Antiquity


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Antiquity

 

a term denoting the ancient, the very old.

In a broad sense antiquity is completely equal to the Russian word drevnost’, but it is most often used for a special purpose, wherein it means the same as drevnost’ but is applied to ancient Greece (including Hellenism) and ancient Rome.

From the Renaissance, when interest in the Greco-Roman antiquities was very great (people gathered and collected works of ancient art and texts of ancient authors, in addition to studying the history and literature of ancient Greece and Rome), there arose such concepts as ancient (antique) art, ancient literature, ancient history, ancient philosophy, and ancient culture.

With the growth of interest in socioeconomic history such concepts also arose as the ancient city and the ancient economic system, as well as concepts introduced by K. Marx: the ancient means of production and the ancient form of property. As Marx noted, the ancient form of property always manifested itself in a contradictory, dualistic form: as state (jointly owned) property and as private property. As a rule, moreover, the latter was conditioned by and dependent upon the former. Only an owner of a main means of production (land) could be a fully entitled member of the civic community—the polis. The ancient world also knew other types of state structure, but the polis was the most defined form.

Of very great historical importance in ancient society was the rise of democracy, under the conditions of which fully entitled citizens participated in political life and the governing of the state. A component of the polis structure, without which it would have been unthinkable in general, was the people’s assembly; however, the degree of democratization was different in various poleis. Despite the fact that it was a democracy of only a privileged minority of the free population, polis democracy was a large step forward for its time. Such ancient communities as a number of the Greek states (Athens, Corinth, and others) as well as Rome, were at a certain period of their development characterized by a profound penetration of slave labor in their basic branches of production. Slave labor thus became, if not the only force, at least one of the chief productive forces.

In ancient society permanent universal values were created, and high stages of development were attained in philosophy, literature, the pictorial arts, and architecture in ancient Greece and Rome.

REFERENCES

Marx, K. “Formy, predshestvuishchie kapitalisticheskomu proizvodstvu.” In K. Marx and F. Engels. Soch.,2nd ed., vol. 46, part 1.
Marx, K. “K kritike politicheskoi ekonomii.” Ibid., vol. 13.
“Iz rukopisnogo nasledstva K. Marksa: Vvedenie.” Ibid., vol. 12.
Engels, F. “Anti-Diuring.” Ibid., vol. 20.
Engels, F. “Proiskhozhdenie sem’i, chastnoi sobstvennosti i gosudarstva.” Ibid., vol. 21.
Marx, K., and F. Engels. Ob antichnosti. Leningrad, 1932.
Kovalev, S. I. “Uchenie Marksa i Engel’sa ob antichnom sposobe proizvodstva.” Izvestiia Gosudarstvennoi akademii istorii material’noi kul’tury,1932, vol. 12, nos. 9–10.
Utchenko, S. L., and E. M. Shtaerman. “O nekotorykh voprosakh istorii rabstva.” Vestnik drevnei istorii,1960, no. 4.

S. L. UTCHENKO

References in classic literature ?
If our neophyte, strong in the new-born love of antiquity, were to undertake to imitate what he had learnt to admire, it must be allowed he would act very injudiciously, if he were to select from the Glossary the obsolete words which it contains, and employ those exclusively of all phrases and vocables retained in modern days.
If, therefore, my dear friend, you have generosity enough to pardon the presumptuous attempt, to frame for myself a minstrel coronet, partly out of the pearls of pure antiquity, and partly from the Bristol stones and paste, with which I have endeavoured to imitate them, I am convinced your opinion of the difficulty of the task will reconcile you to the imperfect manner of its execution.
in that kingdom, and that much is expected from his skill and zeal in delineating those specimens of national antiquity, which are either mouldering under the slow touch of time, or swept away by modern taste, with the same besom of destruction which John Knox used at the Reformation.
From the remotest period of antiquity to which the archives have reference, the hours have been regularly struck by the big bell.
Further, the insignificance of Triptolemus and Eumolpus point to considerable antiquity, and the digamma is still active.
A man, any man, will go considerably out of his way to pick up a silver dollar; but here are golden words, which the wisest men of antiquity have uttered, and whose worth the wise of every succeeding age have assured us of; -- and yet we learn to read only as far as Easy Reading, the primers and class-books, and when we leave school, the "Little Reading," and story-books, which are for boys and beginners; and our reading, our conversation and thinking, are all on a very low level, worthy only of pygmies and manikins.
We should be as good as the worthies of antiquity, but partly by first knowing how good they were.
When the voice of a prophet out of the deeps of antiquity merely echoes to him a sentiment of his infancy, a prayer of his youth, he then pierces to the truth through all the confusion of tradition and the caricature of institutions.
This discovery attracted very general attention, not only as confirming, in a singular manner, the conjectures so boldly made by a long chain of critics, but as bringing to light valuable literary treasures tending to establish the reputation, and to confirm the antiquity and authenticity of the great mass of Aesopian Fable.
Indeed many of the illustrious masters of antiquity, have by the aid of science and skill, even outdone the works of nature, and exhibited a beauty and perfection in the human form that are difficult to be found in the rarest living specimens of any of the species; genus, homo.
A stout country lad opened a door at the end of the passage, and the three friends entered a long, low-roofed room, furnished with a large number of high-backed leather-cushioned chairs, of fantastic shapes, and embellished with a great variety of old portraits and roughly-coloured prints of some antiquity.
In a county known to abound in the remains of the early ages; in a village in which there still existed some memorials of the olden time, he--he, the chairman of the Pickwick Club--had discovered a strange and curious inscription of unquestionable antiquity, which had wholly escaped the observation of the many learned men who had preceded him.