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Serapis

(1,264 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Takacs, Sarolta A. (Cambridge, MA)
(Σάραπις/ Sárapis, also Σέραπις/ Sérapis, Latin Serapis), original Egyptian bull god whose main cult was in Memphis; from the Hellenistic period, it was widespread throughout the Mediterranean region. [German version] I. Egypt The Greek form Sarapis (Σάραπις; Sárapis), and in later sources Serapis (Σέραπις; Sérapis), derives from the combination Wsjr-Ḥp (Osiris - Apis [1]), which is rendered as οσεραπις ( oserapis) in the oldest sources from Memphis, e.g. in the Curse of Artemisia (UPZ 1; 4th cent. BC). Because the initial sound was understood as the article (ὁ; ho) it became detac…

Ceremony

(3,932 words)

Author(s): Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Winterling, Aloys (Bielefeld) | Tinnefeld, Franz (Munich)
[German version] I. Mesopotamia In contrast with cultic  rituals, the secular ceremonies of Mesopotamia have up to now rarely been the subject of academic research. On the whole, it has to be assumed that individual and communal life in the societies of the Ancient Orient in general and that of the  ruler in particular were dominated by numerous rules, resulting in more or less standardized patterns of behaviour. The reconstruction of such non-cultic ceremonies is largely dependent on secondary refe…

Prophets

(2,681 words)

Author(s): Köckert, Matthias (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Bremmer, Jan N. (Groningen) | Wick, Peter (Basle) | Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] I. Introduction The term P. has found its way as a loanword from the Greek translation of the Bible into numerous languages. The Septuagint regularly uses prophḗtēs to translate the Hebrew substantive nābī, which is etymologically connected with Akkadian nabû(m) = 'one who is called'. Since then a very much wider use has emerged. For a more precise demarcation of the concept, it is useful to adopt Cicero's distinction between inductive and intuitive divination ( genus artificiosum, genus naturale: Cic. Div. 1,11,34; 2,26 f.) and to describe as prophets onl…

Re

(650 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] ( R), the most important god in the Egyptian pantheon. Essentially merely the word for 'sun' and as appellative still used as such in Coptic, translated into Greek as Helios. Re is the god who originated in himself, yet the primeval ocean Nun is considered to be his father. In Heliopolis he is linked with the god Atum, and his children are Shu and Tefnut (Tefnut, legend of). Often the epithet 'Horus of the horizon' (Harachte), is bestowed on him. The phases of the sun during the day are classified by the Egyptians as Chepre (morning), Re (midday) and Atum (e…

Sesostris

(282 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Σεσῶστρις; Sesôstris). Greek form of the name of three Egyptian rulers of the 12th Dynasty, Egyptian z (j)-n-Wsrt: S. I (1956-1911/10 BC), S. II (1882-1872 BC) and S. III (1872-1853/52 BC). In Hdt. 2,102-110 and Diod. Sic. 1,53-58, S. appears as the greatest general of Egypt, who conquered large parts of Asia and Europe. An alleged settlement of Egyptians in Colchis is reported to go back to his campaigns. He is supposed to have been brought up together with all other Egyptian men who were born o…

Leukos Limen

(78 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Egypt | Commerce (Λευκὸς λιμήν; Leukòs limḗn; only in Ptol. 4,5,8). Harbour on the Red Sea at the eastern mouth of Wadi Hammamat opposite Coptus, modern Marsa Koseir el-qadim. Leukos Limen (LL) was the starting-point for trips to Punt (coast of Eritrea). From the Ptolemaic period the harbours Myos Hormos and Berenice [9] supplanted LL. Hardly any ancient remains are extant. Quack, Joachim (Berlin)

Science

(3,548 words)

Author(s): Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | R.NE.
[German version] I. Mesopotamia The framework for the emergence of science, i.e. of a socially organized, systematic search for discoveries and their transmission, existed in Mesopotamia from the early 3rd millennium BC. It included social differentiation and the development of a script (Cuneiform script) which was soon applied outside administrative and economic contexts. The potential of numeracy and literacy, sustained by the professional group of scribes, was developed beyond concrete, practical…

Pantheon

(2,240 words)

Author(s): Richter, Thomas (Frankfurt/Main) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] [1] Name to describe the plurality of gods In modern scholarship on religious history, the term 'pantheon' is used in systematizing the plurality of ancient gods (Polytheism). In the following, it will be used accordingly to denote all the many deities worshipped in a particular geographical area and socio-historical context. Richter, Thomas (Frankfurt/Main) [German version] I. Mesopotamia Sumerian does not have its own expression for a collective of gods corresponding to the term 'pantheon'. The Sumerian term A-nun-na, 'seed of the prince' (i.e. of Enki, …

Punt

(357 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] Egyptian pwn.t, construed from the New Kingdom on, by means of linguistic reanalysis, as p-wn.t. Omission of the apparent article creates a new name wn.t; this appears in some sources from the Graeco-Roman Period. According to Egyptian sources, a country in the far southeast; today usually sought in the region of Būr Sūdān (Port Sudan) [6] or around Eritrea and the Horn of Africa [1; 2]. In the Old Kingdom, trade goods from P. could reach Egypt by way of staging posts along the Nile; direct trading voya…

Coptus

(218 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Commerce | India, trade with | Egypt Main city of the 5th upper Egyptian district (besides Ombos and Qūṣ), Egyptian gbtw, which became Greek κοπτός ( koptós), Copt. kebt and Arab. qifṭ. Important starting-point for expeditions into the Wadi Hamāmat and the Red Sea. Located in C. were temples for  Min (main god),  Isis (also referred to as ‘Widow of Coptus’) and  Horus; records also indicate a cult of Geb. Colossal stone statues of Min stem from the early 1st dynasty. Protect…

