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Screw

(531 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The screw appears among the five simple mechanical instruments listed in the Mechanics of Hero I of Alexandria (1st cent. AD), next to the rotating axle, lever, pulley and wedge (Hero, Mēchaniká 2,5). It is not mentioned either in the description of surgical instruments in Hippocrates (Hippoc. Perì agmôn 31) or in Aristotelian mechanics. Since there is no indication of the use of the screw before Archimedes [1], it can be considered one of the most significant technical inventions of the Hellenistic period. It appears that the principle of the screw was first us…

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…

Mineral Resources

(1,831 words)

Author(s): Tichy, Franz (Erlangen) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Geography Compared with Europe as a whole and other continents, the mainlands and islands of the Mediterranean are poor in valuable mineral resources; furthermore, deposits of precious metals and marble are limited to only a few regions. Many of the deposits were exploited in antiquity or during the Middle Ages, especially wherever they were easily accessible along the coasts. The Phoenicians traveled to obtain tin ore from Iberia as early as the Bronze Age, and the Greeks transp…

Social structure

(4,590 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Müller-Wollermann, Renate | Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Kuchenbuch, Ludolf (Hagen)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East Social structure in the ancient Orient was determined by who controlled the fundamental means of production in an agrarian society, the arable land. The usual form of government in such societies was a patrimonial monarchy. Palaces and temples were the institutional centres dominating the economic and social structures and developments, especially in Egypt and Mesopotamia; all parts of society were directly or indirectly incorporated into this system. The existenc…

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…

Social politics

(938 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] In modern industrial societies, the function of SP is to set up systems to prevent the occurrence of cases of hardship, and to protect individual citizens and groups of citizens from defined risks. A vital instrument of SP is social insurance, of the kind created in the German Empire between 1883 and 1889 (health insurance, accident insurance, old-age insurance); unemployment insurance followed during the Weimar Republic. Since that time, the actual concern in SP has been, on the …

Trireme

(850 words)

Author(s): Tilley, Alec F. | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
(τριήρης/ triḗrēs; Lat. trieris, triremis;from tri- 'three' and Gr. eretmón, Lat. remus 'oar'). [German version] I. History of the Trireme From the battle off Salamis [1] (480 BC) to the Hellenistic age, the trireme of the Classical period was the most battle-worthy warship of the eastern Mediterranean region. It was developed from the elongated boats of the archaic period, which possessed one or two banks of oars on both sides and were used in Naval warfare. The tactical goal in naval battles was to sink enemy shi…

Lime

(576 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The technique used by the Greeks, of binding the individual blocks in quarried-stone walls by means of variously formed metal clamps, was adopted by the Romans for their monumental architecture. Besides that, they early on used mortar made of lime and sand as a bounding agent in house building. Thus, lime, which in Greece had been used primarily for the roughcast of buildings, acquired greater importance as a building material in the Roman period. Lime is obtained from limestone by burning at temperatures of some 1000° C; the calcium carbonate (CO3Ca) turns into calciu…

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.…

Biton

(285 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] (Bíτων; Bítōn). Author of a short work on catapults and siege equipment; named in Athenaeus (14,634); the work is dedicated to a King Attalus and was therefore composed between about 230 BC (when Attalus I assumed the title of king) and 133 BC (death of Attalus III). As B. mentions older types of catapults but not the torsion catapult that was otherwise well attested from the end of the 4th cent. BC, the work probably belongs to the early years of the reign of Attalus I. B. describes two catapults that could hurl stones weighing from c. 2 kg to 18 kg, a mobile siege tower ( helépol…

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…

Rigging

(287 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] From the Archaic Period on, Greek trading ships were no longer propelled by oarsmen but had a large sail attached to a yard (ἐπίκριον/ epíkrion; Lat. antemna/ antenna), allowing them to use wind power. Even the long warships had a mast with a yardsail; as these ships, however, had to be used regardless of wind conditions and in naval battles required great manoeuvrability, oarsmen could not be dispensed with; they used the sail on longer journeys in favourable wind. Greek warships in the 5th-4th cents. BC not only had the big sails (μεγάλα ἱστία/ megála histía; Xen. Hell. 1…

