The Argei: Sex, War, and Crucifixion in Rome and the Ancient Near East

The Argei: Sex, War, and Crucifixion in Rome and the Ancient Near East

Date: May 2012
Creator: Ewin, Kristan Foust
Description: The purpose of the Roman Argei ceremony, during which the Vestal Virgins harvested made and paraded rush puppets only to throw them into the Tiber, is widely debated. Modern historians supply three main reasons for the purpose of the Argei: an agrarian act, a scapegoat, and finally as an offering averting deceased spirits or Lares. I suggest that the ceremony also related to war and the spectacle of displaying war casualties. I compare the ancient Near East and Rome and connect the element of war and husbandry and claim that the Argei paralleled the sacred marriage. in addition to an agricultural and purification rite, these rituals may have served as sympathetic magic for pre- and inter-war periods. As of yet, no author has proposed the Argei as a ceremony related to war. By looking at the Argei holistically I open the door for a new direction of inquiry on the Argei ceremony, fertility cults in the Near East and in Rome, and on the execution of war criminals.The Argei and new year’s sacred marriage both occurred during the initiation of campaign and spring planting and harvest season. Both in the ancient Near East and in Rome, animal victims were sacrificed ...
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Looting and Restitution During World War II: a Comparison Between the Soviet Union Trophy Commission and the Western Allies Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Commission

Looting and Restitution During World War II: a Comparison Between the Soviet Union Trophy Commission and the Western Allies Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Commission

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Date: May 2012
Creator: Zelman, Laura Holsomback
Description: From the earliest civilizations, victorious armies would loot defeated cities or nations. the practice evolved into art theft as a symbol of power. Cultural superiority confirmed a country or empire’s regime. Throughout history, the Greeks and Romans cultivated, Napoleon Bonaparte refined, and Adolf Hitler perfected the practice of plunder. As the tides of Second World War began to shift in favor of the Allied Powers, special commissions, established to locate the Germans’ hoards of treasure, discovered Nazi art repositories filled with art objects looted from throughout Europe. the Soviet Union Trophy Commission and the Western Allies Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Commission competed to discover Nazi war loot. the two organizations not only approached the subject of plunder as a treasure hunt, but the ideology motivating both commissions made uncovering the depositories first, a priority. the Soviet trophy brigades’ mission was to dismantle all items of financial worth and ship them eastward to help rebuild a devastated Soviet economy. the Soviet Union wished for the re-compensation of cultural valuables destroyed by the Nazis’ purification practices regarding “inferior” Slavic art and architecture; however, the defeated German nation did not have the ability to reimburse the Soviet State. the trophy brigades implemented ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Soldier Boys of Texas: The Seventh Texas Infantry in World War I

Soldier Boys of Texas: The Seventh Texas Infantry in World War I

Date: August 2010
Creator: Ball, Gregory W.
Description: This study first offers a political, social, and economic overview of Texas during the first two decades of the twentieth century, including reaction in the Lone Star state to the declaration of war against Germany in April, 1917; the fear of saboteurs and foreign-born citizens; and the debate on raising a wartime army through a draft or by volunteerism. Then, focusing in-depth on northwest Texas, the study examines the Texas National Guard unit recruited there, the Seventh Texas Infantry Regiment. Using primarily the selective service registration cards of a sample of 1,096 members of the regiment, this study presents a portrait of the officers and enlisted soldiers of the Seventh Texas based on age, occupation, marital status, dependents and other criteria, something that has not been done in studies of World War I soldiers. Next, the regiment's training at Camp Bowie, near Fort Worth, Texas, is described, including the combining of the Seventh Texas with the First Oklahoma Infantry to form the 142nd Infantry Regiment of the Thirty-Sixth Division. After traveling to France and undergoing nearly two months of training, the regiment was assigned to the French Fourth Army in the Champagne region and went into combat for the first ...
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Masters No More: Abolition and Texas Planters, 1860-1890

Masters No More: Abolition and Texas Planters, 1860-1890

Date: December 2010
Creator: Ivan, Adrien D.
Description: This dissertation is a study of the effects of the abolition of slavery on the economic and political elite of six Texas counties between 1860 and 1890. It focuses on Austin, Brazoria, Colorado, Fort Bend, Matagorda, and Wharton Counties. These areas contain the overwhelming majority of Stephen F. Austin's "Old Three Hundred," the original American settlers of Texas. In addition to being the oldest settled region, these counties contained many of the wealthiest slaveholders within the state. This section of the state, along with the northeast along the Louisiana border, includes the highest concentration of Texas' antebellum plantations. This study asks two central questions. First, what were the effects of abolition on the fortunes of the planter class within these six counties? Did a new elite emerge as a result of the end of slavery, or, despite the liquidation of a substantial portion of their estates, did members of the former planter class sustain their economic dominance over the counties? Second, what were abolition's effects on the counties' prewar political elite, defined as the county judge? Who were in power before the war and who were in power after it? Did abolition contribute to a new kind of politician?
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries