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Social and Economic History

(4,439 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) [German version] A. The Enlightenment's Assessment of Ancient Society (CT) Although ancient society played a prominent role in Enlightenment discourse, clarification of historical fact was not always the primary consideration in the treatment of any particular theme; rather, Greek or Roman society was described and cited in various theoretical contexts as a model or classified historically to justify or refute particular philosophical, political or economic positions. Influenced b…

Gold

(3,476 words)

Author(s): Riederer, Josef (Berlin) | Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
I. General [German version] A. Gold and gold deposits Gold is a soft precious metal that can be shaped well mechanically and so can be worked easily into sheets and wires, but it has a relatively high melting point at 1063°C that makes casting difficult. It is relatively rare in nature where it is present in the form of gold aggregates in solid rock from which it is extracted through mining methods, or it is present in the form of gold particles or grains in sandy deposits of weathered primary rock, from…

Pigs

(1,385 words)

Author(s): Nissen | Reeg, Gottfried | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Near East and Egypt The Near East is part of the original range of the wild pig ( Sus scrofa L.), which was evidently used in various places for breeding the domestic pig; the earliest examples date from the 7th millennium BC [6. 73]. The pig (Sumerian šaḫ(a); Akkadian šaḫû [3]) was of some significance during most periods and in most regions of the Near East, probably esp. as a provider of meat. The few pictorial representations usually depict wild pigs. Pigs are mentioned from the beginning of written records in Mesopotamia…

Fiscus

(396 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] In the time of the late Republic the word fiscus on the one hand referred to a container for storing money, on the other hand it already referred to public funds that were placed at the disposal of a promagistrate in the province (Cic. Verr. 2,3,197). Furthermore fiscus also meant the private assets of a Roman citizen. In the Principate period the fis cus was the cashier's office of the princeps; as he alone could dispose of the fiscus, he could also exercise considerable influence over politics by using these finances. This already applies to Augustus who …

Wealth, distribution of

(1,635 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. General The study of the distribution of wealth in a society should offer information about the various types of wealth and their economic significance in a national economy and about the share of individuals or social groups in the overall national wealth. Because quantitative information on the economy and private wealth is only available in an extremely limited scope for Antiquity, the statistical methods of modern economics cannot be applied in the field of ancient economic h…

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…

Onasander

(561 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
(Ονάσανδρος; Onásandros). [German version] [1] Physician on Cos, c. 250 BC Public physician of Cos in c. 250 BC. As a resident of Cos without citizens' rights, he apprenticed with a public physician ( archiatrós ) in Halasarna, became his assistant and followed him to Cos when he was chosen public doctor there. There he opened his own practice but continued to treat his old patients from Halasarna, at times for nothing. The inscription documenting his career is one of the most informative ones about physicians to survive from antiquity. Nutton, Vivian (London) Bibliography  R. Herzog, Dec…

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…

Purple

(582 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] (πορφύρα/ porphýra, Lat. purpur) was a dye (Dyeing) used in Antiquity for the manufacture of costly materials and garments. It was obtained from various species of sea-snails (Snails and slugs) living in the Mediterranean; Aristotle devoted lengthy disquisitions to the purple-snail (Aristot. Hist. an. 546b-547b), but the most important ancient description of the creature and the manufacture of the dye is found in Pliny (Plin. HN 9,124-138). It is likely that the technique of obtaining dye from sea-snails was first developed by the Phoenicians. In…

Pigmentarius

(105 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] Derived from  pigmentum ('pigment'; cf. Plin. HN 33,111; 33,115; 33,158; 35,29; 37,81), the Latin word pigmentarius is the term for producers of and traders in pigments, ointments and perfumes ( unguenta). Representatives of this group are mentioned in Cicero and in inscriptions (Cic. Fam. 15,17,2; ILS 7604; 7605; CIL VI 9795). The workshop and store of a pigmentarius may be depicted in the house of the Vettii in Pompeii  [2. pl. XV 1]. The selling of poisons or love potions by a pigmentarius was punishable (Dig. 48,8,3,3; cf. Pharmakeía ). Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) Bi…

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…

Marble

(4,101 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Schneider, Rolf Michael (Cambridge)
[German version] I. Terminology, properties, identification Geologically speaking, marble is a metamorphic rock of crystalline structure (average crystal size 0.3 to 1.0 mm) and variable translucency, derived by mediumor high-level metamorphosis from limestone and dolomite [21. 17-20]. The ancient terms μάρμαρον/ mármaron (originally masc. μάρμαρος/ mármaros = ‘gleaming stone’; later attested in all three genders) and Latin marmor, however, mean all white and coloured rocks capable of being polished, including hard rocks such as granite, greywacke and…

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…

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…

Steel

(153 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] Modern term for alloys of iron with a carbon content of up to two per cent. In the blast-furnace process, however, the iron extracted has a much higher carbon content, which has to be reduced by means of a technical procedure (refining). In Antiquity there was an entirely different technical problem: Crude iron, the product of the smelting process, had only an extremely limited carbon content and was therefore relatively soft. The iron was therefore tempered by further forging in …

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…

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…

Materialism

(955 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The concept of materialism does not appear until the first half of the eighteenth century, and is first used polemically in the context of the criticism of materialist thought in Enlightenment philosophy, as antithesis of idealism or spiritualism (Kant). Here, only those teachings will be designated as materialism which (a) represent a monism which holds that all being can be reduced to one or more material principles, while (b) that which appears to be non-material is either an e…

Drainage

(646 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The meagre productivity of ancient agriculture rendered the effective use and cultivation of any suitable land imperative for growing grain, viticulture, and planting olive trees. Hills and mountain slopes in Greece were prepared for cultivation through terracing, and drainage measures were used to gain virgin land or to protect land from flooding after the winter rains. The requirements were different in Greece and Italy: in the Greek interior, there are fairly large plains in which lakes are formed by surface inflow; run-off is often subsurface ( katavothra) and …

Nutrition

(3,630 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Englund, Robert K. (Berlin)
[German version] I. General With respect to human history, nutrition, generally defined as the intake of substances for the sustenance, procreation and growth of living organisms, should not in any way be understood or investigated only as a physiological process, but must be seen in the context of a multiplicity of economic, social, cultural and religious factors. The choice of foodstuffs in a society is made not only with regard to their nutritional value, but also based on social and religious va…
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