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. …

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…

Vacuum

(379 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] Pre-Platonic thinkers, such as the Pythagoreans (Pythagorean School) or Anaxagoras [2] had a concept of an empty “space” (τὸ κενόν/ tò kenón). The examination of this view led Aristotle (Aristoteles [6]) to the conclusion that no such 'void' could exist. His argument reveals that Anaxagoras had undertaken experiments to study phenomena of air. For Aristotle, Anaxagoras' demonstrations show that air is a form of matter (ὅτι ἔστι τι ὁ ἀήρ/ hóti ésti ti ho aḗr: Aristot. Ph. 213a-214b). In the 3rd cent. BC, Ctesibius [1] constructed apparatuses which made use o…

Purpur

(548 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[English version] (πορφύρα/ porphýra; lat. purpur) war ein in der Ant. für die Herstellung kostbarer Stoffe und Gewänder verwendeter Farbstoff (Färberei), der aus verschiedenen, im Mittelmeer lebenden Schneckenarten (Schnecke) gewonnen wurde; Aristoteles hat der P.-Schnecke lange Ausführungen gewidmet (Aristot. hist. an. 546b-547b); die wichtigste ant. Beschreibung der P.-Schnecken und der Herstellung des Farbstoffes findet sich bei Plinius (Plin. nat. 9,124-138). Wahrscheinlich ist das Verfahren, aus den Meeresschnecken Farbstoff zu gewinnen, zuerst von…

Ernährung

(3,376 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Englund, Robert K. (Berlin)
[English version] I. Allgemein Die E., die allgemein als Aufnahme von Stoffen für die Erhaltung, die Fortpflanzung und das Wachstum von Lebewesen definiert wird, ist im Bereich der menschlichen Geschichte keineswegs nur als physiologischer Vorgang zu begreifen und zu untersuchen, sondern muß in Zusammenhang mit einer Vielzahl von wirtschaftlichen, sozialen, kulturellen und rel. Faktoren gesehen werden. Die Wahl der Nahrungsmittel erfolgt in einer Ges. nicht allein unter Berücksichtigung ihres Nährwe…

Elfenbein

(192 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[English version] (ἐλέφας, lat. ebur) wurde aus den Stoßzähnen afrikan. und indischer Elefanten gewonnen und gehört wie Seide, Bernstein, Weihrauch und Pfeffer zu jenen kostbaren Gütern, die aus Gebieten außerhalb des Imperium Romanum importiert werden mußten; nach Plinius war E. das wertvollste Material, das Landtiere lieferten (Plin. nat. 37,204). Der Preis für E. war im 1.Jh. n.Chr. außerordentlich hoch; dennoch bestand ein Mangel an E., so daß man begann, auch die gewöhnlichen Knochen des Elef…

Bücher-Meyer-Kontroverse

(1,856 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) RWG
Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) RWG [English version] A. Einleitung (RWG) Als Bücher-Meyer-Kontroverse (BMK) wird in der neueren alt-histor. und wiss.-geschichtlichen Lit. die zw. 1893 und 1902 geführte Debatte über die grundlegenden Merkmale der ant. Wirtschaft bezeichnet. Ausgangspunkt dieser Diskussion war die 1893 erschienene Schrift Die Entstehung der Volkswirtschaft des Ökonomen Karl Bücher, der die Auffassung vertrat, für die Ant. sei eine Dominanz der Hauswirtschaft charakteristisch gewesen. Auf der dritten Versammlung dt. Historiker in…

Entwässerung

(618 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[English version] Angesichts der geringen Produktivität der ant. Landwirtschaft war es notwendig, das für den Getreideanbau, Weinbau und die Anpflanzung von Ölbäumen geeignete Land tatsächlich zu nutzen und zu kultivieren. Durch Terrassierung wurden Hügel und Gebirgshänge in Griechenland für den Anbau erschlossen, und Maßnahmen zur E. hatten die Funktion, Neuland zu gewinnen oder Land nach den winterlichen Regenfällen vor Überschwemmungen zu schützen. Die Voraussetzungen sind dabei in Griechenland…
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