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    Rostovtzeff and the classical origins of Eurasianism

    Meyer, Caspar (2009) Rostovtzeff and the classical origins of Eurasianism. Anabases: Traditions et réception de l'Antiquité 9 , pp. 185-197. ISSN 1774-4296.

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    This article places M. I. Rostovtzeff’s work on northern Black Sea archaeology in the intellectual and political context of pre-Revolutionary Russia and seeks to bring out the possibilities his synthesis offered to Russian self-identification and historiography, Eurasianist in particular. The central thesis of his writings on the subject is traced to his religious interpretations of figured scenes on classical Greco-Scythian metalwork (notably the Karagodeuashkh rhyton) which allowed him to connect material culture with Iranian political concepts and demonstrate historical continuities between ancient and modern monarchies in Russian lands. The study explains Rostovtzeff’s understanding of cultural interaction between Iranians and Greeks as a Russian response to the scholarly tradition of J. G. Droysen and F. Cumont, concerned with establishing the origins of Christian modernity in the Hellenistic “fusion” of Orient and Occident. It is argued that Rostovtzeff was right in placing cross-cultural elite collaboration at the core of ancient state formation in the northern Black Sea region, but wrong in identifying normative preconditions for civilization in Russian lands. The latter aspect of his work was compatible with imperial interests at either end of the political spectrum and ensured Rostovtzeff’s continued influence among émigré intellectuals of different calibre and conviction.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): northern Black Sea archaeology, Greco-Scythian metalwork, Eurasianism, Hellenism, Vernadsky George Vladimirovich, Droysen Johann Gustav, Cumont Franz, Rostovtzeff Mikhail
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2010 14:54
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:53


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