Education and Research


Kim H. Veltman

Media nova fontesque novi. De Luna, Mithra, et Proserpina Quodlibetica, Servizi e Contenuti Digitali

Gli Elementi Base della Societa della Conoscenza, Napoli 26 Giugnio 2006, Napoli: Università degli studi di Napoli, 2006 (in press)


New media entail much more than a simple translation process from an older to a contemporary version. They challenge us to rethink many of the limitations of earlier modes, methods and even to transform our definitions of the boundaries of disciplines. By way of illustration, this paper focuses on ancient mythology and religion, specifically on monthly cycles of the moon, and annual cycles of the seasons particularly with respect to Mithra and Proserpina to show how ideas which began in India make their way westwards via Persia to Europe. These polyvalent examples serve to show why humanists need much more than simple databases with names and variants. Implicit in these examples also is a need for a new approach to classical studies, whereby the quest to study the continuity of ancient symbols, which Warburg coined Das Nachleben der Antike, needs to be complemented by studies into Das Vorleben der Antike, i.e. the roots of these symbols in the period 20,000 B.C. -1,000 B.C. This new approach has profound implications for services and digital contents, for models of a digital economy and for Europe’s quest to redefine its identity.

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