Many philosophical questions arise here, including the question of the existence of God, predestination and free will, as well as the role of the individual in history. But not to historical science to answer these questions. Her job is to describe everything that happened, as objectively as possible, “listening to good and evil indifferently,” and, if possible, accurately insert everything that happened into a single stream of events.
"Perelitsovka" of the events of the past to the good of the malice of the day does not lead to anything good. About what is happening in this case, says not only the utopian novel by G. Orwell "1984". This is evidenced by the history of the USSR, where similar vivisection was carried out at the state level, for which jokers called the Soviet Union a unique country with an unpredictable past. The result of these experiments was, however, sad. Relatively recent history has become a legend in the worst sense of the word.
Mythologization of the past occurs not so much by someone's evil will, as by virtue of the special structure of human consciousness. When transmitting information about what happened, we - voluntarily or involuntarily - adjust the incident to a more beneficial for us or to a more beautiful side. As a result, people rather soon begin to retell each other not authentic facts, but legends, in which then they no longer can tell where the truth is, where the lies are.
Among the Greek myths there is, for example, the myth of King Tantalus. It keeps the memory of a very long-standing event, the Greeks of Asia Minor colonization, which occurred in the 13th century BC. The Greeks swam here, moving from island to island. This voyage was heroic, though relatively uncomplicated. There are a lot of islands in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, they are often located at a distance of direct visibility from one another. Therefore, the Greek colonists arrived in Asia Minor by large detachments.
They came here to places much more civilized than their homeland. In the western part of Asia Minor there was a rich kingdom of Lydia. The wealth of Lydia was due primarily to the mines in the possession of her kings, where gold and copper were mined. Both metals in the ancient world were greatly appreciated. Lydia, by the way, was the first country to begin minting coins. Consequently, it was from what minted. And it was for what minting - for serving trade operations.
On the territory of the kingdom several trade routes were crossed, trade flourished and brought considerable profits. The wealth of the local king Croesus (562−547. BC. E.) included in the saying. However, Creuse is already a written epoch and, therefore, chronicles, and, consequently, some kind of history. But earlier rich Lydian kings, Midas and Tantalus - are heroes of myths, although both of them existed in reality. For example, in 1835, in the city of Izmir on Mount Yamanlar, archaeologists unearthed the tomb of King Tantalus.
This Tantalus, like any hero of myths, is credited with semi-divine origin. Thanks to this protection, Tantalus won the love of the gods and even attended their feasts. But then he lost divine trust and after death was punished in the most cruel way.
In the underworld of the dead, the "degraded" participant in divine feasts experiences intolerable and endless torments. He is thirsty. Tantalum is worth the bottle in the water, but can not get drunk. As soon as he tries to scoop water, the water leaves him.
Torments Tantalus and hunger. Over his head - ripe fruit. He raises his hand to pick the fruit, but he cannot reach the branch. It is thanks to this cruel and eternal suffering, the "tantalic agony", the name of Tantalus is widely known in our time. And even gained new value.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the Swedish chemist Anders Gustaf Ekeberg (1767−1813) attempted to isolate a new chemical element from the columbite mineral. It was a time when new elements fell on chemists, like a horn of plenty. So Eckerberg singled out a new element, and even came up with a name for him - “Columbia”. And then began neponyatki. Dedicated "Colombia" as it were, changed its properties from experiment to experiment. Having suffered greatly, Eckerberg renamed Colombia to tantalum.
However, the flour of chemists continued until the mid-19th century. Only in 1844 it was clearly proved that tantalum in natural compounds is accompanied by another element, very similar to tantalum, but still different. This element began to be called niobium - on behalf of the daughter of the mythical Tantalus, Niobe.
Tantalum has a remarkable combination of properties: light, refractory, resistant to corrosion. Therefore, almost immediately they began to produce filaments for incandescent lamps from tantalum. Somewhat later, tantalum was used to produce very high-quality electrolytic capacitors. Then, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant tantalum alloys were introduced in the chemical industry and in the metallurgy of rare-earth elements. And when nuclear reactors appeared, tantalum turned out to be the best material for heat exchangers. Tantalum tubes were resistant to high radiation and to gamma radiation.
Tantalum is an inactive element, so it is ideal for making bone prostheses and for fastening tissues. Neurosurgeons connect nerves with tantalum threads.
As we see, now the word “tantalum” is associated for us not so much with ancient Greek mythology, as with modern advanced technology. Although sometimes it leads to rather ridiculous results.
There is an enterprise in the city of Saratov, which is called “Tantalum”. In Soviet times, everyone knew that if an enterprise is called such an incomprehensible, beautiful word, it undoubtedly works "for a military woman." So, they pay more there and social conditions are better there. In general, in Saratov they knew: if you get to the "Tantalum" - you will be happy.
One of the attributes of such happiness was a dispensary, which was located about 40 kilometers from the city in a heavenly place on the banks of the Volga. The dispensary was called the same as the enterprise, “Tantalum”. Only those who knew ancient Greek mythology and tantalic flours understood the humor of pairing the name of the recreation center with the name of the legendary martyr from hunger and thirst. And who did not know, he ingenuously enjoyed his “tantalic happiness.” And rightly so!