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Alex Fantalov

Culture of Barbarous Europe: typology of mythological characters

24.00.01 - the theory and a history of culture

(The abstract of the thesis)


The Basic maintenance of work

In introduction the urgency of the chosen theme is proved, history of problem is shown, the object and an object of research is defined, the purposes and problems of work are formulated, the methodology is described, and also novelty, the theoretical and practical importance of work are opened.

In the first chapter "Barbarous Europe and typology problem of mythological characters" a problem of understanding of the term "Barbarous Europe" is considered, are defined ethnic-cultural and chronological borders of the researched phenomenon, and the model of a structural nucleus of a pantheon of peoples of Barbarous Europe is offered.

In the first paragraph "Barbarous Europe and its cultural worlds "is considered stages of evolution of the given term.

The First stage of existence of the term "barbarians"- Greek one. The Greeks, actually, are authors of this concept and their treatment goes in a channel of classical division of the world by a principle""/"another's". Such opposition is present practically in any cultures (Chineses and Barbarian, Zoroastrians and people, who venerated Divs, Christians and Pagans, Moslems and the rest). Thus, Greeks included in concept of "barbarians" and representatives advanced ancient oriental civilizations: Egyptians, Babilonians, Lidians, and Phoenicians.

The second stage - Roman one. The Romans, former pupils and successors of Greeks, partly have apprehended the given terminology. But they bring about an extensive coloniser politic, first of all in Europe (Iberia, Gallia, Illyria, Thracia, Britain), involving in an orbit of the activity and a way of life independent peoples. Those, accepting the Roman order, "Pax Romana", as though ceased be "barbarians", becoming, on modern expression by "civilised people", (as, for example, the Gallo-Romans). Hence, "barbarians", from the point of view of Rome are peoples and tribes of Europe yet not had time to join an ancient art (or it is active inimical to this). Actually the Romans represented their some cultural - historical integrity, theirs resisting own.

Such understanding in any measure has inherited and arisen in bowels of the Roman empire Christianity. But when it became prevailing, confession of the Christian doctrine was included in number of necessary attributes of an accessory to a civilisation also.

Elements of the Roman ideology have escaped and in medieval epoch, in particular, representation about universal empire as about the certain ideal. The western Europeans began to name "Barbarians" peoples which were not recognising religious authority Roman pontifics and political (let even fictitious) supremacy of new emperors. Mainly peoples of the East Europe fell under this concept.

The Understanding of the term represents to New Time, in effect, return to the Greek-Roman treatment. Ambassador Reformation, in connection with ethnic-cultural disintegration of the Western Europe, last, having lost the name "the Christian world", to epoch of Education began to be called as the "civilised" world. Gradually the belonging to Christian religion (not only in its western variant, but also as a whole) has ceased to play a role of the indicator for entry in the given cultural - historical generality. Crucial importance, as well as in the Roman epoch, has received opposition of "barbarity" and "civilisation". From the similar point of view, mastering by such exotic country as Japan of some political, technological, legal standards has attached it to the Western, "civilised" world.

In the European science of New Time the Roman understanding of "barbarians", as peoples of the ancient Europe, which has been not covered with an antique civilisation, was fixed. But there is also a parallel tendency to treat the term as the certain stage of historical development. For example, K. Marks, speaking about the periods of "barbarity" previous to the state development and "wildness" followed for Morgan. Even earlier, in 18 century, J. Vico has developed the cyclic concept of a history already described two coils and worth at the beginning third. Each of the given coils of development began (in Vico's opinion) with the period of "barbarity".

Stage understanding of "barbarity" has important value for the present research. It is the most probable, that mythopoethic the tradition is a product of oral creativity of peoples which are taking place at a heroic, "barbarous" step of development.

In the present research the "synthetic" concept of the Barbarous Europe is offered:

  1. Cultural - historical ("Roman" understanding);
  2. Religious ("medieval" understanding);
  3. Stage understanding (one of scientific approaches of New Time).

