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Technology, History of

(4,496 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) [German version] A. The Technology of Classical Antiquity as a Research Area (CT) Classical scholarship did not recognize ancient technology as the subject of a special discipline in its own right until late. Up to about 1980, investigations into problems of ancient technology by Classical historians, archaeologists and linguists were relatively rare, and only a few essays and monographs were generally devoted to the field; there were no general treatments of a scholarly standard, no…

Opera

(253 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The Latin term opera was used to describe the output of work demanded of a worker in one day. This says nothing about that worker's legal status; he could be a freeman, freedman or a slave (Cic. Off. 1,41; cf. also the definition in Paulus, Dig. 38,1,1: “operae sunt diurnum officium”). The Roman agrarian writers use opera to determine precisely at what time certain work had to be done; in this way, it was possible to specify the speed of the work above and beyond the working hours and to calculate the number of slaves needed for a rural…

Brick­yards

(532 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] ( figlina). Building bricks and roof tiles were produced in brickyards close to clay deposits and then transported to the building sites. Because of their great weight, every effort was generally made to avoid long transport distances; for that reason, brick production was not concentrated in certain centres, but spread across all of Italy. Nonetheless, brickyards close to the coast, whose bricks could be transported by ship, supplied entire coastal regions; bricks of the figlina of Vibius Pansa near Ariminum can be found across the entire northern Adri…

Vexillatio

(223 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] From the late 1st cent. onwards, rather than entire legions (Legio) being sent to reinforce Roman troops in a theatre of war, smaller units were usually dispatched to the scene; these were formed for the specific occasion, and their members drawn from individual legions or auxiliary units (Auxilia). Thus, for the siege of Jerusalem during the Jewish War, the legions stationed in Egypt provided 2,000 soldiers and the frontier troops on the Euphrates 3,000 (Jos. BI 5,43 f.). Such units, called vexillationes, normally comprised 1,000 (ILS 2726) or 2,000 men. They…

Lifting devices

(629 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] Ever since large temples were built of stone in Greece (early 6th cent. BC), architects have been faced with the problem of lifting heavy blocks of stone, for the walls or the architrave, and column drums as far as the building plan demanded. In doing so, loads of significant weight often had to be dealt with, because stone, after all, weighs approximately 2.25 t/m3, and marble c. 2.75 t/m3. In the Archaic age, blocks for the architrave weighed between 10 and 40 t. At first, the stones were put into place via a ramp, as is recorded for the constru…

Slave revolts

(1,378 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The great slave revolts in Roman Antiquity occurred within a comparatively narrow time span, in the 2nd and early 1st cents. BC; geographically, they centred around Sicily and southern Italy. The extent of these great revolts remains unique; bands formed by fugitive slaves never reached the same level either before or later, nor were they comparable with these revolts (Chios: Ath. 6,265d-266e; Bulla Felix in Italy: Cass. Dio. 77,10). Even though these rebellious movements of the u…

Liberalitas, largitio

(1,766 words)

Author(s): Corbier, Mireille (Paris) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] A. Etymology and development of the word's meaning The term liberalitas (= li.) denotes, on an abstract level, an attribute (cf. Sen. Dial. 7,24,3: ... quia a libero animo proficiscitur, ita nominata est), in a particular case an act of generosity. The term largitio (= la.) belongs to the area of gifts, as does li.; derived from the adjective largus (in the original sense of a freely flowing spring, Cic. Off. 2,52) la. usually signifies the distribution of gifts. In the political vocabulary of the late Republic la., seen as a gift by means of which a particular purp…

Taberna

(94 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Uggeri, Giovanni (Florence)
[German version] [1] Type of building Latin term for buildings, both urban and rural, used for storage, craft production, selling goods, offering drinks, meals and lodging, and also as living space. Storage economy; Workshop; Inn Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) [German version] [2] T. Frigida Road station in Etruria on the Via Aemilia Scauri between Pisae and Luna at the crossing over the Frigidus (modern Frigido), modern San Leonardo in Frigido. Uggeri, Giovanni (Florence) Bibliography L. Banti, Luni, 1937, 71  G. De Santis Alvisi, Questioni lunensi, in: Centro Studi Lunensi. …

Military technology and engineering

(1,756 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Gniers, Andrea Maria (Los Angeles) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient For Mesopotamia, as for the Near East in general, we are poorly informed by both written and archaeological sources about military organization, techniques, and engineering. The isolated case of the ‘Vulture Stele’ (about 2500 BC, from Tello, southern Babylonia; [1. pl. 91]) points to differences between heavily and lightly armed soldiers. The war chariots depicted there and on the ‘Ur Standard’ (somewhat older, from Ur; [1. pl. VIII]) were probably static symbols, …

Hunting

(1,391 words)

Author(s): Galter, Hannes D. (Graz) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Archaeological finds attest to battues with traps in the Middle East from the 7th millennium BC onwards. On the other hand, there is only a little cuneiform evidence of the occupation of the hunter, e.g. in the  Gilgamesh Epic (TUAT 3. 676, I iii 9ff.). Wild cattle, wild goats, wild donkeys, gazelles, lions,  elephants and many other animals were hunted. As hunting weapons, people used traps, nets and snares as well as bows and arrows, throwing-sticks, lances, sword…

