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Mythos als Propaganda

Matthias Corvinus und die Legenden über seine Herkunft

Author: Christine Harrauer

The myths about the birth of Matthias Corvinus - though varied in contents - were written with the view to his legality as king. Even after the coronation his authorization was called into question by many Hungarian aristocrats, because his father János Hunyadi, the celebrated fighter against the Turks, was a homo novus. Although the royal propaganda led back the family Hunyadi, bearing the raven (corvus) in the coat of arms, to the famous Roman Corvini, a widespread myth about the aition of this raven - a story which made János Hunyadi a natural son of king Sigismund - still circulated and was used against Matthias. Examination of this story makes quite sure that it was not invented by Matthias' enemies; the invention was rather an attempt made by his father János to prepare the basis for his and his children's influence and power.

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The largely neglected characterization of Aeëtes and the function of Ares in the 'Argonautica' may heighten the insight into Apollonius' intentions. Regarded more closely, the plot shows that Aeëtes, though being the son of Helios, is marked as an Ares-hero, and not only in the scene in which he arms himself (3. 1225-45). Already in book 2 his close connection with the war-god is hinted at repeatedly, and in book 3 it is further intensified by the adaptation of the Cadmus-and-dragon myth (as told by Pherecydes). Jason, who was compared to both Ares and Apollo at the beginning of his aristeia, proved to be a match for the cruel Aeëtes when he finally performs the shocking massacre of the earthborn. He wins, but he owes his success to Aphrodite. In Apollonius, Ares and Aphrodite rule over human beings and their fates; however, the outcome of their power is not harmonia (as in the Cadmus myth), but at the very end of his poem (book 4) crime, blood and death.

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The paper investigates some open questions concerning the Roman Lupercalia . Within the research it appears that several problems touching the Lupercalia as well as other ceremonies within the Parentalia can be solved in regard to the feasts of the month February as a whole.

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