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Leek

(608 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg)
and other Alliaceae [German version] I. Mesopotamia, Egypt, Asia Minor The numerous Sumerian and Akkadian expressions for Alliaceae, not all of which can be definitely botanically identified, partly refer only to the subspecies leek, shallot, onion or garlic [1. 301]. Leek in its various forms - Sumerian *karaš, Akkadian kar( a) šu, Hebrew kārēš, Aramaic karrāttā, Arabic kurrāṯu - is a word of Oriental culture. Garlic is in Sumerian, sum, Akkadian šūmū, otherwise in Semitic languages ṯūm; the onion is in Akkadian šamaškillū, in Aramaic šmšgl (also as an ideogram in Pahlavi); the…

Deluge, legend of the

(716 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Stenger, Jan (Kiel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In Mesopotamia, the legend of the deluge is preserved in a Sumerian as well as an Akkadian version; the Akkadian one is transmitted in 17th-cent. BC copies of the  Atraḫasīs myth[3. 612-645]. Extensive passages reappear verbatim on the 11th tablet of the recension of the Epic of  Gilgamesh from Niniveh [3. 728-738], and the myth is later also transmitted by  Berosus [1. 20 f.]. The gods perceive the noisy behaviour of the humans as hubris, causing them to eliminate …

Interest

(2,129 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt The early Mesopotamian documents (24th-21st cents. BC) that refer to  loans and advances from institutional bodies to private individuals allow us to surmise that interest was calculated, though without our being able to make any observations about the rates of interest. Instead of being made to pay interest, the debtor was often obliged to undertake agricultural work for the creditor [10. 117]. In the Early Babylonian period (19th-17th cents. BC) a sharp distinction was drawn between loans of grain (331/3 %) and…

Secret police

(629 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] A. Ancient Near East Xenophon (Cyr. 8,2,10ff.) tells of undercover informants, the “eyes and ears of the king”, who reported to the Persian king. Antecedents of this Achaemenid institution can be found in Mesopotamia: soothsayers (Mari 18th cent. BC) and state officials (Assyria 8th/7th cents.) undertook in their oath of office to report to the king any moves or actions against him. The extent to which fear of the “eyes and ears of the king” was an encumbrance to contemporaries can be seen in Mesopotamia in the way …

Debt, Debt redemption

(2,856 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Crawford, Michael Hewson (London)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Debt incurred by the population which lived on agriculture is a general phenomenon in agrarian societies. It ultimately led to debt bondage, thus threatening the social equilibrium. Debt redemption by sovereign decree was a common means of reducing or eliminating the consequences of debt, i.e. of restoring ‘justice in the land’. Instances of debt redemption are well attested in Mesopotamia from the 3rd millennium BC, but more especially between the 20…

Oils for cooking

(2,001 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt In the Ancient Orient and Egypt, oil was not only part of human nutrition (e.g. the daily rations for the population dependent on central institutions), but was also used as body oil, for making scent, for embalming (in Egypt), for medicinal purposes, in craft production, as lamp oil and in the cultic and ritual sphere (e.g. unction for rulers in Israel: 1 Sam 10,1; 16,3; not in Mesopotamia). Depending on the regionally varying agronomic and climatic conditions, oil was obtained from a number of plants: whereas numerous olei…

Lists

(643 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Cavigneaux, Antoine (Geneva)
[German version] A. Definition Lists are a graphic-linguistic technique for representing facts and concepts of varying complexity. They asyntactically and enumeratively present facts removed from their written or oral (narrative/descriptive) context. Lists may be exhaustive - with a claim to completeness - or open. In addition to simple lists (compilations of terms and/or numbers in a column or line or row), there are binary lists, in which terms (words) are opposed in two columns. In a matrix, term…

Hortikultur

(1,931 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Christmann, Eckhard (Heidelberg)
[English version] I. Alter Orient und Ägypten In den Nutzgärten im vorderen Orient und Äg. wurden im sog. Stockwerksbau unter dem schattenspendenden Dach der Dattelpalmen Obstbäume (v.a. Apfel, Feige, Granatapfel; dazu in Äg. Johannisbrotbaum, Jujube; Obstbau) und darunter Gemüse (v.a. Zwiebel- und Gurkengewächse, Hülsenfrüchte, Blattgemüse wie Kresse, sowie Gewürzkräuter, z.B. Koriander, Thymian, Kümmel, Minze) angebaut. Die Dattelpalme lieferte nicht nur Datteln als wichtigstes Süßmittel, sondern auch Bast, Palmblätter, Blattrispen und St…

Libation

(773 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Haase, Mareile (Toronto)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt Since sacrifices were primarily intended to ensure that the daily needs of the gods…

