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Veterinary medicine

(881 words)

Author(s): Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Touwaide, Alain (Madrid)
I. The Ancient Orient [German version] A. Sources Indirect: The Akkadian collection of Ḫammurapi’s laws (18th cent. BC) mentions the treatment of oxen (Cattle) and donkeys [1. 70, § 224 f.]. Direct: we know of ten remedies in Ugaritic, and six confirmed as such in Accadian; they confine themselves to the treatment of diseases in horses [2]. Böck, Barbara (Madrid) [German version] B. Specialists As far as can be ascertained from the sources, a distinction was made between veterinarians for bovines and for equines [1. 70, § 224, 18; 4]. The profession of donke…


(2,168 words)

Author(s): Touwaide, Alain (Madrid) | Böck, Barbara (Madrid)
[German version] I. Etymology The Greek term for pharmacology (ὁ περὶ φαρμάκων λόγος/ ho perì pharmákōn lógos, Pedanius Dioscorides, De materia medica praef. 5) means 'science of remedies'. Originally, the term φάρμακον/ phármakon, whose etymology is not known, did not specifically refer to a medical drug, but to any substance introduced into the body with the ability of changing the body's structure or function. The Latin term medicamentum points to the aspect of assistance and support, as does βοήθημα/ boḗthēma. Specific medications were named after their principal proper…


(659 words)

Author(s): Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
I. Ancient Orient [German version] A. I. Sources The main source for Mesopotamian dentistry consists in two chapters from the medical manual ‘When the top of a person's head is feverishly hot’ (1st millennium BC; cf.  Medicine I) and there are also isolated texts of prescriptions. The oldest textual evidence is a cuneiform tablet from the ancient Babylonian period ( c. 18th to 16th cents. BC). The majority of the texts is accessible only in cuneiform autographs; for partial translations cf. [1]. Böck, Barbara (Madrid) [German version] B. Dental diseases and treatment Various periodont…


(1,754 words)

Author(s): Gärtner, Hans Armin (Heidelberg) | Böck, Barbara (Madrid)
[German version] I. Definition a) A riddle is an encrypted formulation, related to the figurative speech of metaphor and posing a question; its answer (= solution) requires - indeed, provokes - the memory and imagination of the person addressed; an analogical inference is generally helpful to finding the answer [1. 261]. The person who poses the riddle has superior knowledge; hence the addressee concedes expertise to that person or authority (e.g., the seer or oracle); at the same time, the guesser …


(6,211 words)

Author(s): Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
[German version] I. Mesopotamia Magic formulae - such as spells, apotropaea, and prophylacterics - and rational elements, i.e. empirically derived treatment methods with plant, mineral, or animal substances, characterize the image of medicine in a Mesopotamia. The treatment of diseases - seen as either caused by demons, or as a punishment sent by the gods, or as the result of being bewitched, as well as the result of natural causes - was the domain of two different experts, the asû, more versed in herbal lore, evident from as early as the mid-3rd millennium BC, and the spe…


(1,937 words)

Author(s): Touwaide, Alain (Madrid) | Böck, Barbara (Madrid)
[English version] I. Etymologie Der griech. Begriff Ph. (ὁ περὶ φαρμάκων λόγος/ ho perí pharmákōn lógos, Pedanios Dioskurides, De materia medica praef. 5) bedeutet “Wissenschaft von den Medikamenten”. Das Wort φάρμακον/ phármakon, dessen Etym. unbekannt ist, bezeichnet ursprünglich nicht das Medikament, sondern jeden in den Körper eingebrachten Stoff, welcher geeignet ist, dessen Struktur und Funktionen zu verändern. Das lat. medicamentum weist wie βοήθημα/ boḗthēma auf den Begriff der “Hilfe”. Spezifische Medikamente wurden durch ihre Haupteigenschaft beze…


(1,616 words)

Author(s): Gärtner, Hans Armin (Heidelberg) | Böck, Barbara (Madrid)
[English version] I. Definition a) R. nennt man eine verschlüsselte, der uneigentlichen Rede der Metapher verwandte Formulierung, die eine Frage darstellt; sie setzt zu ihrer Beantwortung (= Lösung) Erinnerung und Phantasie der Angesprochenen voraus, ja provoziert diese Fähigkeiten; meist hilft dabei ein Analogieschluß [1. 261]. Wer das Rätsel stellt, ist im Wissen überlegen; so kann der Person bzw. Instanz, die das R. stellt (z. B. dem Seher oder dem Orakel), von den Angesprochenen Autorität zugest…


(5,687 words)

