Vol 13, No 3 (2021): Ancient Greece and Rome: Politics and Economics


Erichthonius or Theseus, who established the Panathenaea?

Gvozdeva T.B.


The sources know two versions of the establishing of Panathenaia, the main public holiday of the Athenian polis. The earliest version of aition of Panathenaia is associated with the history of the Athenian indigenous king Erichthonius. The son of Gaia and Hephaestus, Erichthonius was raised by the goddess Athena on the Acropolis, and after becoming king of Athens, he dedicated the feast of Panathenaia to the goddess. In the source, he is the first founder of the holiday. However, two types of Panathenaia were known in Athens: the Lesser Panathenaia, which were held annually, and the Greater Panathenaia, which, like the Olympic Games, were held every four years. Gradually, there appear pieces of new information about the history of the establishing of the Panathenaia in the mythological tradition. Now the authors distinguish two stages in the history of the feast, wherein the earlier one was called Athenaia. Gradually Erichthonius was relegated to the background, as founder Athenaeus, whereas the holiday got a new name - Panathenaia. This process was often associated with the synoekismus of Theseus, when he had united all the Athenians into one urban community. The cult of Theseus became especially popular in Athens after the reforms of Cleisthenes. Theseus' exploits are becoming a popular theme in Attic vase painting, especially scenes depicting the struggle, which Theseus was believed to be the founder of in Athens. At the same time, the program of the Panathenaic Games was expanding, the Panathenaia gradually acquired a supra-regional character.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2021;13(3):259-268
pages 259-268 views

Alkaios on the role of Mytilenian aristocracy in the economic life during stasis

Solomatina Y.I.


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the evidence concerning different activities of aristocracy and if possible to define its role in the economic life during a very specific period in the history of archaic Mytilene, i.e. stasis. Alkaios’ poetry provides valuable information on the problem in question. Alkaios is one of the main witnesses and participants in the described events. Besides that, lyrics of Sappho, Alkaios’ contemporary, is used, her poems provide concrete examples which complete Alkaios’ evidence. The results of archaeological investigations corroborate the data of the written sources and shed light on those spheres of aristocracy activities that have not got evident representation in the authentic sources. We are talking about agriculture and the role of aristocracy in this economic sector and moreover about the land as a main source of material well-being of aristocracy. After all the land issue was always in the focus of poleis policy in time of peace as well as during turbulent political strife. Analyzed information from the set of available sources testifies to a very complicated role played by Mytilenian aristocracy in the economic life of Mytilene during stasis that is difficult to evaluate unambiguously. An important evaluation criterion of the role is possession of civil rights of which the losing party may be deprived during stasis while having to flee into exile. In the first case the role may be positive and in the second one negative.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2021;13(3):269-276
pages 269-276 views

Agricultural work on the sacred lands of Attica IV B.C. according to epigraphica

Bulycheva E.V.


This article deals with the issue of carrying out agricultural work on the sacred lands of ancient Attica (Athens region) in the IV century B.C. The author relies on epigraphic sources, which are inscriptions on stone steles containing texts of lease agreements on sacred lands of the IV century B.C, and also uses information from ancient authors. The author also attracts scientific works of domestic and foreign authors devoted to the problem of agrarian relations in the ancient Greek polis. According to the author, the analysis and study of agricultural work on the territory of the sacred lands of Attica deserves a separate article, since the study of this issue makes it possible to more thoroughly consider agricultural relations in the Athenian polis of the IV century B.C, to present the meaning of sacred land ownership. In the first part of the article, the author analyzes the types and nature of agricultural work on sacred lands (temenos). The second part is devoted to the problem of responsibility of tenants and landlords for the performance of work on the territory of temenos. As a result, the author comes to certain conclusions. In the fourth century B.C, the sacred lands of Attica required special care after the end of the devastating actions of the Peloponnesian War. The temenos were at the disposal of the polis, with demes and religious unions as their landlords. The leasing of land made it possible to ensure the stable preservation of the land fund, to ensure the agricultural development of the temenos. Tenants (private individuals) were required to provide careful care for the leased land. At the same time, the author draws attention to the fact that in some cases the tenants were very well-known, wealthy citizens of the polis, for whom participation in the lease of sacred lands was a kind of liturgy. In such cases, it is difficult to determine who performed agricultural work on the leased land, most likely, it was special employees, whose work was paid by the tenant. At the same time, according to the epigraphica, there was no sublease.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2021;13(3):277-285
pages 277-285 views


Why Cato did not want to feed the sick slaves, or Some observations on the Roman economy of slavery

Kvashnin V.A.


The article is devoted to the study of the Second Chapter “Agriculture” of Cato the Elder. The author pays the main attention to the advice of Cato not to give full rations to sick slaves, which became widely known thanks to the biographical work of Plutarch. Not denying the possibility the existence of such a practice, the author attempts to identify its roots, originating in the traditions of traditional medicine, which is reflected in the 126-157 chapters of Cato’s “Agriculture”. In particular, attention is drawn to the author's repeated mention that medication should be taken on an empty stomach, for which Cato consistently uses the Latin term “ieiunus”. In particular, the author draws attention to the fact that Cato often mentions that the intake of medicines should be made on a empty stomach, for which the Roman author often uses the Latin term “ieiunus”. In general, the text of Cato’s work reflects work reflects as archaic beliefs and norms, as well as new concepts and values.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2021;13(3):286-298
pages 286-298 views

Veteran’s estate as a category of roman land surveying

Gvozdeva I.A.


