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Molpoi

(512 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[German version] (Μολποί/ Molpoí). Term for the members of a society responsible for performing the paean at public sacrifices, documented almost exclusively in the towns of the Ionic Dodecapolis (especially Miletus and Ephesus) and their colonies. Although colleges of M. are only sparsely attested, the number of personal names formed from Μολπ- in the Ionic Aegean [1], the Dodecapolis (e.g., Hdt. 5,30,2; IEph 4102) and the Milesian colonies (e.g., SEG 41, 619, Olbia) indicates their political and …

Magic doll

(426 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[German version] Loose term for an anthropomorphous statuette made from a variety of different materials for specific ritual purposes. The conceptual condition for such statuettes, which function as signs or images of a physical and social existence, is the context-contingent abolishment of the difference between living creatures and objects that are incapable of self-determination [1]. Such statuettes were used for beneficial as well as harmful purposes in the ancient Oriental empires, while in M…

Arimaspi

(126 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[German version] (Ἀριμασποί; Arimaspoí). Mythical group of one-eyed people in the extreme North, beyond the Issedones and before the land of the griffins, whose gold, according to the epic by  Aristeas of Proconnesus, they apparently repeatedly stole (Hdt. 3,116; 4,13; 27). The earliest iconographic evidence is the mirror of Kelermes, c. 570 BC [1. 260 pl. 303]. In contrast to older interpretations [2. 112-6], these days the historical aspect of this is understood as a component of a sophisticated representation of the foreigner -- with the Greek world as its point of reference. …

Pontifex, Pontifices

(1,559 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[German version] A. General The pontifices were the most eminent college of priests in Rome. Their traditional founder was Numa Pompilius (Liv. 1,20,5-7). According to the accepted modern etymology ( pont- = 'way', cf. Sanskrit p ánthāh, 'path'), pontifex means 'path maker' [1]; some ancient etymologies, though wrong, more clearly illustrate Roman views: Q. Mucius [I 9] Scaevola, himself pontifex maximus, suggested an etymology from posse and facere: 'those who have the power (to act)’ (Varro, Ling. 5,83; cf. Plut. Numa 9,2). The collegium had the duty, at least from the time …

Curetes

(1,030 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[German version] (Κουρῆτες; Kourêtes, Lat. Curetes). Mythological beings who protect the infant  Zeus from his father  Kronos by hitting their spears against their shields in order to drown out his screams (Callim. H. 1,51-53; Apollod. 1,1,6f.) or to deter the father (Str. 10,3,11). Most sources locate the scene in the cave of  Dicte on Crete, others locate it on  Ida [1] (e.g. Epimenides, FGrH 457 F 18, Aglaosthenes of Naxos, FGrH 499 F 1f., Apoll. Rhod. 1,1130, cf. Callim. H. 1,6-9). In one variati…

Cautes, Cautopates

(221 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[German version] (Καύτης, Καυτοπάτης; Kaútēs, Kautopátēs). Antithetical pair of companions of  Mithras, associated with a large number of attributes, e.g. burning torches [1]. The etymology is disputed, the most plausible being the derivation from old Iranian * kaut ‘young’ [2]. Already the earliest iconographic representation displays them as complementary opposites [3]. They are the ‘twin brothers’ who are nourished by Mithras' water miracle (Mithraeum of Santa Prisca, Rome). The only literary documentation (Porph. de antro Nympharum 24 with conjecture Arethusa, p. 24,14…

Caelestis

(290 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[German version] Latin name for the female counterpart of the highest Punic-Berber deity  Saturnus. The earliest iconographic portrayal, on the denarii of Q. Caecilius Metellus 47-46 BC, show C. as a lion-headed figure, genius terrae Africae (RRC 1. 472, no. 460. 4. pl. LIV). Literary sources describe her as the city goddess of Carthage; C. was also the protective goddess of Thuburbo maius, Oea and probably of other towns; ruler of the stars in the heavens, and of the Earth with all its produce and its inhabitants, as well as of …

Magical papyri

(1,407 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[German version] I. General information Loose term for the constantly increasing body of Graeco-Egyptian magic texts (standard editions: [1; 2], since then, newly published texts in [3]). The most important distinction is to be made between the handbooks (until now more than 80 published copies) on papyrus, which contain the instructions for acts of magic, and directly used texts (at least 115 published copies) on papyrus, metal (lead tablets), pottery shards, wood, etc., corresponding to the extant …

