Russian translation with introduction and commentary of the Classical Ethiopian text relating the story of the cadqan, Syrioan missionaries in 6th c. Axum. The text is preserved in 15 c. manuscript with moderate variants from two later mss.
STRABO’S “ANCIENT CHERSONESUS”. RESULTS OF RESEARCH CARRIED OUT IN 1985–1990
Angelina A. Zedgenidze
The paper presents results of excavations of fortified constructions on the isthmus of Mayachny Peninsula where Strabo’s “ancient Chersonesus” is located. The main objects of the excavations were the western wall which dates from the end of the 5th — the beginning of the 4th century B.C. and a complex of constructions near this wall which functioned from the first quarter to the end of the 4th century B.C. The structure of the site points to its strategic role. The results of our excavations lead to the conclusion that the fortifications on the isthmus served as an outpost of the polis and provide evidence that Mayachny Peninsula was the earliest chora of Chersonesus. The vacant space of the complex is interpreted as refuges in case of danger for those who lived in Mayachny Peninsula. The excavations also clarify the spatial organisation of the fortifications on the isthmus.
The article discusses the changes undergone by historical themes and heroes of ancient Chinese history in the poetic texts of the Ming period (fourteenth to seventeenth centuries) collected by the noted anthologist Shen De-qian (1637–1769) in his Ming shi be cai. In later verse, poets increasingly tend to abandon the simple historical analogy – which was typical of the earlier poetic tradition – in favor of the symbolic game based on the age-old typification of historical figures: the “hero,” the “villain,” the “avenger.” In doing so, they diverge from the typical historical narrative with its attention to subtle detail and gradation of moral assessments. The hypothesis advanced in the article is that, for lack of a consistent mythology and a fullfledged epic tradition in China, historical figures eventually begin to perform the function of the heroes of myths and epic narratives, eventually supplanting them, whereas the historical narrative – e.g., the Historical Records (Shi ji) by Ssu-ma Qian (ca. 145–85 B.C.) – becomes, in a manner of speaking, a source of quasi-mythological or pseudo-epic subject matter.
The article offers an analysis of the central motif in Euripides’ tragedy Helen - the motif of deception and illusion (ἀπάτη). In the course of the play, the meaning of this motif changes from negative to positive: in its first half, deception is the cause of grief and sorrow, whereas in its second half it brings happiness and turns out to be morally good. On the one hand, this structure is close to sophistical argumentation for and against known as “Double Talk”. At the same time, the motif of deception may be related to the historical context of the play. The ruinous deception in the first half of Helen could refer to the audience’s idea of the Sicilian expedition and the causes of its defeat, and the redemptive deception in the second part of the play to the theatrical delusion relieving the audience of the pain of a heavy defeat and loss of the near and dear.
The paper proposes a textual and literary interpretation of a fragment from Euripides’ Danae (fr. 324 Kannicht). The author argues that in this fragment Euripides uses the method of “rationalization of myth”, quite widespread in the fifth century culture in general and in Euripides’ tragedies in particular. In Danae the aim of this method is not philosophical but dramatic. The author also rejects a widely accepted interpretation of this fragment as the beginning of an agon between Acrisius and Danae, in which Acrisius advocates the role of wealth in human life and Danae is the proponent of poverty. The fragments usually divided between Acrisius and Danae must all be included in Acrisius’ speech, in which he accuses Danae of her love for wealth.
The article deals with an important problem of the world and Russian Egyptology, i.e. with the interpretation of a statement by the Alexandrian scientist of the 4th-5th centuries A.D. Theon on an era “after Menophris” (ἀπὸ Μενόφρεως) allegedly started at the beginning of the “Sothic period” in 1322/1 B.C. The first part of the article analyses the polemic on the identification of the name *Μενόφρις with a specific Ancient Egyptian royal name, with a special attention towards the positions of the Russian Soviet Egyptologists V.V. Struve and O.D. Berlev. The former one forwarded in 1920s was embedded in the world scholarship and contained a number of errors, which remained unnoticed due to a decline of the scholarly criticism at the period. On the contrary, Berlev’s position (1999) was totally original and in fact trail-blazing for the ultimate solution of the problem. The second part of the article proposes a development of Berlev’s position. The epithet “Memphite” (*Mn-nfry) that backed the name *Μενόφρις and was originally applied to Zoser, the inaugurator of the “Sothic calendar”, could be transferred on an image of a great king that reigned in Egypt after the catastrophe of the Amarna time. This king could be considered the founder of the “Memphite time” in Egyptian history, the creator of the “Sothic’ calendar” and respectively the contemporary of the start of a “Sothic period” (Theon’s “Menophris’ era”).