Veterans

(1,638 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | O.S.
(Latin veterani). [German version] I. Republic The Roman army in the Republican Period was a militia; all citizens with means exceeding the defined level (cf. Census) were obliged to provide combat service in the military; the term of service depended on military requirements, and was not precisely defined. It was the custom for soldiers released from the army after military service to return to their farms, and to be available again for recruitment upon the outbreak of another war (Pol. 6,19-26; Liv.…

Traffic

(1,288 words)

Author(s): Nissen | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
The overcoming of distances by people and goods, using means of transport on transport routes. [German version] I. The Ancient Orient The oldest means of transport are people, beasts of burden and boats. They were used for short- and long-distance traffic alike, for individual items and for bulk transport. It was not only in the nomadic context (Nomads) that donkeys and later camels were employed unharnessed for their stamina as beasts of burden, and their ability to travel long distances with little food. In Egypt,…

Univira

(219 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The idea that in a woman's life she should be married to only one man was considered a traditional ideal of Roman society; correspondingly only women who had been married just once were admitted to the cult of Pudicitia (Val. Max. 2,1,3; Liv. 10,23,3-10). Although in the late Republic and the early Principate the number of divorces increased and remarriages of divorced women and widows was normal, this ideal retained its validity (Catull. 111,1 f.). Propertius emphasizes in his el…

Artes liberales

(2,330 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Schneider, Jakob Hans Josef (Tübingen RWG)
Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) [German version] Artes liberales (CT) The Artes Liberales (AL) describe a group of usually seven of study, ‘worthy of a free man’ (Seneca epist. 88; i.e.: grammar, logic/dialectics, rhetoric and arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy). They originate from the Greek educational programme of the enkyklios paideia, which were passed on to the Latin Middle Ages through the encyclopaedias of Martianus Capella, Cassiodorus, and Isidor of Seville. They are usually divided up into groups of three and four; since Boethius the group of four is ( De arithmetica

Lead

(759 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] Metal of low hardness, high specific weight (11.34) and low melting point (327°C); the most important lead-ore to be found in nature is galena (galenite; PbS), due to its silver content of up to 1% of greater economic significance in antiquity, mainly for the extraction of silver. The silver of Laurium, for instance, was extracted by mining and smelting galena. Important deposits outside of Attica were located mainly in Spain, Sardinia and Britain. In antiquity, lead and tin were considered two types of one metal; in Latin, lead was called plumbum nigrum, tin plumbum cand…

Portrait

(2,270 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Schneider, Norbert
Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) [German version] A. Introduction (CT) The genre of portraiture, which developed in Antiquity, and especially that which developed in Rome from the 1st cent. BC under the influence of the Greek, diverged into a multiplicity of types (portrait statues,  equestrian statues, portrait busts, apotheoses in relief form, imago clipeata on sarcophagi etc.). According to their respective functions and historical (re-)applications (e.g. as portraits of rulers or poets), these types cons…

Flooding

(1,042 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] ( inundatio: ILS 207; 5797a; Tac. Hist. 1,86,2; diluvia: Plin. Ep. 8,17,1; aquae ingentes: Liv. 35,9,2; 38;28,4; aquarum magnitudo: Liv. 30,26,5; 30,38,10; proluvies: Cic. Ad Q. Fr. 3,5,8). Only exceptionally were natural catastrophes taken as historiographical subjects in Antiquity, and then for instance when earthquakes hit famous cities and substantial emergency measures were undertaken to help the populace. This is true in the case of flooding and flood disasters, too, on which subject we have info…

Castration of animals

(328 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] ( castratio) was a frequent procedure in ancient agriculture, designed to adapt the characteristics of male animals to the requirements of human beings. In horses and cattle, the castration served the purpose of altering the temperament of the animal without impairing its viability (Xen. Cyr. 7,5,62). Aristotle describes the effects of castration in his zoological writings, drawing attention to how the mutilation of a small part of the body affects an ani- mal's entire appearance. …

Agriculture

(7,403 words)

Author(s): Hruška, Blahoslav (Prague) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Osborne, Robin (Oxford) | Schreiner, Peter (Cologne) | Et al.
I. Near East and Egypt [German version] A. Introduction In the Near Orient (particularly the southern Levant and Syria) and Egypt, a fundamental change in the history of mankind occurred 12,000 years ago: the transition from the hunter-gatherer life of paleolithic times to neolithic agrarian society. In the so-called ‘fertile crescent’ and in Egypt, agriculture almost always included livestock farming. Agriculture also encompassed the planting of fruit trees, viticulture and horticulture. The methods of food production led to increasing freedom from dependency on e…

Metallurgy

(2,957 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Giesen, Katharina (Tübingen) | Kohler, Christoph (Bad Krozingen) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
I. Ancient Near East [German version] A. Metal extraction Metals are extracted from ores (smelting). Precious metals: gold, silver, elektron; base metals: copper, tin, lead, iron. The beginnings of metallurgy can be found in mineralogically favourable regions, particularly near the (copper-)ore deposits of Anatolia. Elements of pyrotechnology have been identified in aceramic neolithic settlements of the early 7th millennium BC, in particular products of metallurgy based on the smelting of copper ore. The…
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