"Barbarous Europe" can be named cultural - historical concept because it was occupied by peoples having common Indo-European the origin and consequently represented at all ethnic complicated the population a uniform cultural generality on which, besides, a strong print influence of a powerful Greek-Roman civilisation has lain. The religious sense of the term of "Barbarous Europe" is connected to domination in its territory of the pagan religions also having a uniform origin (by the way, in the English language there is a word heathen, meaning simultaneously "pagan" and "barbarian"). At last, it is possible to consider Barbarous Europe as its existence passed within the limits of the "heroic age" delayed which overcoming for this or that people meant, simultaneously an output from uniform "barbarous" cultural space.

In the given chapter geographical and chronological localisation of Barbarous Europe also is given, its cultural worlds (M. B. Shchukin's term) are designated. As a basis for allocation of this or that "world", similarity of forms of economic activities, the social organisation, an environment, language, a mental warehouse of the basic part of the population expressing in religion and art are used. In the present research seven worlds of Barbarous Europe are allocated: the Celts , the Germanics , the Balts , the Slavs , the Scythian-Sarmatians, the Thracian-Dacians , Slavs. the Illyrians . Chronologically the material is marked as follows. Barbarous Europe in its characteristic kind of the beginning to develop from the beginning of the Iron Age (so-called Halshtadt with - 7-th. c. B.D., and it is especial from the following behind it Laten the period - with 5-th. c. B. D.). To this time definitely have arisen Celt and Scythian, Thraco-Dacian and Illyrian the cultural worlds. And, that it is important, in the same period cultural has stood apart, having opposed itself to "barbarians" antique Greece, (the fact having far-reaching consequences).

The late limit of existence of Barbarous Europe is more dim. In territory of Roman empire by which were won Celt and Thraco-Dacian the worlds, the Christianity was ratified in 4-th A. D., superseding pagan cults. In parallel there was slower process of christening of the German, finished to 10-th c. A. D. Scythians and Sarmatians became victims of epoch of Great resettlement of peoples though their relict - Alanian, has escaped in mountains of Caucasus and has created rich ephic the tradition richly sated with mythological motives.

Pagan mythology Slavs and Scandinavians longer kept. At the last it even has gone through original blossoming in 5 - 11-th. c. A. D. Nevertheless, by 12 century christening of Slavs and Scandinavians basically was completed. Last bastion - Lithuanian heathenism has fallen in the beginning of 15 centuries.

Our days, it is possible to divide Barbarous Europe, as well as Europe into two big regions conditionally. The first one occupies its west, the second one - the centre and the east. The tradition of similar differentiation takes the beginning in the Greek sources. The Western Europe that time covered the Celts and German-Scandinavians; Central and East - Thracians, Illirian, Scythians, Balts and Slavs.

In the second paragraph "the Structural nucleus in mythologies of peoples of Barbarous Europe and socio-cultural determinants of the basic mythological types" are analysed typology of mythological characters of peoples of Eurasia, belonging A. Golan, the concept of a Gallic pantheon created by J.J. Hatt, and also works on Indo-European V.V. Ivanov's mythologies and V.N. Toporov, the most significant from the point of view of the present research.

It is necessary to specify such important concepts used in the given work, as "mythological type" and "a mythological image". Between them strict differentiation will be carried out. "The mythological type" here is understood initial sincretic as structure, in embodiment to the form reflecting natural and, simultaneously, a social reality which, in particular, was present at culture of Barbarous Europe and at Indo-European peoples (at least, at a stage of their unity). According to the concept submitted in the present research, mythological types formed a certain structural nucleus.

The structural nucleus here is meant as group of the given mythological types incorporated among themselves by specific plot and semantic connections.

"The mythological image" in the present research is understood as concrete expression of mythological type in culture of separate peoples of Indo-European language family. It represents display any transcendental reality, past through a prism of perception of representatives of concrete culture and reflected in mythologies, rituals, the fine arts, the literature.

