Theophanies are a structural element of every religion and are based, partly, on the effort to reinforce the religious credo of believers — the appearance of a god before the eyes of a human proves his existence and his power — and, partly, on the need of humans to reassure their faith, always seeking proofs. Probably the earliest description of a theophany is in the Epic of Gilgamesh but certainly the most impressive is the Homeric narration of the encounter between Athens and Ulysses under a tree, where they talk and laugh like old friends.
However, testimonies of theophanies can be also found on the margin of official religion, in the field of magic. The difference here is that god does not appear voluntarily but is compelled by the power of the magic rituals to reveal himself and serve human desires. In this paper, I intend to unfold the PGM (Papyri Graecae Magicae) collection, and, bearing in mind its magico-religious syncretistic character and the multi-cultural and multi-religious environment of its Greco-Roman Egyptian origin, to describe the magical procedures aimed at the appearance of the god and then to analyze their underlying similarities and compare them with the “official” theophanies, in order to detect repeated motifs, influences or problems.
The structures, or architectural forms, can be very various. They are independent both as to text and tune, are inconcievable by lyrics or melody taken separately, have nothing to do with the conscious intention or representation of the singers themselves, and are spontaneously actualized during the singing. Due to such immaterial structuring possibilities, and using only the formal possibilities of the syntagmatic, in Romanian traditional/folk singing a single poetic text can receive 64 formal treatments/versions. For establishing the existence of these architectural variants I have started from observations such as the one belonging to Bartók, who noticed that Romanians had the peculiarity of singing the same verse four times. Other observations spoke about tree times repetitions of each verse, while in someother circumstances verses are repeated just once. If we logically establish all possible forms of sytagmatic repetitions we obtain this sum of 64 variants, which constitute the equally real and virtual being of each and any folk song. These structures and architectures were very important to the old, traditional/peasant aesthetics, and their actualization was essential espetially to ceremonial repertories such as Winter-Solstice-Songs (carols). By giving up devices such as verse repetition and stanzaic refrains, and by shortening the time for performing the epic songs of the peasant carol, what was lost was the immaterial aspect of unconscious constructing, the abysmal pleasure for implied mathematics, was lost one of the essences of the sacred experience, which is -as philosophers put it - 'experiencing the Number'.
In 13th-century Gujarat, the court of the Caulukya emperors in Aṇahilavāḍa-Pāṭan offered patronage and employment to a highly learned group of individuals. These men also wrote poetry and drama in their spare time — for their amusement, as a mark of culture and to comment upon the events of their times. Within this group, Someśvaradeva, royal chaplain to the Caulukya monarch Bhīma II and his Vāghela successors Lavaṇaprasāda and Vīradhavala, was renowned for having written a composition in only one and a half hours. He offers us in his writings a wealth of historical information on his political circumstances, along with subtle reflections on the ethics of poetry. Who is a good poet? Who is a bad poet? Is a good poet a virtuous individual (sajjana)? Is a bad poet a rogue (durjana)? Who are the models of poetic propriety? Such are some of Someśvaradeva’s concerns. These frequently satirical commentaries on standards of poetry and the ideal poetic disposition appear in the preambles to his two epic poems, the Surathotsava 1.30–64 and the Kīrtikaumudī 1.7–46. Despite their sophistication, they have hardly interested most scholars working on these texts. The article analyses these passages in detail for the first time, and examines the ethics that Someśvaradeva, and the poets of his company, felt underlay the art of poetry.
In Gogol’s Dikan’ka stories cycle, the absence of a fundamental figure for the genre in question (the mother) is evident. Each story, in fact, features a “stepmother” or a surrogate of some sort, who turns out to be a demonic entity, if not a witch. This paper argues that for Gogol the Mother God, originally venerated as the main deity, assumes the form of Moist Mother Earth, forgotten by the modern Slavonic man as he increasingly distances himself from the collective (the “mir”). This process culminates in the Dikan’ka’s tale The Terrible Revenge, in which Gogol highlights the transition from the feminine to the male principle, that is to say from the Moist Mother Earth to the apocryphal God of the Ukrainian sung epic poem (“duma”). Evenings on a Farm Near Dikan’ka tells of the dangerous path trodden by modern man, a path where he – in the empty space left by Moist Mother Earth – takes exclusively responsibility for the eponymous revenge.