Author(s): Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
[English version] I. Mesopotamien Magische Formen - wie Beschwörungen, Apotropaea und Prophylakteria - und rationale Elemente, d.h. empirisch gewonnene Behandlungsmethoden mit pflanzlichen, mineralischen und tierischen Substanzen, bestimmen das Bild altmesopot. M. Die Behandlung von Krankheiten, welche man als von Dämonen hervorgerufen, als von den Göttern gesandte Strafe und als Folge von Behexung verstand oder auch auf natürliche Ursachen zurückführte, oblag zwei Experten, dem eher kräuterkundigen asû, der bereits Mitte des 3. Jt.v.Chr. bezeugt ist, und dem…


(4,354 words)

Author(s): Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Luzzatto, Maria Jagoda (Florence) | Küppers, Jochem (Düsseldorf)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient No evidence exists of there being a term for the fable itself either in the Sumerian or the Akkadian fable. The fable is a short, fictitious story with an inherent moral, the characters of which are personified animals. Reduced to the moral, several fables have attained the status of a proverb. The fable has its origin in oral literature; it represents a simple form of the allegory. Rank disputes/tenzons (main protagonists: personified animals, natural phenomena and…


(1,254 words)

Author(s): Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Hoffmann, Lars | Damschen, Gregor (Halle/Saale)
I. Mesopotamia [German version] A. Concept According to lexical texts (1st half of the 2nd millennium BC), the Sumerian term for proverbs was i-bi-lu. The Akkadian tēltu(m) is known primarily from the epistolary literature of Assyria and the city of Mari (1st half of the 2nd millennium BC) [7]. Both terms refer not only to proverbs in the modern sense, but also to the fable and anecdotes, riddles and witty sayings. Böck, Barbara (Madrid) [German version] B. Sources The earliest Sumerian sources of proverbs are collections of proverbs and so-called 'proverb-poems'. The pro…

Zoology and botany

(3,107 words)

Author(s): Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Hoffmann, Lars | Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg)
I. Mesopotamia [German version] A. Concept and sources The is no accurate or systematic, zoological or botanical classification of the animal and plant kingdoms from the Ancient Orient. The main source is one of the most voluminous Mesopotamian lexical texts with 24 chapters, known from its initial line as ḪAR-ra =  ḫubullu ('(rate of) interest'). It is a catalogue of objects and living creatures, ordered acrographically (i.e. by the first cuneiform sign) according to semantic aspects (Science). This principle represented a mnemotechnic aid; th…


(3,892 words)

Author(s): Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Luzzatto, Maria Jagoda (Florenz) | Küppers, Jochem (Düsseldorf)
[English version] I. Alter Orient Eine eigene Bezeichnung für die F. ist weder für das Sumer. noch das Akkad. bezeugt. Die F. ist eine kurze, fiktive Geschichte mit inhärenter Moral, deren Charaktere personifizierte Tiere sind. Auf die Moral reduziert, haben einige F. den Status eines Sprichwortes bekommen. Die F. hat ihren Ursprung in mündlicher Lit.; sie stellt eine einfache Form der Allegorie dar. Von der F. zu trennen sind Rangstreitgespräche/Tenzonen (Hauptakteure: personifizierte Tiere, Naturph…

Wisdom literature

(3,886 words)

Author(s): Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | S.SC. | Hollender, Elisabeth (Cologne) | Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
I. Ancient Near East [German version] A. Definition When applying the term wisdom literature (WL) to ancient Mesopotamian literature we need to distinguish between the idea of wisdom (Akkadian nēmequ, Sumerian nam.kù.zu, 'precious knowledge') [10; 11] as 'wealth of general human experience' and the concept of wisdom as expertise in a cult. On the one hand, there are a number of non-homogenous, formally different literary genres in which knowledge, procedures, advice and behavioural guidelines are passed on; on the other han…


(8,221 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | von Lieven, Alexandra (Berlin) | Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Et al.
[German version] I. Term Ritual refers to an elaborate sequence of individual rites which, following an established ritual syntax, are logically connected within a certain functional context. Rituals are not limited to religious contexts but exist in other cultural contexts, political as well as social. The significance of rituals for those who participate in them can be reduced neither to an integrative function (legitimation ritual) nor to a temporary disabling of the regular structure - the two e…


(7,433 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | von Lieven, Alexandra (Berlin) | Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Et al.
[English version] I. Begriff Der Begriff R. bezeichnet die komplexe Handlungssequenz einzelner, in einem logischen Funktionszusammenhang und nach einer festgelegten R.-Syntax miteinander verbundener Riten. R. finden sich nicht nur in rel., sondern auch in anderen gesellschaftlichen - polit. wie sozialen - Kontexten. Die Bed. von R. für die Teilnehmer läßt sich weder auf eine integrative (Legitimations-R.) noch auf eine die normale Ordnung temporär außer Kraft setzende Funktion - dies die beiden Extr…