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Market

(2,086 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | von Reden, Sitta (Bristol) | Kuchenbuch, Ludolf (Hagen)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt The concept of the market is the subject of controversial discussions in classical Middle Eastern studies and Egyptology, since there was no term, neither in the Mesopotamian area nor in Egypt, that clearly designated the market as a place and a modus operandi. Background of the discussion are, on the one hand, the studies regarding pre-modern societies inspired by K. Polanyi (among others by M. Finley for the classical world), according to which a market did not exist as a system of supply and dema…

New Year's celebration

(1,992 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Ahn, Gregor (Heidelberg) | Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
(NYC). The beginning of the year was variously fixed in different local or supra-regional calendars. It was oriented, as far as we know, towards agricultural patterns connected to the time of the year (especially sowing in the spring and harvest in the autumn). The beginning of the year was connected with administrative measures (e.g. raising taxes). Spring and autumn received particular consideration in the festival calendar because of their significance within the agrarian cycle. Because in re…

Moon

(1,588 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Hübner, Wolfgang (Münster)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The rotation of the moon and the phases of the moon served as significant structural elements of the calendar from early times in all ancient Oriental cultures. People discussed not only the phases of the moon but also, from earliest times, the eclipses of the moon, regarding them as ominous signs (Astrology; Divination). Like the sun, the moon, which was represented as a deity, was the protagonist of numerous myths in Egypt, Asia Minor [1. 373-375] and Mesopotamia (Moon deities). In Babylonia, as early as toward the end of the 3rd millennium,…

Deification

(1,408 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | von Lieven, Alexandra (Berlin) | Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In the Ancient Orient the deification of  rulers always occurred in the context of the legitimization and exercise of  rulership. Deified rulers and proper gods were always differentiated on principle. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) [German version] A. Mesopotamia References to the deification of living rulers are geographically restricted to Babylonia and temporally to the late 3rd and early 2nd millennium BC: a) individual rulers claimed divine descent for themselves as a means of legitimizing their rule…

Genealogy

(962 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Rüpke, Jörg (Erfurt)
In early societies, largely based on family organizations, genealogy as a derivation of a person's descent in the form of a pedigree is often used as a means of legitimation and (pseudo-historical) memory, which was always also directed at publicity (genealogy from Greek γενεαλογεῖν; genealogeîn, ‘to talk about [one's] origin’). [German version] I. Near East and Egypt The purpose of lineage, transmitted in the form of a genealogy (generally patrilineal; exceptions in the case of Egyptian rulers), was to legitimate a claim to rulership, to tenure of a …

Months, names of the

(2,315 words)

Author(s): Freydank, Helmut (Potsdam) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Trümpy, Catherine (Basle)
I. Ancient Orient [German version] A. Mesopotamia From the middle of the 3rd millennium BC onwards, numerous systems for the names of the months that varied according to region and era are attested. In the Old Babylonian Period (20th-17th cents. BC), a system used throughout Babylonia gained acceptance. In the 19th/18th cents., there were initially autonomous local systems, among other places in the Diyālā area and in Mari, and up to the end of the 2nd millennium BC also in Assyria as well as during va…

Sun god

(930 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | von Lieven, Alexandra (Berlin) | Taracha, Piotr
[German version] I. Mesopotamia In Mesopotamia, the Sumerian sun god Utu (written with the Sumerian sign for day, ud, which may be an etymological connection) was regarded as the city god of South Babylonian Larsa [2. 287-291] and the Akkadian god Šamaš (also common Semitic for 'sun') as the city god of North Babylonian Sippar. The sun god was never at the top of the Mesopotamian pantheon [1] which was dominated by Enlil (3rd/early 2nd millennium), Marduk (1st millennium) and Assur [2]. As the god of daylight, Ša…

Manasse

(506 words)

Author(s): Liwak, Rüdiger (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Kutsch, Ernst (Vienna)
(Hebrew Menašše; Greek Μανασσῆ(ς)/ Manassê(s)). [German version] [1] Israelite tribe Israelite tribe in Middle Palestine, east of the Jordan ( Judah and Israel). Liwak, Rüdiger (Berlin) [German version] [2] King of Judah King of Judah. During his unusually long reign ( c. 696-642 BC), Judah was restricted to Jerusalem and its environs after the Assyrian conquests of 701 BC ( Judah and Israel), but progressively regenerated politically and economically [2. 169-181]. M. (in cuneiform script Me-na-se-e/si-i or Mi-in-se-e) as a loyal vassal of the Assyrians was obliged to pr…