Archaeological findings show that iron has been known and used in the Ancient Near East since the 4th Mil. B.C., at the latest. The earlist written evidence of iron dates back to the early 2nd Mil. B.C. and comes from Old Assyrian (Cappadocian) tablets. Contemporary Old Babylonian sources about this metal are extremely scarce, with the only exception: over forty Mari documents, mostly administrative texts to be (re)published in ARMT 32, offer rich new data on iron in this period. As everywhere in early Antiquity, iron was highly appreciated in Mari and had an intermediate standing between noble metals and precious stones. Unlike Cappadocian texts that usually speak about raw iron, it is always mentioned in Mari in the form of handicraft objects, which most often served as diplomatic presents between royal courts. These objects include dozens of decorations (ear, finger, arm, ankle and neck rings; dress pins; sun disk and crescent shaped medallions; seal mountings etc.) as well as weapons, vessels and even a mirror. One document also seems to mention “ironsmiths”. This evidence shows that iron, though rare and extremely expensive, was well known in Old Babylonian Upper Mesopotamia and probably far more widespread than usually thought.
The article proposes new interpretations of three passages from Euripides’ Alcestis. All of these passages are linked to one of two main themes of the tragedy, i.e. the antithesis of retribution and grace, and the contrast between persuasion and force. First, it is argued that τέκτονες in the phrase τέκτονας Δίου πυρὸς (on the Cyclopes) in v. 5 should be understood as ‘carpenters’ in the narrow sense and not generally as ‘craftsmen’. This interpretation links the representation of the Cyclopes as carpenters to the image of lightnings they forge as spears. The choice of the word τέκτονες is also caused by its phonetic similarity to κτείνω repeatedly used in the same passage; the Cyclopes’ craft is thus incorporated into the line of murders through which the law of mutual retribution works. In the second note, the meaning of the epithet ὅσιος referred to both Apollo and Admetus in v. 10 is discussed. It is demonstrated that the epithet describes the favours done by Apollo and Admetus to each other; thus, this word points to mutual favours contrasted to mutual retribution. In the third note, the meaning of δίκη in Apollo’s words to Thanatos (δίκην τοι καὶ λόγους κεδνοὺς ἔχω) is discussed. It is argued that δίκη is used here in the sense of arguing a case in a lawsuit: Apollo is going to limit himself to verbal arguments just as in a trial. Apollo’s δίκη is contrasted to the behaviour of Heracles, who acts by force and thus achieves his victory over Death.
The present study deals with animal husbandry in Sumer at the end of the third millennium B.C. It is based on documents related to the institutions specializing in fattening аnimals for cultic purposes in the province of Girsu at the time of the Third dynasty of Ur. A group of Neo-Sumerian documents referring to the daily supply of fodder for the animals at the sheeppen é-udu gibil is discussed in details, and an attempt is made to determine their date. On the basis of the evidence of another kind of documents – inspection lists of workers – it is suggested that several fattening sheep-pens (é-udu) in Girsu were in fact departments of one single institution called é-kurušda ĝír-suki.
The paper surveys the current state of knowledge about Sumerian loanwords in Akkadian and is intended as a prolegomenon to future studies dealing with specific lexemes. The paper discusses the following problems: identification of Sumerian loanwords in Akkadian and vice versa; key sources for reconstructing Sumerian phonology.
The paper continues the previous research by the author aiming to summarize the current knowledge about Sumerian loanwords in Akkadian. It discusses Sumerian loanwords in Akkadian as a source for reconstructing Sumerian phonology and the chronological stratification of Sumerian loanwords in Akkadian.
The author analyses the evolution of the idea of magic refl ected in the decrees of Christian Roman Emperors included in the Theodosian Code. He describes the place of the chapter De malefi cis in the structure of Book IX of the Theodosian Code and analyses its constitutions. Special attention is paid to the possible sources of the norms described and to the connection between the evolution of Christianity and the tightening of anti-magic legislation.
The Ring Around Egypt: Isolationist Motives in the Book of Victory over Seth and in the Satrap Stela Ladynin Ivan A., Karlova Ksenia F. The article considers a fragment of the so-called Book of Victory over Seth (a text of the fourth century B.C. aimed at the magical defeat of the god Seth and, respectively, Egypt’s foreign foes). This fragment (Urk. VI. 29. 8–15) seems to reflect the notion that the foreign lands around Egypt (their ‘circle’, dbn) were the habitation of the ‘dead’ (mwt) Seth and a dangerous and totally strange world. Any foreign expansion had therefore no value. This notion correlates well with the concept of the Satrap Stela of 311 B.C. presenting the wars of the Satrap Ptolemy as defensive and juxtaposing Egypt with all other countries, with similar allusions to the image of Seth. Probably, the isolationist concept of both texts was largely the same and was intended to explain Egypt’s inability under Dynasty XXX and later under the Satrap Ptolemy to eliminate, respectively, the menace from Persians and from Antigonus and Demetrius.