Uchoreus

(95 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Οὐχορεύς; Ouchoreús). According to Diod. Sic. 1,50 the eighth child of Osymandias (Ramses [2] II) and the founder of Memphis, which he is supposed to have made into a strong fortress with an embankment and a large lake. Scholars like to identify it with the Ὀχυράς/ Ochyrás mentioned in the Book of Sothis in Syncellus (FGrH III F 28,110,9). The name is customarily explained as a corruption of ὀχρεύς ('the permanent') and considered to be a translation of the Egyptian mn (Menes [1]). Quack, Joachim (Berlin) Bibliography K. Sethe, Beiträge zur ältesten Geschichte Äg…

Priests

(4,255 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Niehr, Herbert (Tübingen) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster) | Et al.
[German version] I. Mesopotamia From the 3rd millennium to the end of Mesopotamian civilization, the staff of Mesopotamian temples consisted of the cult personnel in the narrower sense - i.e. the priests and priestesses who looked after the official cult in the temples, the cult musicians and singers - and the service staff (male and female courtyard cleaners, cooks, etc.). In addition, there was the hierarchically structured administrative and financial staff of the temple households, which constit…

Sesonchosis

(202 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
(Σεσόγχοσις, Σεσόγχωσις/ Sesónchosis, Sesónchōsis). Greek form of Shoshenq, Egyptian šš( n) q, name of probably five rulers of the 22nd/23rd dynasties. [German version] [1] Shoshenq I, Egyptian ruler, second half of the 10th cent. BC The best known is Shoshenq I ( c. 945-924 BC) [1. 287-302], who according to 1 Kg 14,25 f. (there called Shishak) laid waste to parts of Judaea and was prevented from conquering Jerusalem by being paid large amounts of gold. A list preserved on the Bubastite Gate in Karnak names places in Judah and Israel allegedly conquered by him. Quack, Joachim (Berlin) …

Metre

(8,752 words)

Author(s): Zaminer, Frieder (Berlin) | Leonhardt, Jürgen (Marburg/Lahn) | Hecker, Karl (Münster) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Et al.
[German version] I. Preliminary remark Originally sung poetry, often accompanied by dance, metric literature was obviously subject to other formative conditions than poetry intended from the outset for spoken presentation or for reading. Texts of such kinds still show traces of their earlier sound form ( Music). Accordingly the form ranged from simple ‘melodic lines of sound’, as can be presumed for the ancient Orient and Israel ( parallelismus membrorum, strophic poetry, sometimes with rhythmic accent order, congruence of form and language s…

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,…

Thebes

(6,143 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Fell, Martin (Münster) | Wirbelauer, Eckhard (Freiburg) | Klodt, Claudia (Hamburg) | Kramolisch, Herwig (Eppelheim) | Et al.
[German version] [1] City in the 4th upper Egyptian nome This item can be found on the following maps: Egypt | Commerce | Egypt The Egyptian Thebes, city in the 4th upper Egyptian nome. Quack, Joachim (Berlin) [German version] I. Names Actually Ws.t ('the strong'), from which derived, no later than the 17th dynasty, a female personification Ws.t nḫt.tj ('victorious Thebes'). Beginning with the Middle Kingdom ( c. 1990-1630 BC), often called simply njw.t, 'the city (par excellence)' - from which also the Hebrew form no (Ez 30:14 f.; Jer 46:25; Nahum 3:8) and Assyrian Ne [10. 260] -- o…

Wisdom literature

(3,886 words)

Author(s): Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | S.SC. | Hollender, Elisabeth (Cologne) | Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
I. Ancient Near East [German version] A. Definition When applying the term wisdom literature (WL) to ancient Mesopotamian literature we need to distinguish between the idea of wisdom (Akkadian nēmequ, Sumerian nam.kù.zu, 'precious knowledge') [10; 11] as 'wealth of general human experience' and the concept of wisdom as expertise in a cult. On the one hand, there are a number of non-homogenous, formally different literary genres in which knowledge, procedures, advice and behavioural guidelines are passed on; on the other han…

Pheron

(185 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Φερῶν; Pherôn). Greek rendering of the Egyptian pr-, Pharaoh, therefore not a personal name, but the Egyptian royal title. According to Hdt. 2,111 (similarly also Diod. Sic. 159), the son and successor of Sesostris I (1971-1928 BC). He is said to have thrown his spear into the flooding Nile and to have been blinded as a punishment, until he could wash his eyes with the urine of a woman who had always been faithful to her husband. After recovering his sight, he had all unfaithful wives …

Userkare

(65 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Egyptian Wsr-k-R.w). Egyptian king, according to the evidence of the Kings' lists in the Sixth Dynasty (c. 2300-2250 BC), after Teti I and before Pepi I (Phiops [1]); scarcely any contemporary record. He is sometimes regarded as a usurper or anti-king before or during the reign of Pepi I. Quack, Joachim (Berlin) Bibliography J. Vercoutter, L'Égypte et la vallée du Nil, vol. 1, 1992, 322.

Literature

(23,376 words)

Author(s): Rüpke, Jörg (Erfurt) | Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Hazenbos, Joost (Leipzig) | Hose, Martin (Munich) | Et al.
[German version] I. General Literary communication is communication by means of texts - stabilized, coherent and substantial statements. These may be written or eventually put down in writing, but they may also remain oral ( Literacy). Since for earlier societies as a rule only written texts can be studied, the term ‘literature’ focusses on such sedimented media of literary communication. Nevertheless, particularly for ancient societies the mainly oral character of literary communication must be emp…
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