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Saccharon

(239 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (σάκχαρον/ sákcharon, Lat. sacc[ h] aron). Sugar obtained from the pith of sugarcane, a plant not native to the Mediterranean region. The Greeks first came to know of sugarcane and its sweet juice with the Indian campaign of Alexander [II 4] (Str. 15,1,20; Theophr. Hist. pl. 3,15,5). Sugar does not appear to have reached the Mediterranean region in crystalline form before the beginning of the 1st cent. AD, when direct sea trade from Egypt to India got under way (Peripl. maris Erythraei 14 Casson). In any case, the word saccharon entered the sources (Plin. HN 12,32) a…

Tatianus

(689 words)

Author(s): Rist, Josef (Würzburg) | Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster) | Tinnefeld, Franz (Munich)
I. Greek [German version] [I 1] Christian apologist and theologian, 2nd cent. (Τατιανός; Tatianós). Christian apologist and theologian (born c. AD 120). By his own account, T. was from the East Syrian/North Mesopotamian region (Or. 42). His work betrays a knowledge of classical authors relying upon Hellenistic scholarly tradition. His travels brought T. into contact with a variety of the philosophical and religious systems of his period ( i.a. participation in mystery cults, which he fails to define more precisely). In Rome, study of the Bible finally brought hi…

Comissatio

(159 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] Traditional Roman drinking party, a regular accompaniment to a festive   cena , often lasting long into the night. For a long time it was reserved for men, but from the end of the Roman Republic women, too, could partake. The comissatio, a socially highly important form of gathering, reached Rome by the end of the 3rd cent. BC at the latest. The word is derived from the Greek word for revelry, κῶμος ( kômos); its structure and rules corresponded to a large extent to those of the symposium ( Banquet). Apart from the drinking, the entertainment consisted …

Must

(251 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (γλεῦκος/ gleûkos; [ vinum] mustum). As yet unfermented - or just fermenting - juice of pressed fruit such as apples, pears, dates, figs, pomegranates, cornel cherries, quinces and service tree fruit (Plin. HN 13,44-45; 14,102-103. 125; 15,109). The most important type of must was made from grapes (Columella 12,41; Plin. HN 23,29); its Latin name was vinum mustum, from which the English word 'must' derives. Fresh must, whose aperient and invigorating effects were prized by doctors (Celsus, Med. 4,26,5-6; Dioscorides 5,9; Gal. De alimen…

Dishes, Meals

(798 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (Greek ἐδέσματα/ edésmata; Lat. cibi, esca). A classification of dishes in antiquity is unknown to us and can be deduced only from antique  cookery books. They generally organize dishes according to their basic ingredients, thus according to such food groups as fish, meat (quadrupeds), poultry, vegetables, grains and legumes [1]. Ancient sources attest to a variety of dishes; apart from cookery books, comedies (Aristophanes; Plautus) are especially informative sources of information, a…

Spices

(470 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (Greek ἡδύσματα/ hēdýsmata; Latin condimenta). Flavouring ingredients of food and drink, mostly from particular parts of indigenous wild and garden plants and exotic ones. A great abundance of spices was known in antiquity, although availability and use differed from period to period to a considerable extent. In the 1st century AD Caelius [II 10] Apicius used in total sixty spices, of which ten were imported ( cf. the lists of spices in Plin. HN 12; 19,101-175; Ath. 2,68a; Apici excerpta a Vinidario 1 André). The most important indigenous spic…

Maiorinus

(114 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] Praefectus praetorio Orientis under Constantius II. Life and career are poorly attested. Coming from a curial family from the East, he had a meteoric rise in his career (Lib. Ep. 1510) which reached its peak with the praetorian prefecture. He presumably held this office between the summer of 344 and 28 July AD 346 (Cod. Theod. 11,22,1: first certain evidence for his supposed successor Flavius Philippus) with his headquarters in Antioch [1]. He died shortly before 357 (Lib. Ep. 560) …

Flour

(340 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (Greek ἄλευρον/ áleuron, Lat. farina). Fine-grained to powdery product resulting from grinding, crushing or pounding certain grains or seeds. The most important source product in the Greek period was barley (Ath. 3,111e-112a) and in the Roman period it was wheat (Plin. HN 18,74; 85-90); depending on the region, flour was also made from millet (Gal. De alimentorum facultatibus 1,15) and rye (Plin. HN 18,141) and in areas with no grain cultivation or in times of emergency even from starch-containing fruits such as beans or acorns (Plin. HN 16,15; 18,117). Flour was diff…

Meals

(914 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] Meals, i.e. drink and food taken at particular hours, are at the centre of ancient table culture. The type and sequence of meals and their position in the larger order and that of the overarching rhythm of life are so complex that they cannot be discussed here in their entire structural, spatial and temporal differentiation. In the Greek and Roman world, daily meals were subject to a fixed order that was at first primarily guided by the natural environment, especially sunrise and sunset (cf. the names of the meals: ἄριστον/ áriston, morpheme: ‘early’ and vesperna, morpheme…

Postumianus

(110 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] Praefectus praetorio Orientis in AD 383. An orthodox Christian from the West, P. rose above various otherwise unknown officials to the praetorian praefecture of the East (Greg. Naz. Epist. 173). He took up office at the beginning of 383  (Cod. Theod. 9,42,10), but held it only until the end of the year (Cod. Theod. 16,5,12). After returning to the west he was entrusted from 395 to 396 with a legation from the city of Rome's Senate to the emperor (Symmachus Ep. 6,22,3; 6,26,2). Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster) Bibliography W. Enßlin, s. v. P. (2), RE 22, 890  PLRE 1, 718 (P. 2); c…

