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Regular version of the site

The Economy of Ancient Civil Communities

Priority areas of development: humanitarian
2015
Head: Bubnov, Denis

Goal of research: the main task of the research project is to define the impact of the socio-economic factors on the formation and evolution of ancient civil communities. The participant scholars aimed to detect trends and features of: a) socio-economic development of particular communities; b) interaction of political and socio-economic processes in the course of evolution of such communities; c) transformation of different political regimes and its influence on socio-economic processes in ancient civil communities.

Methodology: the choice of research methods during analytical work was determined by the character of the sources, which mostly are texts. Therefore in such a situation preference was given by the scholars to the critical analysis of evidences, found among the narrative tradition. This method allows to verify its data and to reveal in texts accurate information of historical events, which are under question. The data obtained in the course of primary analysis give chance to establish significant logical and historical ties, used for the reconstruction of the particular events, and the general trends in the socio-economic development of ancient civil communities. The synthesis of information, obtained in the empirical phase of investigation, is achieved according to the comparative and generic method.

Empirical base of research: as it was said in the previous section, the written sources are mostly under analyses because they are numerous and provide plenty of valuable and coherent information on the theme of the project. Epigraphic, numismatic and archaeological materials, which are scanty but useful in some cases, serve as very important addition to narrative evidence.

Results of research: The studying of ancient economy an society had several research directions. D. Bubnov, for instance, turned to Sicilian history in the period of the tyranny of both Dionysii. He examined sources of Diodorus Siculus’ double narrative about the «Council of Friends», which took place in 404 BC, in two different books of his «Library». Scholars mostly hold to the opinion that two versions of the story in book XIV and book XX are derived from Timaeus and Philistus accordingly. However, some details of the text in XX, 78 make attribution of its data to Philistus doubtful. It seems more likely that Diodorus used the work of Philistus in XIV, 8 directly, but his evidence in XX, 78 is of rather complicated origin and possibly goes back to the rhetorical tradition of Isocrates. D.Bubnov  also paid attention to the figure of Dexippus, a Spartan military commander, who was stationed with a garrison in the Sicilian polis of Gela in the last decade of the Vth century B. C. This Spartan seems not to be just a mercenary leader, as the scholarly opinion prefers him to consider. D. Bubnov argues that the appearance of the guard in Gela was connected with the Spartan activity in Sicily under Gylippus in 414-413 B. C., and Dexippus himself had presumably close relations with Lysander’s retinue. The commander, supported with the mercenary force and the local oligarchic party, protected the Spartan and Syracusan interests in Gela. Contacts between Sparta and Syracuse after the banishment of Dexippus in 405 BC. by Dionysius the Elder probably worsened, but both Sparta and the Syracusan warlord sought ways to restore their former good relations.

V. Guschin focused himself on the study of the subjects connected with development of the Athenian polis. One of his main topics was the adaptation of the Athenian aristocracy to the life under democracy in the Vth century BC. He suggested that in the course of the process took place division into democratic and aristocratic politicians, a separation of democratically-oriented leaders, who managed to adapt to democratic institutions. The political actions of prostatai had features of demagogy. But the other part of aristocracy was not alien to demagogy as well, as shown by the example of Thucydides, son of Melesias. Besides, the scholar analyzed in details Solon’s instruction that citizens should «ground arms» during political conflicts. He argues that this requirement was part of an unsuccessful attempt by Solon to prevent the establishment of Pisistratus’ tyranny in Athens in 561/0 BC.

In addition, V. Guschin paid attention to the cause of the conflict between the Athenians and Spartans in the middle of the Vth century BC., known as the Small Peloponnesian War. The Athenians break its relations with Sparta and entered into alliance with Argos. But Spartan inactivity and even the policy of non-interference looked conspicuous during this war. Perhaps that is why the pitched battles of the Lacedaemonians with the Athenians were not frequent. It seems that for the Spartans the First Peloponnesian War was not the rehearsal of the grater clash in the future, as it was for Athens. V. Gushchin also considered Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus’ narratives about the meeting of the Greek allies on Samos in 479 BC. After analyzing both versions the scholars made a conclusion in favor of Herodotus’ evidence.