Storage economy

(2,351 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Corbier, Mireille (Paris)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East The creation of stores, esp. of less perishable foodstuffs (esp. grain), is essential to the existence of societies whose agriculture is strongly exposed to environmental and political risks. The paradigm for such experiences is found in the OT story, referring to ancient Egypt, of the seven 'fat' and seven 'lean' years (Gn 41:25-36). The economy (I.) of Mesopotamia, centralized from the 4th millennium BC, also had a central SE, but it is known only from texts. In…

Wine

(4,434 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Ruffing, Kai (Münster) | Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
(οἶνος/ oînos; Lat. vinum). [German version] I.Egypt and Ancient Near East Archeological finds (excavations, pictorial representations in tombs) as well as Egyptian and Roman texts contain a plethora of information about the growing, production and use of wine in Egypt from the Early Period to the Ptolemaic-Roman Period. Wine (Egyptian jrp; Coptic ērp; Old-Nubian orpj/ē; cf. in Sappho 51 ἔρπις/ érpis [9. 46], probably an old foreign cult word [7. 1169]) was grown primarily in Lower Egypt or the Nile Delta and in the oases, clearly because of the favourab…

Price

(3,822 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | von Reden, Sitta (Bristol) | Kuchenbuch, Ludolf (Hagen)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East Prices or equivalents for numerous fungible items had a generally recognized value in both Egypt and Mesopotamia, though nothing is known of how this came about. Prices in Egypt were at first expressed in a value unit šn( tj) (perhaps 'silver ring'?), in the New Kingdom also in copper and sacks of grain (though neither served as media of exchange) [7. 13]. In Mesopotamia, they were generally expressed in weights of silver (in Assyria, occasionally also tin). Indications as to equivalents are preserved to varying degrees of abundance and …

Prisoners of war

(1,665 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Burckhardt, Leonhard (Basle) | Le Bohec, Yann (Lyon)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In the early period (4th-3rd millennia), both in Egypt ( sqr-nḫ, 'those tied up for killing' [3]) and in Mesopotamia, POW were often killed on the battlefield. Killing - as a ritualized act - or parading POW and plunder before the ruler was ideological in character and hence a theme of pictorial representation  (southern Mesopotamia in 3100 BC: the killing of chained, naked POW in the presence of the ruler [5. 9]; 24th cent: naked male POW - probably immediately after their…

Husbandry

(3,460 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Jameson, Michael (Stanford) | Jongman, Willem (Groningen)
(Animal) [German version] I. Ancient Orient In the Ancient Orient and Egypt animal husbandry was always systemically linked with agricultural production (farming), insofar as both were mutually dependent and together formed the basis for society's subsistence. That view was given expression (i.a.) in the Sumerian polemical poem ‘Mother ewe and grain’ [1]. In Mesopotamia the basis of animal husbandry was mainly the keeping of herds of  sheep and to a lesser extent of  goats, which were collectively termed ‘domestic livestock’ (Sumerian u8.udu-ḫia; Akkadian ṣēnu). Sheep were pri…

Linen, flax

(966 words)

Author(s): Pekridou-Gorecki, Anastasia (Frankfurt/Main) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] I. General Linen (λίνον/ línon, Lat. linum) or flax belongs to the family of Geraniaceae. Linum angustifolium is considered the original form of cultivated flax. The use of this wild, perennial plant is archaeologically proven for the Neolithic period in Europe. Common flax ( Linum usitatissimum), an annual plant, has a delicate stalk with oblong, sessile leaves, and reaches a height of 60-90 cm. The stalks form the raw material from which the most important spinning material, after wool, can be extracted. The valuable fibre…