The purpose of this paper is to investigate how did form veteran’s landowning in the Roman land surveying. The main sources on the problem are the treatises of Roman land surveyers (1-2 centuries AD). They contain information about the principles of surveying of land plots for Roman retirees and about right guarantees the veterans had. The task of this article is reconstruction of the process of civic assignations in Ancient Rome and highlighting of features of this action when land was granted to the veterans. At the end of 2nd century BC the limitatio has become the most common way of land division thank to activities of brothers Gracchi. The limitatio assumed the creation of dividers that organized space: Decumanus maximus and Cardo maximus . Their intersection created four parts of the future Ager Colonicus for veterans. The limits parallel to the main ones turned the colony field into a clearly organized boundary grid with a square unit of area - centuria, within which the land plots (intended for tillage, horticulture, viticulture) were formed for veterans. Since the time of Caesar and Augustus, the question of adding grazing land to the arable land was decided in the Roman land surveying art. The most desired types of non-arable land was not only forests, pastureland and relicta but also subseciva - remainders from land division. Those vacant centuriae were a good arable land which the state temporarily allocated to new settlers on a lease basis. In the cadastre, a special right of remainders (ius subsecivorum) was created, unifying the lease relations. Thus, the farm of the Roman veteran consisted of fertile land suitable for all types of agricultural activities, as well as different categories of land, which contributed to the development of property and ownership relations.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2021;13(3):299-309
pages 299-309 views


Dynastic marriages of client kings during the reign of Augustus

Nikishin V.O.


The article examines the practice of entering into dynastic marriages as part of the policy that was held in relation to vassal kings during the reign of the emperor Augustus (30 BC - AD 14). The author introduces the term “Augustus’ project”, bearing in mind the package of measures, aimed at creating a system of vassal kingdoms on the outskirts of the Roman Empire. According to the author, dynastic marriages as an effective instrument of real policy should have cemented the building blocks of the system. In the main part of the article the author analyses ten well-known dynastic marriages, related to the reign of Augustus. As a result of the research undertaken, the author concludes that Augustus, of course, sought to control the behavior of the kings-collaborators. Sometimes things got out of hand, and then the emperor should have intervened to resolve the resulting “conflict of interests”. The author asks: what did Augustus demand of vassal rulers? The answer is: loyalty and efficiency in the administration of the territories entrusted to them, which meant not only the timely dispatch to Rome of established monetary sums (tributes, taxes and other payments), but also to protect the local population from external enemies, as well as political stability and the rule of law. If it was all there and there was no danger, real or potential, for the peace and stability of the empire, Augustus overlooked extravagant matrimonial combinations, polygamy, conflicts with children and other “excesses” in the family life of dependent kings. But when it came to questioning loyalty and efficiency, Augustus was unmerciful and merciless in punishing the guilty. Immediate successors to Augustus rejected the “Augustus’ project” and gradually eliminated most vassal kingdoms, turning them into provinces under the control of the governors.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2021;13(3):310-318
pages 310-318 views

Trajan and the revolt of Antonius Saturninus

Parfyonov V.N.


The article points out that the starting positions of the young native of the Spanish city of Italica were provided by his father, a prominent follower of the Flavian dynasty, who became a consul, a patrician and, yes, was awarded a rare and prestigious award-the triumphal distinctions for the governorship in Syria. The future emperor himself held the position of military tribune for an unusually long time, which provided him with a career in the professional military ( vir militaris ). However, although Trajan the younger, after the military tribunate, passed all the necessary steps of the civil magistracies, up to and including the praetura, instead of the patrician consulship, he receives the unusual appointment of commander of the legion stationed in the province of Hispania Tarraconensis. From the author’s point of view, this designation, despite its external lack of prestige, was a sign of special trust on the part of the bearer of supreme power. When a military revolt broke out on the Rhine in early 89, led by the governor of Upper Germany, Antonius Saturninus, Trajan, on the orders of the Emperor Domitian, immediately moved with his legion to campaign against the rebels. The zealous execution of the order allowed him to become one of the most trusted military leaders of Domitian. Trajan may have confirmed in the eyes of the emperor his reputation as a loyal and energetic supporter of the Flavian dynasty by taking part in punitive measures against the minuscule legions. About Trajan’s subsequent career in the surviving sources is silent, which makes it suspect that he was carrying out new government assignments of the “tyrant”. By the time of the dynastic crisis of 96-98. Trajan undoubtedly had a reputation as a recognized vir militaris , a major military and administrator.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2021;13(3):319-328
pages 319-328 views


Book review: Gunn G.C. Overcoming Ptolemy: the Revelation of an Asian World Region. Lexington Books, 2018. XXXIV, 289 p.

Shcheglov D.A.



RUDN Journal of World History. 2021;13(3):329-332
pages 329-332 views

Book Review: War, politics, memory: The Napoleonic Wars and the First World War in the space of Anniversaries. Ed. by O.S. Porshneva (chief editor), N.N. Baranov, V.N. Zemtsov. M.: Politicheskaya enciklopediya, 2020

Kondratiev S.V., Kondratieva T.N.



RUDN Journal of World History. 2021;13(3):333-338
pages 333-338 views

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