Vol 14, No 3 (2022): Social Life of the Ancient World


Juniors age categories of athletes at the Panathenaic Games

Gvozdeva T.B.


The article is devoted to some aspects of ancient athletics of the classical period. The author traces the history of the formation of the Olympic Games program and its influence on the programs of Pan-Hellenic and local Games. The popularity of the Pan-Hellenic Games led over time to the complication of the program and an increase in the number of athletes participating in the games, for whom different age classification systems were developed. At the Olympic and Pythian Games, all athletes were divided into two age groups: paides and andres, whereas at the Isthmian and Nemean Games there were three age groups of athletes: paides, ageneioi and andres. The author explores the history of the Panathenaic Games in Athens, which are often called the “fifth” Panhellenic Games. The article shows that the program of the Panathenaic Games, on the one hand, was created on the basis of the programs of the Olympic and Pythian Games, on the other hand, it differed from it in that it included a number of competitions in which only Athenians could take part. The author shows that both the competitions “only for Athenians” and the introduction of younger age groups of athletes created more opportunities for local athletes to succeed at the Panathenaic Games and thus contributed to the development of athletics in Athens.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2022;14(3):243-256
pages 243-256 views

Inception of the ‘cult’ of ball game ‘stars’ in Hellenistic Athenes

Korovchinskiy I.N.


Absract. Nowadays ball games are the most popular types of sport in the world including Russia. This fact contrasts sharply with the almost total absence of research in the field of ancient Greek ball games in Russian historical science. The aim of this article is to fill that gap at least on a small scale. The history of Greek ball games in the Hellenistic period is especially interesting because of the rise of their significance at that time. Τhe method of historicism and the comparative method are applied in this article. The most important sources for our article are the fragments of Athenaios’ Deipnosophistai (I, 26, 34) related to playing ball in Hellenistic times. We reconsidered the fragment by Damoxenus, the 3rd century BC writer of comedies, quoted by Athenaeus and usually interpreted as devoted to homosexual feelings. In our view it rather reflects a rapture of Athenian fans over a ball-player’s skill. However, the dramatist hyperbolizes this rapture in order to make it more comical. We correlate this fragment of Damoxenus with Athenaeus’ mention of significant honors (including granting of citizenship) given by Athenes to Aristonicus, Alexander the Great’s coach in ball games. Those honors are also reflected in the extant Athenian decree honoring Aristonicus. The talented ball-players became popular in the Hellenistic period possibly because at that time popularity was won by the idea that playing ball is useful for the military training. However conservators, continuing to regard ball games as mere entertainment (as it had been typical in the Classical period) could probably still exist, and Damoxenus’ mockery at the rapture over talent in ball game may reflect their views.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2022;14(3):257-266
pages 257-266 views

Sports life in the provincial cities of the Eastern Roman Empire in the 4th-6th centuries

Khapaev V.V., Glushich A.M.


The article is devoted to the study of the sports life of provincial cities of the Byzantine Empire in the IV-VI centuries. Based on written and material sources it is proved that the sports life of the empire in the early Byzantine period was not limited to the Great Hippodrome of Constantinople. It is shown that hippodromes operated in all major cities of the empire, where competitions were held in the most popular sport - chariot racing. This sport was also an important “social elevator”, a way of labor migration from the province to the capital for talented charioteers and dancers. Sports games according to the Olympic program, the decline of which was previously associated with the end of the IV - beginning of the V century, in fact, continued to be held in Antioch until the beginning of the VI century, which makes this city the last keeper of the traditions of Olympism in the early Middle Ages. The great historical role of provincial “branches” of circus parties, both as powerful political and economic institutions and instigators of social unrest on a pan-imperial scale is noted. The unique precedent of the use of sports competitions in provincial Apamea by the Persian Shah Khosrow I as a military-political tool to assert an advantage over Justinian I has been studied. It is concluded that sports in provincial cities fell into decline at the beginning of the VII century due to the difficult military and economic situation of the empire. During the Macedonian Renaissance spectator sports in the provinces did not recover.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2022;14(3):267-279
pages 267-279 views


Development of real security for obligations fulfillment in Ancient Greece

Loginov A.V.


