Monash University
4702132_monash_120439.pdf (3.58 MB)

Insignia Summi Imperii and Törü-yin Qadaqasun: the wolf and bundled rods and their role in legitimising the authority of the Roman and Mongol Empires.

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posted on 2017-02-28, 05:08 authored by Ratcliffe, Jonathan Denis
This is an exercise in comparative mythology tracing and analysing mythic motifs which defined the cultures of the ancient Romans and the subsequent Mongolian Empire. In particular, the thesis examines the motifs of the wolf and the bundle of sticks, both used to highlight the importance of ethnic unity. Although the relevant cultures flourished at different times and in different geographical locations, this is the first time that a thesis examines both the legacy of Roman culture in the east in the region of Inner and Central Asia, traditionally inhabited by nomads and often assumed to exist in a cultural void, as well as the role played by such peoples in the formation of the Classical Tradition itself. The thesis attempts a thorough review of all available evidence regarding the aforementioned motifs bringing together Roman and Asian sources: at times the review dispels misperceptions commonly repeated in the bibliography until now, at times it reveals parts of transmission paths long forgotten, and at times it defines more concretely the limitations of our knowledge.


Principal supervisor

Evangelina Anagnostou-Laotides

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Department, School or Centre

Philosopical, Historical and International Studies


Master of Arts

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Faculty of Arts

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