On Probability of Single Cult Complex of Achilles in Lower Buh Region in Archaic Times (Berezan – Beikush – Velyka Chornomorka II)

Keywords: the cult of Achilles, the Northern Black Sea region, the serpent, the Supreme God, the Indo-European community

Abstract

The discoveries at Cape Beikush allow us to significantly expand and refine our understanding of the nature and extent of local influence on the archaic cult of Achilles in the Northern Black Sea region. The decisive factor in the formation of the archaic cult of Achilles in the Northern Black Sea region at the initial stage was the meeting of the colonists with a powerful ideological phenomenon – the veneration of the local tribes (relic Aryans) almost continuously, since the IV millennium BCE, AXI-the Serpent – the first Ancestor and personification of the Indo-European worldview born in the Northern Black Sea region.

The earliest archaeological evidence of the Achilles worship in the Northern Black Sea region dates from the end of the VII – early VI centuries BC and is associated with a cult complex of Achilles in the Lower Buh region (‘Lower Pobuzhzhia’), combining Berezan’, Beikush and Velyka Chornomorka II. This allows us to distinguish a special and earliest stage in the development of the cult of Achilles in the Northern Black Sea region: the end of the VII – early V centuries BCE, when the sanctuary of Achilles on Beikush ceased to exist. After that, in other places of Achilles’ worship in the Northern Black Sea region, the «Serpent» features of the cult of Achilles on Beikush were no longer repeated. In other words, the image and cult of Achilles was no longer associated with serpents. This indicates a gradual loss of syncretism of these images and cults due to the decline of local, «barbaric» influence on them after the 5th century BCE.

This is also due to the fact that AXI-the «Serpent-ancestor» was for the Greek colonists, obviously, an alien deity. The subsequent transfer of the center of the veneration of Achilles to the Island of Levke seems to be the realization of the need to bring the cult important for further colonization (to completely abandon the cult of AXI-the Serpent – the «master» of the Northern Black Sea Region to the colonists, surrounded by «barbarians», was clearly unprofitable) in accordance with the already existing legends about the White Island and Homer’s Achilles, as well as with the «norms» of the Delphic oracle, which clearly did not meet the «barbarian» Beikush. The appearance in Roman times of the cult of Achilles Pontarchus – the «Lord of the Black Sea» and God cannot be explained by anything other than the great importance of the prototype of Achilles in the Northern Black Sea region in previous times, from the beginning of the formation of the Indo-European community.

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Published
13.11.2021
How to Cite
LazarenkoV. (2021). On Probability of Single Cult Complex of Achilles in Lower Buh Region in Archaic Times (Berezan – Beikush – Velyka Chornomorka II). Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (3(35), 74-83. https://doi.org/10.33782/eminak2021.3(35).543
Section
Archaelogy