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Kumarbi

(249 words)

Author(s): Haas, Volkert (Berlin)
[German version] Hurrite god whose name eludes interpretation; his cult site is the town of Urkeš in the upper Ḫābūr region (Tell Mōzān). A link between K., Father of the gods, and Kronos arises primarily from the close parallels between a Hurrite succession myth, passed down in Hittite, and the Theogony of Hesiod. According to this myth, three world ages preceded the kingdom or rule of the weather god Teššub over the cosmos. These world ages were represented by the three divine kings Alalu, Anu (the god of the heavens) and K. Like Kronos, K. emasculates his predecessor Anu, thus depri…

Sports

(4,101 words)

Author(s): Decker, Wolfgang (Cologne) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin)
[German version] I. Introduction The modern generic term 'sports' for physical exercise in the broadest sense, comprising the multi-faceted cultural phenomenon in a generally understandable way, was coined in England in the 18th cent.; it goes back to the late Latin deportare with the secondary meaning 'to enjoy oneself'. Within Classics and sports history as an institutionalized part of sports studies, concentrated work far beyond the traditional area of Graeco-Roman Antiquity has been established in recent decades [1]; the earlier a…

Prostitution

(1,794 words)

Author(s): Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Hartmann, Elke (Berlin)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East The relatively few mentions of prostitution in the Ancient Near East, differing in context as in time and place, are too sparse to provide an internally consistent picture of the phenomenon. Prostitution had an accepted place in the societies of the Ancient Near East. An instance from the OT is the prostitute Rahab, who conceals Joshua's spies in her house (Josh. 2). The story presupposes that, in spite of her profession, she was no outcast, but continued to be a member of her family group. For Mesopotamia a series of descriptive terms for prostit…

Orient, Reception in the West

(15,656 words)

Author(s): Syndram, Dirk | Pedde, Brigitte | Haas, Volkert (Berlin)
Syndram, Dirk [German version] I. Ancient Egypt (CT) Syndram, Dirk [German version] A. Introduction (CT) At the same time the Occident began to emerge as a cultural sphere in its own right during Late Antiquity, the history of Ancient Egypt came to an end. The christianization of the Nile valley resulted in the destruction of the last remaining vestiges of the millennia-old ancient Egyptian religion that were still being practiced, while the Islamic conquest of Egypt in 642 AD largely severed the country's pr…

Folk-tales

(3,118 words)

Author(s): Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) | Röllig, Wolfgang (Tübingen) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Schönbeck, Hans-Peter (Halle/Saale)
[German version] I. Term and genre In antiquity the folk-tale as a well-defined literary genre with unequivocally established terminology was not known. However, since oral narratives, partly put down in writing, that according to the modern meaning of the term can undoubtedly be designated as folk-tales, existed in all ages and all cultures, the issue of the folk-tale becomes a meaningful and inevitable subject also with regard to antiquity. The German word ‘Märchen’ is derived from OHG māri, MHG diu/daz maere = ‘report’, ‘message’, i.e. ‘narrative’, still entirely in the …

Personal names

(4,094 words)

Author(s): Rix, Helmut (Freiburg) | García-Ramón, José Luis (Cologne) | Streck, Michael P. (Munich) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin)
I. General [German version] A. Function The PN is an individual, generally valid sign for naming a person. The need to use a PN exists when a  social contact group is too large to name its members after their role (e.g. mother) and exists in all historically tangible languages. The PN is a universal. Rix, Helmut (Freiburg) [German version] B. Creation of names In antiquity as also today, the PN is usually given soon after birth and kept later; yet it could also be supplemented or replaced by a new name (pseudonyms!). In developed languages, the possibility …

Priests

(4,255 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Niehr, Herbert (Tübingen) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster) | Et al.
[German version] I. Mesopotamia From the 3rd millennium to the end of Mesopotamian civilization, the staff of Mesopotamian temples consisted of the cult personnel in the narrower sense - i.e. the priests and priestesses who looked after the official cult in the temples, the cult musicians and singers - and the service staff (male and female courtyard cleaners, cooks, etc.). In addition, there was the hierarchically structured administrative and financial staff of the temple households, which constit…

Sacrifice

(10,943 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Et al.
I. Religious studies [German version] A. General Sacrifice is one of the central concepts in describing ritual religion in ancient and modern cultures. In European Modernity, the term sacrifice (directly or indirectly influenced by Christian theology of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ to redeem mankind) also has an intimation towards individual self-giving ('sacrifice of self'). The range of nuances in the modern meaning stretches to include discourses that have lost their religious motif and hav…

Ritual

(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…

Divination

(6,021 words)

Author(s): Maul, Stefan (Heidelberg) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Niehr, Herbert (Tübingen) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Et al.
[German version] I. Mesopotamia While attention in old Egyptian culture was largely centred on existence after death, the concerns of Mesopotamia were almost exclusively with the present. A significant part of the cultural energy of ancient Mesopotamia was devoted to keeping human actions in harmony with the divine, so as to ward off such misfortunes as natural catastrophes, war, sickness and premature death. As such, heavy responsibility rested on the ruler as mediator between the world of gods and that of men. In Mesopotamia everything which is and happens was seen as a man…

Asia Minor

(16,327 words)

Author(s): Olshausen, Eckart (Stuttgart) | Genz, Hermann (Istanbul) | Schoop, Ulf-Dietrich (Tübingen) | Starke, Frank (Tübingen) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen) | Et al.
[German version] I. Name Strabo was the first to refer to the peninsula of Asia Minor (AM) west of the  Taurus (Str. 2,5,24; 12,1,3; cf. Plin. HN 5,27f.; Ptol. 5,2) as a single unit by the name of Asia in the narrower sense, as opposed to the continent of Asia. The term of Asia minor in this sense is first used in Oros. 1,2,26 (early 5th cent. AD). Olshausen, Eckart (Stuttgart) [German version] II. Geography AM is the westernmost part of the Asian continent between 36° and 42° northern latitude, and 26° and 44° eastern longitude, stretching from the Aegean to the Euphrates ( c. 1,200 km), and fro…