Theoi Megaloi, Theai Megalai

(494 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
(θεοὶ μεγάλοι/ theoì megáloi, θεαὶ μεγάλαι/ theaì megálai, Latin di magni). [German version] I. General Term for a variety of deities or groups of gods in the Greek world. A distinction is made between deities or groups of gods for whom the adjective 'great' was used as an honorary epithet (e.g. Megálē Týchē, Theòs hýpsistos mégas theós) and those whose cultic nomen proprium was 'Great God' or 'Great Gods', such as the TM in Caria (SEG 11,984; 2nd cent. AD). Inscriptions record a broad range of use between these two poles. Often the TM are deities or groups…

Anaetis

(258 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[German version] (Ἀναῖτις; Anaîtis). Iranian goddess. The Avestic name, Aredvī-Sūrā-Ānāhitā, goddess of the waters, consists of three epithets (e.g. anāhitā = untainted). The Indo-Iranian name was probably Sarasvatī, ‘the one who possesses the waters’. Yašt 5 describes her as a beautiful woman clad in beaver skins, who drives a four-horse chariot. She cleanses male sperm and the wombs of animals and humans, brings forth mother's milk, but also bestows prosperity and victory. Promoted in Achaemenid times (Berossus, FGrH 680 F11); in an undefined phase previously, she…

Maskelli Maskello

(215 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[German version] (Μασκελλι Μασκελλω). The two first ‘names’ in one of the most common lógoi ( lógos II. 2) in Graeco-Egyptian magic texts ( Magic). The lógos appears mainly in so-called agṓgima (coercive love spells; for example PGM IV 2755-2757, XIXa 10f.), but it also appears in other genres (albeit not with protective amulets) and is often identified expressly as a formula of ‘necessity’ (e.g. katà tês pikrâs Anánkēs, ‘according to bitter Anánkē ’, PGM VII 302; cf. XII 290f.). The suggestion that M.M. is derived from the Hebrew mśkel, ‘psalm of praise’, and represents a type of ‘…

Cannophori

(155 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[German version] ( cannofori, καννηφόροι; kannēphóroi). The younger of the two colleges connected with the cult of Magna Mater; founded as part of Antoninus Pius' reorganization of the cult (2nd cent. AD). It was their ritual function in Rome, on 15 March to carry a bundle of reeds to the temple on the Palatine as part of the joyful procession commemorating the discovery of the young Attis by the Magna Mater on the banks of the  Gallus (Iul. or. 5,165b) [1] ( canna intrat, calendar of Philocalus, CIL I2 p. 260). On the same day, the Archigallus and the C. sacrificed a bull to ensur…

Brahmin

(137 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[German version] (Βραχμᾶνες, also Βραχμάναι, Βραχμῆνες; Brachmânes, Brachmánai, Brachmênes). Collective name of the Indian priestly caste. Sanskrit brāhmaṇa ‘praying person, priest’, members by birth of the highest caste, together with the samanaioi (Sanskrit śramaṇa) scholars, clerics and people of high social standing in Ancient Indian society (Str. 15,1,39). Entirely unknown in the Greek world prior to Alexander's campaign (Arr. Anab. 6,16,5; Str. 15,1,61), viewed as exemplary ascetics, were immediately described as the teac…

Dolichenus

(268 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[German version] Jupiter Optimus Maximus D., highest divinity of Dolichē in  Commagene, now Dülük near Gaziantep. The original temple on the Dülük Baba Tepe has not been excavated. However, the god's pose on the bull, his thunderbolt and his double axe suggest his descent from the Hittite storm-god Tesšub. In Rome he was venerated as conservator totius mundi, preserver of the universe (AE 1940, 76). The counterpart of Jupiter Optimus Maximus D. was named  Juno Sancta/ Regina. Two other pairs occur, sun and moon, and the Dioscuri. There is no literary …

