the Neolithic or the Eneolithic, the early and middle Bronze Age, and the modern period. The discovered remains are, by most probabilities, related to the exploitation of the salt water. In the northern and central part of the site there are numerous cavities and earth mounds, as well as other soil irregularities of anthropic origin, for which it was not possible to advance a dating. The northern part of the site yielded several structures from the recent period: two roofed salt water wells with timber shafts, both recently re-developed using fresh and reclaimed timber. Across the entire site there are several salt springs with basic furnishings. In the northern and central part of the site there are several “scalde” — pools with basic furnishings used for treatments with salt water and mud, without any supervision from healthcare personnel. Near the largest of these “scalde”, there have been discovered fragments a wayside crucifix, specific to the area. It was most likely dedicated to the curative properties of the “salt place”. According to the interviewed denizens, the saline manifestations from Valea Sărată are exploited to a large extent in the traditional economy: for cooking and preserving human food and animal fodder, and in folk medicine. Also relevant is that Valea Sărată is one of the preferred grazing locations for sheep according to the local shepherds, who mentioned that animals particularly like the grass growing in saline soils. The brine from Valea Sărată is considered by the locals and inhabitants of the surrounding villages as “the best of the area”, so that people from multiple settlements around a 10 km radius come regularly to Valea Sărată for collecting brine and for bathing. The site has a high potential for more in-depth interdisciplinary research.

The notion of justice in Roman wars and the fetial law

Both in scientific literature and popular mind the Romans are considered e the symbol of aggression, militarism and conquest, but the more thorough analysis shows that many of Roman wars were really defensive or at least began as a war of defence and Th. Mommsen’s idea of “defensive imperialism” has a good deal of sense. The fetial law with its concept of “bellum iustum” stands at the foundation of Roman idea of international relations and was (despite all possible speculations) an important step in the world of undeclared warfare of “civilized (Greeks, Carthaginians) or “uncivilized” (Gauls, Germans and others) nations. Most wars (about 60 of 100) of 5th-3rd centuries BC are depicted in Roman tradition as self-defence, while the period from the Samnite Wars till the time of Julius Caesar becomes the time of the defence of numerous Roman amici and socii. On these principles grows the global doctrine of the defence of “human civilization” against the “barbarian world” and the establishment of world order, based on law and justice. One may consider this picture as an instrument of propaganda, but many of these ideas and declarations were real truth.

The cult of Mercury in Roman Gaul and Roman Britain

According to Julius Caesar, of all the gods Celts revered Mercury the most, regarding him as the inventor of all arts. The cult of Mercury became widespread not only in Roman Gaul, which was one of the most thoroughly Romanised provinces of the Empire, but also in Roman Britain — the farthest western area governed by the Roman Empire. In both provinces Mercury was worshipped as the patron of commerce, which befitted him as the Roman god of trade and profit. At the same time, in both Gaul and Britain Mercury was syncretized with the Celtic horned god of fertility. Archaeological findings from these regions also suggest that the Mercury worshipped in Britain and Gaul during the Roman rule was also the guardian of military affairs — a role absolutely untypical of the original Roman god, but necessary for the supreme god of Celts who was the divine warrior-patron of Celtic tribes. Besides, the magical-chthonic aspect of Celtic Mercury likened him to Hermes, the god of eschatological and mystical endeavour of humankind in the religion of the Ancient Mediterranean.