Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Trojan in mith Archaeology and Identity

Trojan in mith Archaeology and Identity



|Views: 429|Likes:
Published by herodot_25882

More info:

Published by: herodot_25882 on Nov 18, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





The Trojans in Epirus
Archaeology, Myth, and Identityin Inter-War Albania
ILKES We passed along the coastline of EpirusTo port Chaonia, where we put in,Below Buthrotum on the height...I saw before me Troy in miniature, A slender copy of our massive tower, A dry brooklet named Xanthus...and I pressedMy body to a Scaean Gate...(Aeneid III 388–480)
Between 1924 and 1943 southern Albania was the venue for the revisiting of themyth of the flight of Aeneas and his followers from the destruction of Troy, andthe fulfilment of their destiny in Italy (figure 3.1). The Italian State had existedas a unified entity only since 1870, and the Virgilian legend resonated stronglywith the search for unity and purpose that was pursued by the “least of the GreatPowers.” The fascist government of Benito Mussolini came to power in 1922, onthe back of another myth, that of the national salvation effected by the march onRome and the fascist revolution. Once in power the fascists continued to drawon the power of legend and associated commemoration. This provided them with
University of East Anglia
Figure 3.1.
Aeneas, arriving at Butrint, is greeted by King Helenus (MCR).
the foundation of tradition with which to impose the new modes of consciousnessdeemed necessary for the dawning of a new era. A social renaissance and the reconstitution of societies and individuals wasa theme that ran strongly through all the totalitarian states of inter-war Europe(Mazower, 1998:77–105). In the Soviet Union “socialist man” was to be createdby the heightening of class-consciousness and collectivization. Architects, for in-stance, directed their efforts towards the creation of spaces in which these “newmen” could flourish and work in collective harmony (Hudson, 1993:50–51). InNazi Germany culture and racial theory were manipulated to the same ends. Italywas no different; and clearly there existed a strong dialectic between the methodsusedbyallthreeregimestoachievetheirsuperficiallydiverseobjectives;tofusethepublic and private selves of their citizens in the commonality of the state. In theseprograms the “invention of tradition,” as Eric Hobsbawm defined it (Hobsbawm,1994a:1–14 ), was a significant activity. As with architecture and art, archaeology was a tool to be deployed in allthese cases, though its exact form varied. It is easy to see why this should beso. The Russian art historian Igor Golomstock, discussing what he defined as“totalitarian art”—that is realist art—defined the relationship between culturalmyth and reality in totalitarian systems: “In a totalitarian system art performsthe function of transforming the raw material of dry ideology into the fuel of 
images and myths intended for general consumption” (Golomstock, 1990:xii).It achieved this by taking ideas and moulding them into a physical medium. Archaeology can be said to employ the reverse process, taking and filtering phys-ical realities to create myths. For the totalitarian systems of the 20th centurythis was especially so, though with differing inspiration and direction. With itsMarxist-Leninist philosophy, the Soviet Union naturally veered towards a cul-ture historical approach that stressed the adaptation of society to technology(Trigger, 1989:212–253). The Nazis were stimulated by their racial theories to-wards prehistoric studies, though the archaeological and cultural activities of theSS Ahnenerbe and Alfred Rosenberg’s racial institute ranged widely (Nicholas,1995), and clashed with a more traditionally founded scholarship (Maischberger,2002) and, indeed, with Hitler’s own classical preferences (Spotts, 2002:16–17,21–22).However,thefascistsinItalycoulddrawinspirationdirectlyfromtheeverydayenvironment of the classical remains that littered Italian towns and cities—as wellas a classical literary tradition learnt by all Italian schoolchildren. By oversteppingthemiddleagesandother“agesofdecadence,thefascistslinkedthemselvestotheRomans, whose imperial might and penchant for territorial aggrandizement wereexemplars of what could be achieved by the fascist “new men.” This doctrine of Romanit`a (Vissier, 1992) was taken to its logical extreme by looking back into theremote,mythicalpasttothefounderoftheRomanline,Aeneas,andhismeanderingflight to Italy (figure 3.2). It was partly the desire to tap into this tradition that
Figure 3.2.
The voyage of Aeneas from a map prepared for the Crociera Virgiliana (MCR).

Activity (17)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
Ivona Kortelova liked this
Artan liked this
Ramadan Musliu liked this
Olimpia Gargano liked this
Nertila Kurani liked this
AACO liked this
Egzon Sadria liked this
Altin Bogdani liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->