The Ethiological Mythos of Russian Empire and Study of Cultural Changes in the Northern Black Sea Region from the 3rd c. BC to the mid-3rd c. AD
The cultural change in the ‘Barbarian’ world of the North Pontic region from the 3rd century BC to the mid-3rd century AD did not belong to a special field of interest of ancient authors. Antique narratives contain only information about certain manifestations of such processes. In Russia, the interest in studying of cultural changes that took place in the steppes of Eastern Europe in antiquity appeared in the early 18th century, in connection with the accession of new territories in East and West. The core of the cultural-historical model, which was formed and then developed in the Russian historical science, was the idea of a constant change of peoples in the Northern Black Sea region, and about the historical role of this region as a buffer zone between East and West. On this basis, there was formed an etiological myth of the Russian empire, in fact justifying its impressive size, its length along the metageographical axis of Eurasia, and its historical role in destinies of Europe. This concept has received its final form at the early 20th century in works of Mikhail Rostovtsev.