The Lithuanian “baladeacutes” should be held to be narrative lyrics. Because of a strong lyrical trend in Lithuanian folk poetry, very often they seem to be cases between folksongs and folkballads. An attempt to explain the untragic nature of part of Lithuanian ballad-sujets is done in the article. The cause could be not only the lyrical mood of folk singers or the lack of epic as well as dramatic traditions in Lithuanian singing folklore, but on the great part the answer may be found in the medium those foreign sujets got in. In the oldest strata of Lithuanian ballads the role of mythology is of great importance, the archaic conception of death and love. It is the avoidance of rude cruelty in Lithuanian ballads that causes the absence of certain parts; the structure of sujet becomes obscure, and the inner logic of sujet is ruled out. Dramatical manner of performance is present only sometimes, but not always in Lithuanian ballads. The expression of the individual; traditional occasions to perform ballads; some poetical artificies of Lithuanian ballads; suppositional meaning of some ballads motifs; the classification of Lithuanian ballads as well as their origin is also reviewed shortly in the article.
The expression xuuč yaria can be translated as ‘story’ or ‘gossip’, and indeed, they are short stories about interesting, extraordinary or sometimes fearful events heard or seen by the storyteller. As far as their content is concerned, the stories are colourful and ramifying, and it is beyond doubt that the xuuč yaria has some connections with domogs, tales and even heroic epics. Unfortunately, research into this field has begun relatively recently, so these connections are far from being clear. Moreover, the xuuč yaria stories are interesting not only from the point of view of folklore, but they also shed light on the history of ideas, since the first ones were collected in the 1950s, and thus some of them reflect the political atmosphere of the socialist era. In this article an attempt is made to give the broader outlines of the xuuč yaria as a genre of Mongolian folklore, and establish a typology in the hope that it will be helpful for further research.
Petrarca Argus c. eclogájáról, jóllehet a Bucolicum carmen föltehetőleg legkorábban keletkezett darabja, mindeddig nem született önálló tanulmány. Az eddigi kutatás a mű antik előképei közül szinte kizárólag Vergilius pásztori költészetének hatásával számolt, a föltűnően nagyszámú epikus allúziót, Ovidius, Statius, Claudianus hatását azonban alig vizsgálták, ez az egyoldalúság pedig könnyen vezethet kevéssé helytálló értelmezésekhez. A dolgozat az allúziók alaposabb föltárásával a költemény szerkezetének és igen összetett jelképiségének értelmezésére tesz kísérletet.
This study deals with the Ancient Latin and Old Hungarian adaptations of the most drastic myth of Tereus, Philomela and Progne. Ovid inserted the story into the 6th book of the Metamomorphoses (lines 424–674). István Gyöngyösi, called “Hungarian Ovid” by right, adapted an Ovidian text in compliance with baroque literary and translation aspects. The translation makes part of the poem called Csalárd Cupido (Fraudulent Cupido) composed in hardly identifiable epic genre in the 17th century. The Ovidian insertion became the third part of the four-part poem, focusing on the demonstration of the outrages caused by Cupido. The main characteristics of the Gyöngyösi’s adaptation are: the domestication (for example in the case of the Dionysian rites), the large insertions, the enlargement and amplification, the borrowings and changings of the motifs and patterns and the spectacular actualisation. The motive of the fire is, for example, much more emphased in the Hungarian version. Both of the authors makes capital of the rhetorics, but the Hungarian text turns up the rhetorical elements and uses them as the instrument or device of the retardation and of the itemization or specification. The animal motifs being found several times in the text are used to exagerate or heighten the drastic apspects and to point out to demonstrate some animal qualities of the human beeings.
The Cornelia-figure of Lucan is a relative of the female figures of Virgil and Ovid according to linguistic and motivic references, however, on a motivic level, it should be grateful to the tragedies of Propertius and Seneca. In the Cornelia-narrative of Lucan we can assume, on the one hand a conscious linguistic and motivic reference to Ariadne of Catull with a reasonable certainty, and on the other hand to many other longer or shorter Ariadne-narratives of Ovid. The study reviews the possible references to the Ariadne-story in the epic of Lucan. In Rome, where the Naxos-episode, the most frequently mentioned part of the Ariande-story was set, the image of
was linked to the figure of the princess of Crete: which means that the connection of the ‘Ariadne in Naxos’-story with Cornelia can be a mythological metaphor of the image of becoming god. So, as a virtuous woman, Cornelia does deserve becoming a god in connection with her husband, just like Pompey as a man.
A driving force in Vergil’s Aeneid is the hostility of Juno to the Trojans as they approach, and finally arrive in Italy. The epic in some ways mirrors the opposition encountered by Augustus as the new ruler of Rome. Juno’s opposition to the Trojans has its origin not only in Greek mythology, but in the history of the local peoples of Italy with whom early Romans had to contend. From the outset of the poem she becomes the personification of these opposing forces. Once the Trojans finally reach mainland Italy, she sets in motion a long war, although the one depicted in the Aeneid was not as long as the real wars Romans waged with the Latin League and with the many of the tribes of Italy, including the Veii. The reality of the wars Rome had to contend with are here compared to the relatively brief one depicted in the Aeneid, and the pacification of Juno reflects the merging of the different peoples of Rome with their subjugator.