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Agapov E., Pendyurina L. Social Assistance in the History of the Black Sea Peoples / annotation

Evgeny P. Agapov – Ph.D. (Advanced Doctorate) in Philosophy, Professor, Rostov State University of Economics, Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation.
Lyudmila P. Pendyurina – Ph.D. (Advanced Doctorate) in Philosophy, Associate Professor, Don State Technical University, Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation.

The article considers the influence of ancient Greek charity on the social assistance of the Black Sea region peoples. Social work became a profession only at the beginning of the last century, but its roots go back to antiquity, when forms of social assistance began to develop among various peoples. It was then that a social assistance mechanism developed, which boiled down to the fact that the family, community and other traditional structures protected everyone. This mechanism of social assistance was characteristic of Tauris, Scythians, Sarmatians and other Black Sea peoples. The same relations were characteristic for Ancient Greece as well as for other states of the Middle East region until the era of antiquity, the beginning of which dates back to the second third of the 1st millennium BC. These relations was marked by the dominance of community ties and the inherited Basileus power as well as the underdevelopment of private property. However, in the 8th century BC in Ancient Greece, structural transformations began, private property relations, the dominance of private commodity production, the exploitation of slaves, the absence of strong centralized power and the policy of self-government came to the fore. With the transformation of the state into an instrument of domination of private owners, social assistance was of a class nature, which manifested itself in the fact that slaves were actually deprived of it. On the other hand, charity, which manifested itself in the organization of public meals, the distribution of money to the needy, the construction of churches and baths through private donations, and other events, became an integral element of the antiquity`s public life. According to the authors, we can talk about two channels of influence of ancient Greek charity on the social assistance of the Black Sea peoples. The first of these channels called direct is associated with the creation of Greek colonies along the Black Sea coast. The second channel can be called indirect, since it was mediated by the culture of Ancient Rome. At the beginning of the 1st millennium in ancient Roman society, a contradiction arose between the need for social assistance and the limited possibilities for its implementation, which was removed by Christianity. According to Christianity, mercy follows from love, which coincides with the essence of God and charity is a practical expression of mercy. Therefore, the spread of Christianity that began in the Black Sea countries in the 4th century contributed to the development of charitable activities in them.

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