Purity

(1,297 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck)
[German version] I. Mesopotamia In Sumerian the adjective kug and in Akkadian the corresponding adjective ellu express the principle of (cultic) purity. Both words also contain the nuance of 'bright', 'shining'. Sumerian kug and Akkadian ellu (when in textual dependence upon kug) mark characteristics of deities, localities (e.g., temples), (cult) objects, rites and periods of time as belonging to the sphere of the divine. This, however, does not necessarily mean that they must be in an uncontaminated state. In this respect kug is most often rendered as 'holy/sacred'. Akkadian ellu, …

War booty

(1,607 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Burckhardt, Leonhard (Basle) | Le Bohec, Yann (Lyon)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East In the ancient Near East, the procurement of WB was directed towards obtaining important raw materials (e.g. metals - Egypt: gold from Nubia, silver from Cilicia, copper from Cyprus (Middle Kingdom); Assyria: iron from Iran, silver from Cilicia; Cilices, Cilicia) and items required for further warfare (e.g. horses, chariots in Assyria, 1st millennium BC) or served to supply the royal court with luxury goods for purposes of prestige. WB must be distinguished from '…

Genealogie

(881 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Rüpke, Jörg (Erfurt)
Die G. als Ableitung der Herkunft in Form von Ahnenreihen ist in frühen, stark von Familienverbänden geprägten Gesellschaften ein häufig verwendetes Mittel der Legitimation und (pseudohistor.) Erinnerung und zielt immer auch auf eine Öffentlichkeit (G. von griech. γενεαλογεῖν “die [eigene] Herkunft erzählen”). [English version] I. Vorderer Orient und Ägypten Die in Form von G. überlieferte Abstammung (in der Regel patrilinear; Ausnahmen bei äg. Herrschern) sollte Ansprüche auf Herrschaft, Besitzstand im Amt (Priester, hohe Beamte), Status im B…

Preis

(3,508 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | von Reden, Sitta (Bristol) | Kuchenbuch, Ludolf (Hagen)
[English version] I. Alter Orient Preise oder Äquivalente für zahlreiche vertretbare Sachen hatten sowohl in Äg. als auch in Mesopotamien einen allgemein anerkannten Wert, über dessen Zustandekommen aber nichts bekannt ist. P. wurden in Äg. zunächst meist in einer Werteinheit šn( tj) (vielleicht “Silberring”?), im NR auch in Kupfer und Sack Getreide (die beide aber nicht als Austauschmedium dienten) [7. 13], in Mesopot. meist in gewogenem Silber (zuweilen in Assyrien auch in Zinn) ausgedrückt. Angaben über Äquivalente sind in unterschiedlicher Dichte und Aussagekraf…

Lein, Flachs

(871 words)

Author(s): Pekridou-Gorecki, Anastasia (Frankfurt/Main) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[English version] I. Allgemeines L. (λίνον/ línon, lat. linum) oder Flachs gehört der Gattung der Storchschnabelgewächse an. Als Stammpflanze des kultivierten L. gilt das linum angustifolium. Der Gebrauch dieser wildwachsenden, perennierenden Pflanze ist schon für die neolithische Zeit in Europa arch. nachgewiesen. Der echte L. ( linum usitatissimum), eine einjährige Pflanze, hat einen feinen Stengel mit länglichen ungestielten Blättern und erreicht eine Höhe von 60-90 cm. Die Stengel bilden den Rohstoff, aus dem das nach der Wolle wichtigst…

Manasse

(444 words)

Author(s): Liwak, Rüdiger (Berlin) | Kutsch, Ernst (Wien) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
(hebr. Menašše; griech. Μανασσῆ(ς)). [English version] [1] Israelitischer Stamm Israelitischer Stamm in Mittelpalästina und östl. des Jordan (Juda und Israel). Liwak, Rüdiger (Berlin) [English version] [2] König von Juda König von Juda. In seiner ungewöhnlich langen Regierungszeit (ca. 696-642 v.Chr.) war Juda nach den assyr. Eroberungen von 701 v.Chr. (Juda und Israel) auf Jerusalem mit Umland beschränkt, regenerierte sich aber zunehmend politisch und ökonomisch [2. 169-181]. M. (keilschriftlich Me-na-se-e/si-i bzw. Mi-in-se-e) war als loyaler Vasall der Assyrer…
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