The article is devoted to the development of real security for fulfillment of obligations in Ancient Greece. The article proves that the first form of real security for fulfillment of obligations was a possessory pledge. The creditor sought to obtain possession of the pledged object. This is due to underdeveloped archives in Greece (unlike in the countries of the Ancient East), the lack of land register and encumbrance registry, creditor was not sure that the debtor would not alienate pledged property by fraud. The genesis of sale on condition of release is due to emergence of signs of encumbrance of property (in Athens - horoi). A hypothec came into being later than other real security for fulfillment of obligations.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2022;14(3):280-288
pages 280-288 views

Rent in ownership relations on Ager Colonicus in Rome (1-2 centuries AD)

Gvozdeva I.A.


In Roman agrimensura, starting from the archaic period, there was a division of land areas: culta - meant fields suitable for tillage; inculta - unsuitable for grain crops. Culta were subjected to divisio, forming the category agri divisi. Inculta retained the status of Publicus, so they were not divisi. But the importance of these lands was important when organizing Ager Colonicus, since they created an opportunity for settlers to engage in farming and cattle breeding in addition to farming. Roman surveyors identified categories of such public lands. They could be used by the owners of nearby plots. Such lands were provided to new settlers for rent for vectigal. These were the relic lands (agri relicti) and the massif that made up the colony’s reserve (extra clusa). In addition, the remnants of the surveying - subsecivi (unoccupied centuries or its fragments) were also provided to the colonists for temporary lands. A “joint pasture” (compscuus) was often created on the segments. Also, on lease terms, the new settlers used the forest and pasture (silva et pascua). On all categories of land, ownership relations were formed within the boundaries of Ager Colonicus. As a result, the colonist’s economy acquired a complex character, which contributed to the prosperity of this new settlement.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2022;14(3):289-296
pages 289-296 views

Ager exceptus and fundi excepti: on the question of social significance of «excluded» fields

Konyukhov V.A.


The article discusses the concepts existing in historiography regarding ager exceptus, a land category that appears in the agrarian law of 111 BC. The data of this law are used, among other things, for the reconstruction of the Gracchan agrarian legislation, in particular the initiatives of the youngest of the brothers, Gaius. Among all the hypotheses regarding the essence of ager exceptus, the author singles out as the most reasoned the one put forward by T. Mommsen: according to the latter, ager exceptus is, first of all, a Campanian field, ager Campanus. V.G. Telminov also speaks of ager Campanus as the material basis of “excluded” fields, although on other grounds than T. Mommsen. The idea that the fields of the Italian allies were excluded from the division is very attractive, however, the data of the agrarian law of 111 BC do not support this idea of F.T. Hinrichs. There is shown the difference between the ager exceptus of the agrarian law of 111 BC and fundi excepti, which are mentioned by Roman surveyors. In this regard, the author criticizes the concept of the French researcher C. Nicolet, who suggested that ager exceptus could be a mechanism for the formation of large landed property, and, consequently, contribute to the deterioration of the social climate in Roman society. The author of the article shows that C. Nicolet relied on the data of only one of the surveyors, Siculus Flaccus, although the information of Hyginus Gromatikus looks both more complete and more reliable. The social role of the lands ager exceptus and fundi excepti is noted.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2022;14(3):297-307
pages 297-307 views


“Love for the Fatherland” and civil Identity in the discourse of Latin and Greek inscriptions

Makhlaiuk A.V.


