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Abstract

The control of the Mediterranean and its surroundings by the conquering Roman Republic after the victory over Carthage, and later over the Hellenistic kingdoms throughout the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, notably increased connectivity and the movement of people. This paper focuses on the wide range of ritual instruments, above all the propitiation of the gods through sacrifices, in the face of journeys in general, and on the diverse religious resources documented in the epigraphy of the Latin West.

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“Returning Home in the Greek and Roman World”

Symposium Classicum Peregrinum, June 10–12 and 16, 2022 Messina and Taormina

Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Author:
Patricia A. Johnston
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Abstract

This article focuses on two stories contained in Deipnosophists 15 by Athenaeus of Naucratis. Both stories are comprised in the section in which Athenaeus discusses the use of crowns in festive rituals. Athenaeus attributes the first story (672a–e) to Menodotus of Samos. Here we read that some Tyrrhenians went to Samos to steal the simulacrum of Hera. But, having boarded the ship with the statue, they were unable to set sail. Thus, they unloaded the simulacrum on the shore and left. Then the heroine Admete retrieved it and took it back to the temple. For this reason, every year since then, the inhabitants of Samos celebrated the feasts called Tonaia in honor of Hera. The second story, that Athenaeus draws from Polycarmus of Naucratis (675f–676b), tells of a certain Herostratus who, on his return journey from Cyprus to Naucratis, was saved from a storm thanks to the sailors' prayers to the statue of Aphrodite on board. Thereafter, Herostratus prepared a banquet at the temple of the goddess to honor her. These stories introduce the recurring motif, also found in other sources, of travelling divine statues, which display supernatural powers.

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“Few of the many returned home”

The Sicilian Expedition and the Genesis of the Ionian War

Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Author:
Joshua Nudell

Abstract

Histories of the Sicilian Expedition usually focus on Athens, and with good reason: Athens supplied the largest number of ships, all the leaders were Athenians, and Thucydides' account is constructed as an Athenian tragedy that largely subsumes the allies into the crowd of soldiers. Moreover, it was in the aftermath of the disaster that the Aegean poleis slipped through the Athenian grasp. Scholars have offered explanations for the outbreak of the Ionian War that range from anti-Athenian sentiment stemming from wartime measures like the Standards Decree that primed the Athenians to reject Athenian hegemony to a change in Persian policy to an ephemeral mood. When they invoke Sicily, it is to follow Diodorus Siculus in arguing that the failure created contempt for Athenian hegemony (τὴν ἡγεμονίαν αὐτῶν καταφρονηθῆναι, 13. 34. 1). Another cause of the Ionian War, however, has received too little attention: the Ionians who fought in Sicily. In this paper I re-evaluate the Sicilian Expedition from the perspective of the non-Athenians, and particularly the Ionians. These contributions have traditionally been underestimated because Thucydides implies that they had fallen out of practice with warfare and were thus complicit in their own subjugation. Nevertheless, Thucydides' history is littered with accounts of Ionian soldiers fighting far from home, up to and including in the Sicilian Expedition (Thuc. 7. 20. 2; 7. 57. 3). Re-evaluating the evidence for Ionian contributions to the Athenian war effort in turn complicates straightforward assessments of the popularity of the empire and opens the possibility that it was not only Athenian weakness but also the costs borne by the allies that led the Ionians to put in motion the events that led to revolt.

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Abstract

This paper explores the theme of the homecoming (nostos) by examining the homecomings of the Scythians in Book Four of The Histories of Herodotus from two different approaches, the philological and historical. As Herodotus makes clear, for Scythians, such as the famous traveler Anacharsis and the Scythian king Scyles, returning home could be deadly. From the philological approach, which emphasizes the literary nature of the Scythian logos, this pattern of thematic repetitions of denied homecomings serves to emphasize the hostile nature of Scythia for outsiders and thus to increase the tension surrounding the outcome of the larger narrative of Book Four, which describes the disastrous military campaign of the Persian king Darius I in Scythia. However, from the historical approach, which regards the account of Herodotus as a historical source that provides valuable testimony when combined with other sources of evidence, it becomes clear that these stories of impossible homecomings also reflect the conditions at the Greek frontier of the Scythian world and for Scythians like Anacharsis and Scyles who adopted foreign customs, especially Greek religious practices, namely that in this region marked by competition and conflict, including religious conflict, adopting foreign customs meant it was not possible to return home again.

