K. Kuminova, Master's Student

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/1728-2640.2020.145.7


The paper analyses the "Athenian plot" in the ancient biographies of Anacharsis. The main objective of the paper is to date the emergence of stories about Anacharsis’ meeting with Solon in Athens. It is analysing written reports of ancient authors of from the 8th century BC to 3rd century AD. The first mention of Anacharsis we find in "The History" of Herodotus (5th century BC). It is spoken in detail about Diogenes Laërtius and the primary source of his «Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers». The fact that Diogenes Laërtius uses the works of Sosicrates of Rhodes and Hermippus of Smyrna, who are the ancient authors of the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, is stressed. This makes it possible to date the appearance of the «Athenian plot» in ancient biographies of Anacharsis precisely this period.

The author described in short, the political and economic situation in Greece and Rome of this period. It is shown that Anacharsis became an ideal image of a noble barbarian for the ancient world. The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) and the crisis of the post-war period made philosophers to think a place of a man in this world. The noble barbarian became the new ideal of ancient philosophy. It is concluded that the popularity of Anacharsis and the wise barbarian is a reaction of ancient authors to crises in ancient times. He was a sample of wisdom and purity. Anacharsis became famous for the simplicity of his way of life and his acute observations on the institutions and customs of the Greeks. None of the works ascribed to him in ancient times, if indeed they were written by him, have survived.

Key words: Anacharsis, "Athenian plot", ancient authors, the ancient biographies of Anacharsis, а noble barbarian, crises in ancient times.

Received by the editorial board: 26.05.2020

Download Full Text


1. Buzeskul, V. (2005). Introduction to the History of Greece. A Review of Sources and an Outline of the Development of Greek History in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries. Moscow: Kolo. [In Russian].

2. Grant, M. (1998). Roman Emperors: Biographical Companion of the Rulers of Roman Empire of 31 BC – AD 476. Moscow: Terra. [In Russian].

3. Ivanchik, A. (2005). On the Eve of Colonization. The Northern Black Sea Region and the Steppe Nomads of 8th – 7th Centuries BC in the Classical Literary Tradition: Folklore, Literature and History. Moscow: Science. [In Russian].

4. Knabe, G. (1981). Cornelius Tacitus: Time, Life, Books. Moscow: Science. [In Russian].

5. Kozulin, V. (2015). The Image of the Scythians in the Classical Literary Tradition. Barnaul: Altai State University Press. [In Russian].

6. Kuklina, I. (1969). Άβιοι ̉ in the Ancient Literary Tradition. Bulletin of Ancient History, 3, 120-130. [In Russian].

7. Kuminova, K. (2018). Images of Anacharsis and Scylla in Ancient Literature. Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. History, 4, 41-45. [in Ukrainian].

8. Losev, A. (1981). Diogenes Laertius – Historian of Ancient Philosophy Moscow: Science. [In Russian].

9. Pechatnova, L. (2004). The Antique Tradition of Ephorus Chilon. Mnemon, 3, 31-49. [In Russian].

10. Rusyaeva, A. & Suprinenko, A. (2003). Historical Persons of the Hellenic-Scythian Epoch (Cultural-Political Contacts and Interinfluence). Kyiv – Komsomolsk: Archaeology. [In Russian].

11. Skrzhinskaya, M. (2001). The Hellenes Image of the Scythia. Saint Petersburg: Aleteiya. [In Russian].

12. Tumans, H. (2002). Birth of Athena. The Athenian path to democracy: from Homer to Pericles (8th – 5th Centuries BC). Saint Petersburg: Humanitarian Academy. [In Russian].

13. Xabixt, H. (1999). Athens. History of the City in the Hellenistic Era. Moscow: Ladomir. [In Russian].

14. Chernyshov, Yu. (1984). Legends about the "Islands of the Blessed" in the Ancient Literature of the 1st century BCE. Bulletin of Leningrad State University, 20, 104-107. [In Russian].

15. Shirokova, N. (1979). The Idealization of Barbarians in the Ancient Literary Tradition. Antique Policy, 5, 124-139. [In Russian].

16. Beloch, K. (1912). Griechische Geschichte. 2. Aufl. B. Strassburg: Verlag von Karl J. Trübner.

17. Riese, A. (1875). Die Idealisierung der Naturvölker des Nordens in der griechischen und römischen Literatur. Heidelberg: Weiss.

18. Scmidt, T. (2017). Barbarians in Plutarch's Political Thought. [Online]. Retrieved from https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/20663040.pdf.

19. Shipley, G. (2000). The Greek World After Alexander 323–30 BC. London and New York: Routledge.