Kautes, Kautopates

(212 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[English version] (Καύτης, Καυτοπάτης; lat. Cautes, Cautopates). Antithetisches Paar von Begleitern des Mithras, mit einer Vielzahl von Attributen, v.a. brennenden Fackeln, assoziiert [1]. Die Etym. ist umstritten, am plausibelsten ist die Ableitung von altiran. * kaut- “jung” [2]. Schon die früheste ikonograph. Repräsentation stellt sie als komplementäre Gegensätze dar [3]. Sie sind die “Zwillingsbrüder”, die von Mithras' Wasserwunder genährt werden (Mithraeum von Santa Prisca, Rom). Der einzige lit. Nachweis (Porph. de antro Nympharum 24 mit Konjektur Arethusa, p. 24,…

Dendrophoroi

(243 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[English version] (δενδροφόροι). Collegium, wohl im Zusammenhang mit der Reorganisation des Kultes der Mater Magna von Kaiser Claudius gegründet. Der erste inschr. Beleg 79 n.Chr. ist CIL X 7 (Regium Iulium). Das Gründungsdatum ( natalicium) fiel auf den 1. August. Die rituelle Funktion des Vereins bestand im Fällen, Schmücken und Tragen der hl. Pinie in der Trauerprozession am 22. März zur Erinnerung an den Tod des Attis (Lyd. mens. 4,59; vgl. das Basrelief im Musée d'Aquitanie, Bordeaux [1]). Der griech. Name des Vereins legt …

Mithras

(1,982 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
(Μίθρας, Μίθρης). [English version] I. Persien Ein hethitischer Vertrag mit den Mitanni (14. Jh. v.Chr.) enthält den frühesten Nachweis für M. ([1. Nr. 16]: Mitra). In den ältesten lit. Zeugnissen, den indischen Ṛg-Veda, ist Mitra der Gott, der zusammen mit Varuna für die Aufrechterhaltung der ṛta, der kosmischen Ordnung, verantwortlich ist. Ähnlich ist im Iran Mi θ ra einer der wichtigsten yazata (Götter), der die Menschen ‘auf den Pfad der aša, Ordnung’ ( Yašt 10,86; [2. 114f.]) führt und vielfältige soziale Beziehungen wie Verträge, Freundschaft, Ehe, Blutsverwandtschaft ( Yaš…

Cannophori

(139 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[English version] ( cannofori, καννηφόροι). Jüngeres der zwei Kollegien in Verbindung mit dem Kult der Magna Mater; als Teil der Reorganisation des Kultes durch Antoninus Pius (2.Jh. n.Chr.) gegründet. Ihre rituelle Funktion in Rom war es, am 15. März bei der Freudenprozession zur Erinnerung an die Entdeckung des jungen Attis durch die Magna Mater am Gallosufer (Iul. or. 5,165b) [1] ein Reetbündel zum Tempel am Palatin zu tragen ( canna intrat, Kalendar von Philocalus, CIL I2 p. 260). Am selben Tag Stieropfer des Archigallos und der C., um die Fruchtbarkeit der Felder …

Dolichenus

(268 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[English version] Iuppiter Optimus Maximus D., höchster Gott von Dolichē in Kommagene, h. Dülük bei Gaziantep. Der urspr. Tempel auf dem Dülük Baba Tepe ist nicht ausgegraben. Doch die Pose des Gottes auf dem Stier, sein Donnerkeil und seine Doppelaxt legen seine Abstammung vom hethitischen Sturmgott Tess̆ub nahe. In Rom wird er als conservator totius mundi, Erhalter des Universums, verehrt (AE 1940, 76). Das Pendant des Iuppiter Optimus Maximus D. wurde Iuno Sancta/ Regina genannt. Es kommen auch zwei weitere Paare vor, Sonne und Mond sowie die Dio…

Molpos

(158 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster)
[English version] (Μόλπος). In der Lokalsage von Tenedos heißt M. nach einigen Quellen der Flötenspieler von Kolonai in der Troas, dessen Falschaussage für die Verbannung des Tennes, des Sohnes des Kyknos [2], mitverantwortlich ist, als dieser von seiner Stiefmutter Philonome der versuchten Vergewaltigung bezichtigt wird (Plut. qu.Gr. 28; schol. Lykophr. 232). Die älteren Quellen (“Herakleides” = Aristot. fr. 611,22 Rose; Lykophr. 232-239; Konon FGrH 26 F 1; so noch Paus. 10,14,2) nennen M. nicht;…
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