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catalogue – 43669
Until 01.01.2019 - Scientific Yearbook of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 2686-7206 (Print)

ISSN 2686-925X (Оnlinе)

Matveychev Oleg
The purpose of this article is to draw scholars’ attention to the figure of the poet Olen from Lycia who was ignored by most researchers of ancient culture due to the scarcity of information, and to place him into a wide context of discussions about the origin of the Apollo cult. The article demonstrates the diversity of views on the genesis and evolution of the Apollonian cult, examines the Asia Minor’s, Thracian’s, Doric’s and “Nordic’s” hypotheses; notes the “foreignness” of Apollo in relation to the Olympic pantheon, as well as the connection of his image with the legendary country of Hyperborea. The swiftness with which the cult of Apollo spread throughout the Greek world suggests that this did not happen spontaneously, but due to someone’s conscious and systematic efforts. One of the messengers of the powerful northern God could be Olen who, according to legend, founded the Temple of Apollo at Delphi and was the first to pronounce his prophecies in hexameters, thus acting as the first poet who invented the very form of poetry. Being both a poet and a soothsayer, Olen was an example of an ancient mantis, a “vedun” involved in divine truths giving things their names. Apollo himself has pronounced features of a “vedun”, being a god-musician, healer, mastermind of poets, a foreseer of the future. Contrary to popular belief that the mantis prophesied exclusively in a state close to madness, the author indicates that divination was a special intense thought process. The rehabilitation of divination as an intellectual phenomenon increases its significance in the history of Greek thought. Mantic poetry may well be considered as one of the sources of philosophy, the genesis of which seems to be a more multifaceted phenomenon than the movement “from myth to logos” described by V. Nestle’s formula. Given the multifaceted cult of Apollo in which you can find the northern, Cretan-Mycenaean, Asia Minor, and Doric roots, we can assume that Olen professed the cult of only one “hypostasis” of the radiant god – the Hyperborean (most likely, the original), with which all other components of the cult are joined over time.
Keywords: history of philosophy; Ancient Greek religion; mythology; poetry; shamanism; Ancient Greece; Hyperborea; Delphi; Delos; Apollo; Olen.
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