The Problem of methodological character consists in search of criterion of the selection, allowing reducing all variety of mythological characters to several steady types. In the present research allocation of the given types is under construction on the basis of possession them of the most significant for ancient socium functions. Such functions were: legislative, military - power, agrarian - cattle breeding, cultural - media. As a whole, the given functions in conditions of ancient societies had strongly pronounced man's character for division by trades existed first of all among men. The role of the woman was multifunctional and, therefore, it would be logical to allocate as independent the function connected to female employment. The principle of functional typology is not new. According to the theory. Dumezil, Indo-European gods are grouped in magic, military and economic functions (each of which corresponded to one of three Vedic groups of the population (varns). However the reality even in Vedic epoch was much more complex. In the present research is accepted for the obvious fact that agrarian (and in earlier time and hunting) activity was inextricably related with magic representations. Hence, allocation Dumezil of magic in special function hardly is lawful. On the other hand, it is perfect irrespective of military - power there was cultural - mediator function. It will be shown below, what groups of the population really were responsible for performance of these roles and whose ideology expressed embodiments of the appropriate mythological types. The concept offered in the present research, consists in the following:

1. In all a phenomenological variety of mythological images of pantheons of Barbarous Europe (and is wider - Indo-European a pantheon) it is possible to isolate the invariant mythological types making a structural nucleus. Each of these mythological types has one of five functions selected by the author. So, legislative function the God of the Clear Sky as he patronises breeding collective and the military right has. Military - power function characterises the God of the Thunder being the spokesman of ideology of breeding aristocracy among which priority interests military activity took the major place. The god of Earth Powers esteemed by priests and farmers, carries out agrarian - magic function. The Cultural Hero has cultural - mediator function as he personifies sacred imperial authority (including its role of the intermediary between gods and people). At last, the multifunctional female type of the Great Goddess initially connects a dual earth-sky nature.

2. The circuit of mutual relation between the given types can be presented as a ring which is formed by the man's characters, located beside with each other depending on relation carried out functions. The god of the Thunder and the God of the Clear Sky in a number of traditions tend to merge in a uniform image as both they are connected to heavenly elements. The same tendency frequently is observed and with reference to terrestrial gods - to the God of Earth Powers and the Cultural Hero. Thus, the Cultural Hero as closely connected with the world of people the character, has the general features and good luck the Clear Sky (and in some traditions it is considered his son), between them also frequently arises intermediate type of twins. Only the God of the Thunder and the God of Earth Powers are antagonists (the Cultural Hero suffers from their conflict also). The unique female deity mentally placed in the centre of a ring plays a role of medium beginnings among man's images. More often she of the spouse of the God of the Thunder and the God of Earth Powers, in a number of traditions the goddess consists in marriage relations good luck the Clear Sky. And more and more late female characters of mythologies of Barbarous Europe (and Indo-European mythologies as a whole) are derivatives from an image of the Great Goddess.

In the same paragraph interdependence socio-cultural changes and change of objects of worship (which are displays of the given mythological types) is traced. The Neolithic Age in the Western and Central Europe is characterised by matriarchy and a syncretic cult of the Great Goddess. The Indo-European (appeared, apparently, in territory of the East Europe) during the becoming already existed within the framework of patriarchy and esteemed the God of the Clear Sky (the patron of man's breeding collective as integrity). In epoch great Indo-European campaigns (the beginning of a Bronze Age) on the foreground the God of the Thunder (an embodiment of the soldier - aristocrat on a fighting chariot) was put forward. The role of the Great Goddess gradually was reduced, the given type has broken up to various less significant images. Then, already within the limits of Barbarous Europe, development occurred in the different ways. At lines of peoples (the Celts, western Balts) priestly special value has got estate and highly respected the God of Earth Powers. At German-Scandinavians, Scythian-Sarmatians, Thracians and Illirians, the western Slavs where the barbarous kings capture leadership, superiority belongs to the Cultural Hero. On this background the veneration of the God of the Thunder can revival of (at east Balts and east Slavs).

To these basic mythological types it is connected and the certain circle of plots. There are: displacement of the God of the Clear Sky from a predominating place in a pantheon; a victory of the God of the Thunder against the World Serpent ( Thor and Jormungand , Indra and Vritra , Tarhunt and Illuyanka ); falling of the Great Goddess; prosecution by the God of the Thunder of the God of Earth Powers and the Cultural Hero; the victory of the Cultural Hero against the threeheaded dragon and the wolf etc. Are the bases also we can approve, that the listed components of a pantheon and connected with them plots have was the important source at formation of key images in late religious systems: Zoroastrian, Hinduism, Buddhist, and Christian.