At last, V. Gushchin studied political myths of the Athenian polis. For instance, the myth of the Athenian autochthony seems to become popular in the Vth century BC and had several components. The scholars put its origin to different historical contexts and explained by various reasons, but V. Gushchin paid special attention to ties of the elements of this myth with the formation of the Athenian Empire and development of the democratic regime in Athens during the Vth century BC. V. Gushchin made an attempts to show the evolution of the image of Theseus, mythological king of Attica, who the Athenians believed was father founder of the Athenian democracy.

M. Domsky examined the processes of Christianization of ancient Germanic tribes in the I and II centuries AD. In the author’s opinion, one of the main instruments of spreading and acceptance of Christian faith among the Germans became their poetic tradition. The scholar demonstrated ways of adaption of Latin version of New Testament in German epic tradition and in particular paid attention to the answering to the question how social and economic life of Roman Germany mirrored in «Heliand».

M. Domsky also focused his attention on the time span between Rome's subjugation of Germanic tribes on the both sides of the Rhine and the creation of provinces Germania Inferior and Germania Superior. Most attention was paid to the likeliest scenarios leading to the growth of Roman or Roman-style institutions in Germania. Therefore, a creation of provincial administration, magistracies and military prefecture in the region are considered. An analysis of literary, epigraphic and archaeological sources shows that the process ofpolitical change in Germania implied neither uniformity nor synchronism andthe ways to transform political life on thebarbarian periphery were numerous.

The younger participant  also made their contribution to the study. The subject of Yu. Balberina’s research became gastronomy history and feast culture in ancient world. As the result of analysis, she brought out the features of feast as social institution, defined behavior models during meal closely related with value system and specificities of ancient man’s thinking.    

V. Krivoschekova turned to investigation of early Christian monastic order in Gaul by “The Life of St. Columban”. She determined some features of monastic movement in Gaul and St. Columban’s role in it, who in particular supported the idea and practice of autonomy of monasteries.

D. Maltseva deals with clothes semantics in ancient societies. The student examined vase painting and other visual materials. D. Maltseva determined stages of evolution of iconographic images of mythological figures and related them with both the development of creating image techniques and response to actual social and political events.

Level of implementation,  recommendations on implementation or outcomes of the implementation of the results: during 2015 the scholars prepared and published  23 papers and reports, including 3 in foreign issues. The results of studies, presented in articles named above, were used in developing, modernization and implementation of training disciplines in world history, research seminars, as well in planning themes for course and graduate papers for HSE Perm students. Besides, some ideas and themes were used during summer school «Political Regimes of Antiquity-3: Political Evolution and Socio-Economic Development» which was held in HSE Perm on August 26-28, 2015.

Publications:


Domsky M. Germania Romana: the political evolution on the periphery of the expanding Roman world // Annalles D´Universite “Valahia”. Section d’Archeologie et d’Histoire. 2015. Vol. XVII. No. 1. P. 51-56. 
Домский М. В. Становление римских институтов в Германии // Вестник Северного Арктического федерального университета. 2015. 
Бубнов Д. В. Бубнов Д. В. Происхождение данных «Исторической библиотеки» Диодора Сици-лийского о «совете друзей» Дионисия Старшего (404 г. до н. э.)., in: Диодор Сицилийский и античная историография. Пермь : НИУ ВШЭ - Пермь, 2015. 
Бубнов Д. В. Лакедемонянин Дексипп и спартанская политика на Сицилии в конце V в. до н. э., in: PENTEKONTAETIA: Полис и держава в античном мире. К 50-летию Игоря Евгеньевича Сурикова. Санкт-Петербург : Издательство филологического факультета СПбГУ, 2015. 
Gushchin V. Solon's law on stasis and the rise of Pisistratus in 561/0 BC // Acta Classica. 2016. Vol. 59. No. 1. P. 101-113. doi
Гущин В. Р. Тезей и установление демократии в Афинах, in: PENTEKONTAETIA. Исследования по античной истории и культуре / под ред. О.Л.Габелко, А.В.Махлаюка, А.А.Синицына.. СПб., 2016. Санкт-Петербург : Нестор-История, 2016. С. 62-70.