Boundary Symbolism and Dual Deities as Patrons in Ancient Navigation. Aspects of Ritual and Mythology
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Divine twins
maritime rites
correlation of ritual and myth
Indo-European studies
astral myths
solar myth of the Bronze Age
boundary symbolism
upper-lower world dichotomy
Greek-Roman mythology

How to Cite

1. Kozhukhovskaia I. Boundary Symbolism and Dual Deities as Patrons in Ancient Navigation. Aspects of Ritual and Mythology // Journal of Frontier Studies. 2020. № 3 (5). C. 170-186.


The article focuses on identification of types of dual deities in the context of their corre-lation with ancient navigation, representing the borderline state in symbolic terms, and associated with the transition qualities. The paper sets the layers of their symbolism that originate from the system of maritime rites, overlapping with the interweaving of these deities into Indo-European solar myth of the Bronze Age that, first of all, embodies the duality of cosmos. The semantics of the Divine twins and the two-faced god Janus fo-cuses on liminal qualities that require protection. Dioscuri-Ashvins do not so much save the sun from the underworld, as they rather ensure the safety of the transition: the bor-derline state is no less dangerous than the underworld. While Dioscuri act as guardians of the boundary in the view of their polarity and the dynamics of their myth (they are divided and located in different worlds of Axis Mundi), Janus has identical functions, yet in terms of his stationary status: he “allows” the sun to pass at dawn and at sunset. Janus concentrates the symbolism of intercrossing of space and time, accompanied by the development of four- and five-faced deities. The solar motif unfolds at the level of microcosm as well: both Janus and Dioscuri are mythologized as patrons of those who appear in a boundary condition, i.e., travelers and sailors.
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