Milk

(324 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (Greek γάλα/ gála; Latin lac). The milk of various mammals (donkey, camel, cow, sheep, mare, goat) was used in ancient times; the concept was thus not, as today, limited to cow's milk. Cow's milk was rather unpopular in the Mediterranean region, and was consumed in large quantities only in northern regions of the ancient world (Aristot. Hist. Ant. 3,20). The favourite kind of milk among the Greeks and Romans was that of sheep, also the only kind to appear in the Edictum [3] Diocletian…

Beverages

(495 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] In antiquity there were countless types of drinks depending on the time and region and they were drunk undiluted, mixed together or mixed with additives (fat, spices, sweet substances), hot or cold. They can be divided into three groups according to their basic components: 1. Beverages made of water. Water (Plin. HN 31,31-72) was an indispensable nutritional substance (Pind. Ol. 1,1; Vitr. De arch. 8,1,1; Plin. HN 31,31-72) and also an essential component of two important drinks c…

Praefectus praetorio

(1,323 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
('praetorian prefect'; Greek ἔπαρχος/ éparchos or ὕπαρχος τῆς αὐλῆς/ hýparchos tês aulês). Holder of one of the most important posts in the administration of the Roman empire. [German version] A. Principate Augustus [1] established the post in 2 BC when he placed two men of equestrian rank ( equites Romani ) at the head of his bodyguard, the praetorians ( cohortes praetorianae) (Cass. Dio 55,10). The PP's original task was to command the imperial bodyguard that protected the emperor in his headquarters ( praetorium ). As early as the reign of Tiberius [II …

Philippus

(7,662 words)

Author(s): Welwei, Karl-Wilhelm (Bochum) | Beck, Hans (Cologne) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Mehl, Andreas (Halle/Saale) | Et al.
[German version] I Greek (Φίλιππος/ Phílippos). Macedonian kings P. [3-7], including P. [4] II, P. [7] V; the apostle and evangelist P. [28]; philosophers and poets P. [29-32]. [German version] [I 1] Spartan naval leader in 411 BC Spartiate, commander at Miletus in 412 BC (Thuc. 8,28,5), sent in 411 with two triremes to Aspendus to move, with the support of Tissaphernes, the Phoenician fleet to fight Athens (Thuc. 8,87), but soon told the naúarchos Mindarus that his mission would be unsuccessful (Thuc. 8,99; [1. 244]). Peloponnesian War Welwei, Karl-Wilhelm (Bochum) Bibliography 1 B. …

Neoterius

(150 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] Flavius N., praefectus praetorio Galliarum AD 390. N., a novus homo , began his career in the west of the Empire. In 366 he probably went as tribunus et notarius of Valentinian I. to North Africa (Amm. Marc. 26,5,14). He became a close friend of Theodosius, who took N. with him to his part of the Empire after his nomination as emperor and entrusted him with the post of praefectus praetorio of the East from AD 380 to 381. Although criticism of his conduct in office was voiced loudly (Lib. Or. 2,72-73), Theodosius I. held onto N.. He sent him back to …

Egg

(126 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (ᾠόν; ōión, ovum). In the ancient kitchen eggs of all domestic birds, such as ducks, pheasants, geese, chicken, peafowl, partridges and pigeons and occasionally even wild fowl, were used. In general usage the meaning of ‘egg’ was narrowed to chicken egg, which was known in Greece no later than the 6th cent. BC and was later much esteemed in the Roman world. The chicken egg was a quite affordable food (Edictum Diocletiani 6,43), which was popularly served as an appetizer at meals (Hor. Sat. 1,3,6f.: ab ovo usque ad mala). It also had a place in haute cuisine:  Apicius …

Meat dishes

(495 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] A collective term for dishes made from the muscle tissue and innards of mammals and birds. In Antiquity, a minor number of meat dishes was made using birds (e.g., blackbird, thrush, duck, goose, chicken, pigeon, quail) and game (especially rabbit, red deer ( Deer), wild boar ( Pig); in the Roman period also rabbit and dormouse). However, most meat dishes were prepared from domestic animals - sheep, pig, cattle and goat. The pig must be particularly emphasized in this group because…

Cena

(317 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] The main daily meal of the Romans. Over the cents. it was largely influenced by Greek table culture: it shifted from midday to evening-time; while it was originally consumed sitting in the atrium or the kitchen, the upper classes at least later took it lying down in special, richly furnished dining rooms (  triclinium ); to the original sequence of main course ( mensa prima) and dessert ( mensa secunda) was added the starter course ( gustatio). The duration and contents of the cena depended on the occasion, and above all on economic circumstances. The ordinary p…

Fish dishes (and seafood)

(588 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] Overall term for meals prepared from fish, crustaceans and molluscs. The large range of varieties of fish and seafood in the Mediterranean was very different, depending on the season and area of the catch; consumer taste also changed over time. Of the large number of species used for fish dishes (cf. the catalogues in Plin. HN 9,43-104; Ath. 3,30-36; 7,277-330; 8,355-358; Auson. Mos. 75-149) we should emphasize not only  tuna but particularly  crustaceans,  molluscs,  snails and  …

Fruit

(338 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (ὀπῶραι/ opôrai, Lat. poma). Collective term for edible fruits or seed kernels (hazelnut, almond, pine kernel, etc.), usually from fruit trees. Ancient authors distinguish, according to the time of ripening of the fruit, early summer, summer and autumn fruits (e.g. Gal. de alimentorum facultatibus 2,2; 8). The most important cultivated fruits in the Roman imperial period were  apples, pears, dates,  figs, pomegranates,  plums,  quinces and grapes ( Wine) with many respective subspeci…
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