Ancient authors in the Synesius’ speech «De Regno»

Przhigodzkaja Olga Vladimirovna, lecturer, Institute of Linguistics, Saint-Petersburg State University (Universitetskaya nabereghnaya, dom 11, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 199034)

Przhigodzkaja O. V. Ancient authors in the Synesius’ speech «De Regno», Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2014, vol. 3, pp. 337–340.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2014-00017

Language: Russian

The article is devoted to the works of the ancient citation in the speech by Synesius «De Regno» This speech (399) is devoted to the situation in the Roman Empire at the end of 4th century AD In the text he used a wide range of ancient sources (7–4thcenturies BC.) starting with quotations from the poems of Homer and ending with philosophical treatises of Plato and Aristotle. The article suggests a deliberate use of works of authors of the classical period to justify first of all in support of his views antigermanizma and justification ideology antigermanizma. Based on the analysis of the text of speech, we can conclude several versions of citations in speech «De Regno». Firstly, there are excerpts from classical works to serve the rhetorical ornaments of speech and focused on theintroduction of students with well-known quotations from the authors of the classical period. Secondly, the quotations serve the purpose of creating a negative image of Germans and matched with the influence on the mood of the audience. Thirdly, there is the quotation from Herodotus, the meaning of which intentionally distorted. The problem of intentional violation of meaning comes to justifying the idea antigermanizma, and in this sense the author of speech acts as the ideologue of the direction in social thought of the late antiquity.Synesius consciously archaizes style of speech, calling contemporary Germans “Scythians”, focusing on the terminology of Plato and Aristotle and attempts to emphasize the backwardness of the Germans and the danger that they are, in his opinion, represent the Roman Empire. Analyzing an excerpt from the “History” of Herodotus (Herod. IV, 46), you can pay attention to the characterization given by the author of the Scythians based on the description of the way of life — he calls these people “invincible and unapproachable.” However, the same passage in the speech Synesius looks like a pejorative characterization, according to which the same qualities that Herodotus leads to positive characteristic, are understood as negative, but an interpretation which is attributed to Herodotus. Thus,Synesius seeks to support his idea of the Germans, on the authority of Herodotus. Thus, in a speech «De Regno» Synesius acts as an ideologist antigermanizma and strives to maintain his position authoritative opinion of the authors of works of classical antiquity.
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Key words: Synesius, Homer, Herodotus, Aristotle, the Germans


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