The Second chapter -"Mythological characters in culture of the West-European barbarians" is devoted to local displays of the basic mythological types and a structural nucleus in the Celt and the German-Scandinavian worlds, which already in middle of the first millennium A. D. Were allocated from the general file of cultures of Barbarous Europe.

In the first paragraph of the second chapter: "Iconography origins the basic mythological types" the important role Creta -Minoan cultures in distribution iconographic images of mythology the Celts and the Germanic-Scandinavians is marked. The Minoans played a role of the bridge between the West and the East. Already here we can see a triad which, according to the concept submitted in this work, was widely distributed among Indo-Europeans peoples later. The Minoans goddesses - mothers worshipped, to a sacred axe - labiris with two edges (it is probable, a symbol of a thunder) and "sacred horns" (a symbol of the killed man-bull). With arrival Indo-Europeans on territory of the Central and Western Europe iconography these basic religious images (the Goddess, the man-bull, the character - the owner of an axe) was kept. Probably, the given continuity is connected to borrowing by conquerors rich local iconographic traditions and its adaptation to their purposes.

In the second paragraph of the second chapter: "Mythological characters in the Celt culture"special value is given to the analysis of images on the boiler from Gundestrup, and also iconography of Gallic god Cernunnos

- the most popular Celt deities. It is obviously possible to establish close iconographic parallels between image of the given deity and deities of some east cultures, for example Harappa (on the basis of a typical sedentary pose with the crossed legs, horns, an animal environment). All these images concern to type of the God of Earth Powers with characteristic attributes for him natural abundance.

In the third paragraph of the second chapter "Mythological characters in the Germanic-Scandinavian culture "the central problem is the question of evolution of an image Germanic-Scandinavian Woden/ Odin , the bright representative such as the Cultural Hero. His presence on artefacts time preceding of Viking epoch (two gold horns from Gallehuse, gold bracteats, Vendel helmets) is revealed. Some specific features iconography the god characteristic for this period (the horns finishing bird's heads, type of "dancing warrior") are marked. Odin Role as it is read on the basis of the given monuments, is compared to his role in Edda to the literature of time of The Vikings.

In the third chapter "Mythological characters in culture Central- and Ost-European barbarians" account for reflections of mythological types in the Thracian-Dacians, Illirians, Scythian-Sarmatians, Balts and Slavs cultural worlds. Thus it is possible to see non-uniform development of components of a structural nucleus. Therefore, in each of these paragraphs the basic accent on one mythological type conducting in the given ethnic culture is made.

In the first paragraph "Mythological characters in the Thracian-Dacian and Illirian cultures", devoted to mythological images of the Balkan barbarians, the central place occupy the analysis iconography an image of the horseman (which" the Thracian hero" has received in a science the name). In Illirian to culture the local embodiment of the Cultural Hero was identified to Iranian god Mithra (who also belongs to such mythological type).

The Second paragraph of the third chapter "Mythological characters in the Scythian-Sarmatian culture "special value gives to an image of the Cultural Hero of Scythians - Colakcay which is identified by Raevsky among images of vessels from Kul-Oby. We can to do comparison Kolaksay with Iranian Traetaona (Indian Thrita). It is considered ancient Indo-European plot of Hero's mythology is a victory over three-headed monster .

Among a material on Sarmatian-Alanian to peoples, special interest in images of deities with the mutton horns and cause deities with deer the ears, sitting in "buddic pose". On a basis iconographic correlation it is possible to correlate these characters with Celt Cernunnos and to attribute them as belonging to type of the God of Earth Powers.

The Third paragraph of the third chapter "Mythological characters in the Balt culture" is dedicated to the analysis Balt mythologies. Balt peoples have left the significant folklore material devoted to an opposition between the God of the Thunder and the God of Earth Powers (Percunas and Vels). They have kept a number of archaic plots, including a myth about the falling the Great Goddess and loss of heavenly function by her. Balt data allow to lead close parallels with the Indian mythology (Indian Indra and Vala) and, partly, with Etruscan ("the Legend about Veltha ").

The image Lithuanian Sovius - the legendary character who has based custom cremation. It is of interest also. In this paragraph he is compared with Indian Yama - the first died, becoming then king of ancestors and Iranian Yima - legendary king of the Golden Age. The given collision supplements an image of the Cultural Hero, as ancestor and medium between the world alive and the world died.

