The epic story of the hero Perseus’ decapitation of the monstrous Gorgon Medusa is one of the more enduring tales from classical mythology. 1 There are several references to this Gorgon lore in Virgil’s Aeneid , careful consideration of which will
The authors discuss herein, and present the specialists, a recent find related to the classical Graeco-Roman pantheon. It is a bronze figurine of Minerva discovered in a waste pit from the southern cemetery of the urban centre at Apulum, located on the Furcilor Hill-“Podei”. Although archaeology records no workshop making such pieces, this figurine, rather modest in artistic terms, had likely been produced at Apulum or in one of the workshops from the Roman province of Dacia. It is a solid cast, in the “lost-form” technique, sized as follows: height – 7.2 cm, width – 1.9 cm, thickness – 0.9 cm. On the basis of its execution, which lacks accurate rendering of facial features, yet also the absent Gorgon on the aegis, the votive figurine may be dated to the 3rd century AD. Since it was not discovered in a grave, but in a waste pit, it is rather difficult to make a connection with any possible funerary function of the goddess. The ancient prototype of this kind of representation is the cult statue of Athena Parthenos of Phidias, housed on the Acropolis of Athens. The other six bronze votive figurines of Minerva discovered in Dacia do not resemble that discussed here.
The facts of Gogol's appeal to the models of classical forms of myth and ritual are interesting not only by themselves but also in the aspect of their relationship with the arsenal of Christian mythology. The fundamental point here is that in light of the historical interpretation of the myth and the Revelation by F. W. J. Schelling, the mythology since its initial stage organically developed to Christianity, to the truths of Revelation (as the historical movement “flowed” into them).
The symbolic complex of the story Vij, interlacing with Eros and Thanatos, allows parallels to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice since in the case of the story Vij and in the case of myth, the motive of prohibition on sight also holds. The philosopher (i.e. the poet in the archaic and romantic notion) Homa Brut comes into contact with the world of death not of his own free will, besides, the panicle Eurydice died because of him. Orpheus partakes of the Dionysian sacraments. A visit to Orpheus of hell equated him, in Christian understanding, with Christ. In Gogol's story Vij, Dionysus and Christ have implicitly come together.
The motive of the story Vij for blindness is related to Oedipus's self-blindness motive. Mythological Erinnes, persecuted by Oedipus, are old women, which correlates with one of the chthonic incarnations of the plaque, thereby drawing closer to the goddesses of revenge, punishment, and remorse of conscience. The fact of the final recognition of Oedipus as “holy” is reflected in the potential Christian semantics of the image of Homa as a martyr and passion-bearer.
As the winner of the witch, the deliverer of people from her misfortunes and the passion bearer Homa is a Christian ascetic. Against the background of Christian parallels, the second stay of Homa on the farm becomes as if his “second coming”, symbolically comparable to the expected second coming of Christ, who is coming all the time.
The terrible glance of Vij and pannochka certainly reminds of the slaying glance of Medusa Gorgon, which forced all living things to petrify.
There is pathos of fighting tyranny in ridding the farm from the witch by Homa. Although Homa defends himself first of all in the beating scene, the general social meaning of his action is obvious. The power of the pannochka (she is the daughter of a wealthy sotnik), who for some reason considers himself pious, is not only socio-political but, in the main, existential-anthropological, this domination over man as a species, over man as such.
The motives of ancient Greek and in general pagan mythology are closely intertwined in Gogol's story with Christian motives, which formed the unique spiritual and aesthetic synthesis of the story Vij.
Authors:Anna Székely, Solomon Gwerevende, Jorge Poveda Yánez, Gábor Klaniczay, and Peter Zolczer
the hybrid monsters of antiquity: the Gorgon, harpies, centaurs, lamia , etc. In a second step, she offers a systematic analysis of the conditions required for these beings to undergo their metamorphosis, such as a special birth (a seventh or ninth