Based on Greek and Latin epigraphy, the article examines the main features of civil ideology associated with the concept of “love of the fatherland” ( philopatria , amor patriae and their derivatives). The corresponding categories, often emotionally colored, were widely used to characterize the virtues and behavioral motives of urban elites who acted as euergetai . The lexical and contextual analysis of the inscriptions shows that the civic patriotism of the Greek cities coexisted quite well with the political loyalty to the Roman authorities and ruling emperors. In both Greek and Latin inscriptions, there is an explicit or implicit imperial context. In the former, it is especially emphasized by title names indicating “love” for emperors and Rome (φιλόκαισαρ, φιλοσέβαστος, φιλορώμαιος). In the western provinces and Italy, there was obviously no particular need for such direct references. It is reasonable to believe that there, in urban communities consisting of Roman citizens, a sense of belonging to two homelands, as Cicero defined them, remained: Rome as communis patria / patria civitatis (iuris) and the fatherland by nature and locality ( patria naturae / loci patria ). In other aspects, however, a comparison of the discourses of Greek and Latin inscriptions reveals direct parallels and coincidences in the basic value orientations, due to the remaining civil-communal (polis) character of the cities of the Roman Empire.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2022;14(3):308-327
pages 308-327 views

Ethnolookism as a factor in the attitude of the Romans towards the Germans

Nikishin V.O.


The author of the article turned to the theme of ethnolookism - daily discriminatory practices, which are due to compliance or, on the contrary, inconsistensy between the real appearance of representatives of a particular ethnic group and established ethnic stereotypes and prejudices. The article is devoted to a particular case of ethnolookism in antiquity. We are talking about ethnolookism as a factor in the attitude of the Romans towards the Germans. According to the author, in the ordinary perception of the Greeks and Romans, all barbarians of the same ethnic origin - Scythians or Thracians, Getae or Germans - were, as the saying is, “on the same face”. Experts call this effect cross-racial. From the end of the 2nd century BC the Romans actively interacted with the Germans. Latin authors call blue eyes and blond hair, tall stature and a strong physique as characteristic external signs of the Germans. For the Romans these sings were, most likely, the very triggers, which automatically resurrected in the collective consciousness of the contemporaries of Horace, Caesar and Tacitus longstanding fears associated with metus Gallicus and furor Teutonicus. It is characteristic that the Germans, who served under the Roman banners, became “Romans” in the eyes of their fellow tribesmen. The Germans themselves thought so, and the Roman authorities clearly separated “their” barbarians from those who attacked the borders of the Roman Empire. Thus, within the framework of the political unity of pax Romana, the ethnocultural rapprochement of the Romans and Germans gradually took place.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2022;14(3):328-337
pages 328-337 views


Sculptural Display of the Smintheion in Troas: visual rhetoric in the context of a Hellenistic sanctuary

Nalimova N.A.


The temple of Apollo Smintheus near the village of Gülpınar (north-western Turkey, Troas) is undoubtedly among the most important monuments of the Hellenistic Age. The latest publications on the temple and sanctuary complex allow a more accurate and precise assessment of this remarkable building. Apollo bearing the epithet “Smintheus” (“Lord of mice”) appears in the opening lines of the Iliad and the very place of action is localized in the vicinity of Chrysa - an ancient town found near modern Göztepe, not far from Smintheion. These “Homeric” associations are reflected in the sculptural decoration of the temple: its frieze depicts scenes from the Iliad and later epic poems. Such a representation of the Trojan cycle, as a continuous narrative with direct reference to Homer and post-Homeric texts, has no precedent in earlier temple sculptures. In addition to the continuous frieze in the entablature, the sculptural decoration of the temple included columnae caelatae of two types - ornamental and figurative ones. Being placed on the top of the columns they formed a single semantic and visual unit with the frieze. In the present article the reach sculptural display of the temple is carefully analyzed. The author demonstrates the way in which various visual languages - narrative, associative, and symbolic - were involved in the mechanisms of creating memory, maintaining the aristocratic ideology and specific aspects of the local cult.

RUDN Journal of World History. 2022;14(3):338-348
pages 338-348 views

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