In the Fourth paragraph of the third chapter "Mythological characters in the Slavic culture" a significant place dedicated to consideration of west Slavic gods (especially Svantevit). As a result of the analysis of the kept monuments and descriptions German chronic and missionaries the conclusion is made, that the given characters belong to type of the Cultural Hero (instead of the God of the Thunder - as it frequently affirms). The given gods are compared with east-Slav Yarila and Dazhbog , and last - with Ugrian Mir-Susne-Hum ("Man, who gaze at the world") (on the basis iconography - horsemen with hands rise to the sky and to the description - both sons of the heavenly god, patrons and benefactors of peoples etc.).

In the conclusion on the basis of the research conclusions that mythologies of Barbarous Europe showed the complete cultural - ideological system representing a part of wider system - mythological representations of peoples Indo-European language family are done. Mythological images and objects of religious worship, in various ethnic cultures belonging to the given system, it is possible to count displays of a uniform structural nucleus. The structure of components character of interrelations between them was caused by the certain historical-cultural situation. Cultures of vagrant peoples of Barbarous Europe (the Celts, Germanic-Scandinavians, Thracian-Dacian, Slavs, Scythian-Sarmatians) concern to special type of culture - cattlemen - nomads (in that expanded understanding which offers M.S. Kagan) with characteristic dominants for this type: cattle breeding, a nomadic way of life and aggression. It has left traces and on an abundance zoomorphic attributes of their gods (a deer, a horse, the bull, a ram) and on military aspect, in this or that form that we can see at all considered mythological types. The dates of such structural nucleus were in closed connections with social-historical changes in life of barbarous peoples of Europe. Thus its elements appeared are extremely steady. Having sustained wreck of pagan religions, they in many respects were alloyed with images of Christian tradition, and then have come as the important components in culture of Europe of New Time, having gone through some kind of "rebirth".

Substantive ideas of the thesis to contain in the following publications:

1. The Atlas of myths. - .: Dean + Adia/m 1995. 32 pp.

2. Folklore-mythological theme and development of creative abilities of children // Herzen readings. Modern education of preschool and younger school age: .2. - SPb.: Publishing house RSPU by name A.I. Herzen, 1998. - p. 151 - 153.

3. A special course "Introduction in mythology" in system of preparation of students of pedagogical high schools // Herzen readings: Preschool and an elementary education on a threshold of the third millenium. Theses of conference April, 8-10, 1999 - SPb.: Publishing house RGPU by name A.I. Herzen, 1999. - p. 190 - 192.

4. Introduction in mythologies of world. The program of a special course. // Programs of aesthetic disciplines for faculty of an elementary education: Release 2. - SPb.: Publishing house RSPU by name A.I.Herzen, 2000. - p. 110 - 125.

5. Indo-Europe: mythological images in art culture // Punin's readings. Materials of the international scientific conference April 7-8, 2000 - SPb.: Belveder, 2000 - p. 15 - 17.

6. Faces of the German-Scandinavian gods on facades of Saint Petersburg // Culture of the Petersburg region in a science and education. Materials of scientific - practical conference September, 28-29, 2000 - SPb.: Publishing house RSPU by name A.I. Herzen, 2000. - p. 46 - 49.

7. Russia and Indo-Europe - the basic images of mythologies. // The Theory and practice of education in a context of domestic culture: Theses of reports and messages 7 international conferences" the Child in the modern world" April 18-20, 2001 - SPb.: Publishing house of SPb. STU, 2001. - p. 77 - 81.

8. A special course "Mythological images Indo-Europe in iconography" in system of pedagogical education // Strategy of development of the preschool child and the younger schoolboy in 21 century: Theses of conference April, 25-26, 2001 - SPb.: Publishing house RSPU by name A.I. Herzen, 2001. - p. 180 - 182.

9. Myths // our myths and fairy tales. - SPb.: Publishing house RSPU by name A.I. Herzen, 2001. - p. 11 - 26.

10. Indo-European mythologies: a structural nucleus of a pantheon in history-social aspect // Culturological researches 01: . Proceedings. - SPb.: Publishing house RSPU by name A.I. Herzen, 2001. - p. 91 - 97.


Mythologies of Northern Europe peoples (educational program)



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