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The Origins of Apollo Cult and the Poet Olen

Matveychev, Oleg

Abstract. 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.

Karl Marx on species essence of a human being

Kondrashov, Pyotr

Abstract. The article is based on a detailed textual analysis is the attempt of historicalphilosophical explication of the formation of Karl Marx’s teaching about the species essence of human beings (Gattungswesen des Menschen). In modern studies of Marx’s philosophy, the view according to which Marx understands the nature of human beings only as «the ensemble of social relations» dominates. However, as the author shows, there are several definitions in Marx’s texts. Thus, the species essence of human beings is defined as: (1) true social relation of people, genuine community (Gemeinwesen); (2) praxis (Praxis); (3) creative activity (productive Tätigkeit, Selbstbetätigung); (4) ensemble of social relations (das ensemble der gesellschaftlichen Verhältnisse). Constitutive moments of the human essence arising from the praxis as a basic characteristic of a person are: objectivity, intersubjectivity, sociality, historicity and existential indifference. It is shown that according to Marx the species essence of human being is not given by nature but arises in the course of historical development. Moreover, in the «Capital» Marx distinguishes between an invariant essence (Praxis) and the historical modifications of praxis. So, the history is understood as a «continuous change of human nature». For thefirst time in the history of philosophy, the historical sequence of the development of Marx’s ideas about the species essence of man is explicated. Despite the radical changes in Marx's philosophical preferences (the transition from Fichte’s subjective idealism to Hegel’s objective idealism and then to materialism), his ideas about the species essence of human beings however has been changing not so much as series of «jumps», but rather as a dialectical movement towards a deeper, comprehensive development and enrichment of the original humanistic intuitions, which eventually led him to the formulation of the original concept of human being.

Keywords: Karl Marx’s philosophy; species essence of human being; praxis; ensemble of social relations; sociality; objectivity; historicity; existential indifference.