Horticulture

(2,122 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Christmann, Eckhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt In the kitchen gardens of the Middle East and Egypt fruit trees (principally apples, figs, pomegranates, but in Egypt also carob trees and jujube;  Pomiculture) were grown in so-called tiered cultivation in the shade provided by date palms, and below them  vegetables (especially onions and cucumber plants, pulses, leaf vegetables, such as cress, and also aromatic herbs, coriander, thyme, caraway an…

Hieros Gamos

(862 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
(ἱερὸς γάμος; hieròs gámos: sacred marriage). [German version] I. Term A term which has attained great significance in modern researc…

Bisutun

(388 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Old Persian bagastāna ‘place of gods’, Βαγίστανα; Bagístana), Βαγίστανον ὄρος; Bagístanon óros, Behistun). Rock face 30 km east of Kermanshah, on the road from Babylon to Ecbatana on the  Choaspes ( Silk Road [3. 11]), on which  Darius I had his achievements from c. 520 BC recorded pictorially and in inscription -- c. 70 m above the road level -- in several phases. Because of their trilingual form (Elamite, Babylonian, Old Persian) the inscription [1] was the key to decipherment of the  cuneiform script ( Trilinguals). The reli…

Songs

(1,465 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Fuhrer, Therese (Zürich)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East Many song genres are attested in Mesopotamia (beginning in approx. 2600 BC), in Egypt (from the 24th/23th cents. BC onwards), among the Hittites (14th/13th cent.), in Ugarit (14th/13th cents.) and in the OT (see below). There is no uniform genre classification, since hybrid forms are common. The ancient terminology is only of limited help. The umbrella term ‘cultic poetry’ refers to the literary, lyric form of song. The term ‘song’ is related to the type of performance,

Trilingual inscriptions

(757 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Günter (Würzburg) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] I. General Inscriptions in three languages on a single object that refer to the same facts exist in Antiquity, albeit rather rarely on the whole, ordered by official as well as private sponsors. The different versions were usually tailored to the cultural requirements and interests of the respective audiences so that their messages (and length) are not always completely congruous (cf. [4]). Most of the trilingual inscriptions (TI) originated in the east. They reflect the multi-lingual character of…

Temple economy

(1,836 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Rosenberger, Veit (Augsburg)
[German version] I. The Ancient Orient and Egypt With palaces, temples constituted the central institutions of society in the Ancient…

Lied

(1,275 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Fuhrer, Therese (Zürich)
[English version] I. Alter Orient Zahlreiche L.-Gatt…

Rationen

(469 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[English version] I. Alter Orient In der altorientalischen Oikos- oder Palastwirtschaft waren - je nach Region und Epoche - die Mehrheit oder (große) Teile der Bevölkerung in die institutionellen Haushalte von Tempel und/oder Palast als direkt Abhängige integriert. Sie wurden durch Natural-R. (Getreide, Öl, Wolle), die das für ihre Reproduktion nötige Existenzminimum garantierten, versorgt. In Mesopotamien wurden diese Natural-R. durch Zuweisung von Unterhaltsfeldern (ca. 6 ha), die das Existenzminimum einer Familie sicherstellten, …

Liste

(566 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Cavigneaux, Antoine (Genf)
[English version] A. Definition Die L. ist eine graphisch-sprachliche Technik zur Darstellung von Sachverhalten und Konzepten unterschiedlicher Komplexität. Sie stellt Sachverhalte herausgelöst aus ihrem schriftlich oder mündlich vorliegenden (narrativen/beschreibenden) Kontext asyntaktisch und enumerativ dar. L. können ausschließlich - mit einem Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit - bzw. offen sein. Neben einfachen L. (Aneinanderreihung von Begriffen und/ oder Zahlen in eine…

Kümmel

(252 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg)
[English version] I. Alter Orient K. war als Gewürzpflanze in Mesopot., Äg., Äthiopien und Kleinasien verbreitet und wird in myk. Linear B-Texten als ku-mi-no erwähnt [6. 131, 136, 227]. Das Wort ist ein bis ins 3. Jt. zurückzuverfolgendes Kulturwort (sumer. * kamun; akkad. kamūnum, hethit. kappani- [mit m > p-Wechsel], ugarit. kmn, hebr. kammōn, türk. çemen, engl./franz. cumin). Äg. K. (Cuminum cyminum; äg. tpnn, kopt. tapen) scheint möglicherweise eine andere Spezies des K. gewesen zu sein [5]. K. wurde in Äg. auch medizinisch (u.a. bei Magen-Darm-Beschwe…
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