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Abstract

The purpose of this essay is to compare the story of Er in Plato's Republic's tenth book with the concept of antarābhava in the Vedic World and the ancient schools of Buddhism. First, the story of Er, a warrior who was believed to have died in battle and returned to life shortly before his body was burnt on the pyre, will be told. Er describes the vision he had before returning to life: he saw the actions and fate of the disembodied souls in the state and stage before their reincarnation. Next, the Indian doctrine of antarābhava, the intermediate state between death and rebirth, according to the Vedic religion and ancient schools of Buddhism, will be discussed. Finally, we will say a few concluding words to make a historical-religious comparison between the two in order to better understand both these doctrines and visions of the afterlife.

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Abstract

This study explores the major types and main interpersonal functions of meishi (没事, literally ‘I'm fine’) by Chinese females in romantic conversation through analyzing collected posts from Sina Microblog. Results show that meishi by Chinese females in the context of romantic relationships primarily manifests the attributes of “expressive” and “assertive” (“insincere assertive” in particular), with specific functions to express comfort (expressive), to implicitly express negative feelings (expressive), and to avoid self-disclosure of negative emotion (insincere assertive). We hold that Chinese women's use of meishi is not only a realization of gendered discourse but also has a practical function as it detects the sincerity and attentiveness of their male counterparts.

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Abstract

The first person singular indefinite or non-definite of Hungarian verbs that end in -ik shows variation between the regular -k suffix and the -m suffix, used otherwise in the definite. This variation is systematic and subject to metalinguistic awareness. Our study relies on previous quantitative work, a frequency dictionary compiled from the new Hungarian Webcorpus, as well as a forced-choice elicitation experiment to assess the role of word frequency, word length, derivational endings, and across-form similarity in shaping this variation. We find that first person singular indefinite variation is largely defined by natural categories: verbs that look similar will also show a similar preference to -k/-m. This pattern is attested in the webcorpus as well as in participant responses in the elicitation task.

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Going through a lake of Darkness

The Nemi crater as a gateway to the Roman Underworld

Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Authors:
Loredana Lancini
and
Francesca Diosono

Abstract

The lake of Avernus and the lake of Nemi have played a very important role in Roman religion and mythology. Both lay on collapsed volcanic craters along the Tyrrhenian coastline, and the peculiar nature of the landscape surrounding the two lakes is suggestive enough to feel a divine presence in these places. But connections between the two lakes are less superficial than it appears.

In his Commentary on the Aeneid (VI 136), Servius establishes a strong parallelism between the lakes of Avernus and of Nemi. According to this author, Aeneas has to pluck a golden bough to enter the Underworld, whose gate is near the Avernus Lake, following the instruction of the Sybil: it was this very same sacred bough that played a central role in the life-or-death fight between the rex nemorensis (the “king of the wood” in charge) and the pretender in the cult founded by Orestes in Nemi, once he returned from Tauris. The centrality of a bough to be torn off to go below the lake in both myths seems to imply that the lake of Nemi itself can be linked to the Underworld.

The Avernus in particular is known for being a gateway to the Underworld: Virgil presents the lake in this way, and he locates here Aeneas's katabasis, while Homer places here the Odysseus' necromancy. It appears therefore logic to explore the hypothesis that the lake of Nemi could have had similar relation to the Underworld. Finally, the paper also examines the possibility that the presence of a passage to the Underworld is also connected to divination activities.

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The Liye excavation, commenced in 2002, yielded a significant document: the No. 8-461 ‘wooden tablet of nomenclature changes’ (gengming fang 更名方) from the Qin unification era. With 54 entries outlining the nomenclature changes, it complicates the traditional view of the First Emperor’s ‘unification of Chinese script.’ This paper examines this earliest direct evidence pertaining to the writing standardisation project, focusing on terminology analysis and deciphering previously puzzling entries. This study also evaluates the effectiveness of the language reform by analysing character frequency in contemporaneous documents. It also contextualizes this artefact’s significance within the broader historical context of the newly established ruling order in the Qin Empire.

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