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Sacrifice

(10,943 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Et al.
I. Religious studies [German version] A. General Sacrifice is one of the central concepts in describing ritual religion in ancient and modern cultures. In European Modernity, the term sacrifice (directly or indirectly influenced by Christian theology of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ to redeem mankind) also has an intimation towards individual self-giving ('sacrifice of self'). The range of nuances in the modern meaning stretches to include discourses that have lost their religious motif and hav…

Cookery books

(807 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Schmitt-Pantel, Pauline (Paris)
[German version] I. Near East and Egypt Although there is copious epigraphical and graphic evidence for a highly developed  table culture at the courts of oriental rulers in antiquity, cooking recipes are known to us so far only from Mesopotamia: 34 from the 18th cent. BC (gathered from three clay tablets), one from the 6th/5th cents. BC. They offer practical instructions in the manner of medical prescriptions. The reason why the recipes were preserved in writing is not clear. They deal predominantly with stewed poultry and other meat, together with two recipes…

Empires, Concept of empire

(1,874 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The idea of a  rulership that encompassed the entire known world was expressed in Mesopotamia in various royal epithets ─ i.a. ‘Ruler of the Four Regions (of the world)’ ( šar kibrāt arbaim/erbettim), ‘Ruler over the Totality’ ( šar kiššatim), ‘Ruler of Rulers’ ( šar šarrāni). The title ‘Ruler of the Four Regions (of the world)’ is first documented for the Akkadian ruler  Naramsin (23rd cent. BC). However, the claim inherent in this title did not hold true according to contemporary documents, since Naramsin's…

Amulet

(478 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Grieshammer, Reinhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] A. Ancient Orient Since prehistoric times in the Ancient Orient there have been numerous objects made as pendants (either figurative or abstract symbols) which could be worn, tied on or hung and also chains or other arrangements, which were all referred to as amulets [1]. Particularly Akkadian and Hittite texts for experts in the area of magic rituals describe materials, shapes and the process for making amulets and the purpose for which they are used. Stones and plants are ascribed …

Potamophylax

(79 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (ποταμοφύλαξ/ potamophýlax, 'river guard'). The potamophýlakes (Ptolemaic officials) used guard boats (attested from the 2nd cent. BC on) to guard the Nile, its branches (in the Delta) and the canals of Alexandria up to Syene (Aswan). They occasionally also carried urgent letters and were put to service collecting tolls and taxes. The potamophýlakes were conscripted into service; the office of potamophýlax was a liturgy. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography E. Kießling, s. v. P., RE 22, 1029 f.

Sardanapalus

(88 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Σαρδανάπαλ(λ)ος; Sardanápal(l)os). Legendary Assyrian ruler, who combines traits of several Assyrian rulers (e.g. Sennacherib and Saosduchinus/Šamaš-šuma-ukīn) according to the accounts of  Greek authors (Hdt. 2,150; Pol. 8,12,3; Dion. Chrys. 4,135; Clem. Al. Strom. 2,20). During the 19th century, S. was a subject in music [1. 168], literature (Byron) and fine arts (Delacroix) (Orient, reception in the West). Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography 1 J. Renger, Altorientalistik und Vorderasiatische Archäologie in Berlin, in: W. Ahrenhövel, Chr. Sc…

Wool

(1,162 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Pekridou-Gorecki, Anastasia (Frankfurt/Main)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East In the Near East, wool (Sumerian si, Akkadian šīpātu) from sheep was an essential raw material for textile production (Textiles, production of). Chiefly with the aid of numerous administrative documents from the time of the Third Dynasty of Ur (21st cent. BC), many typical details of wool production can be reconstructed. The fleecing of sheep, for which Sumerian has various terms, took place as a rule in spring. This is the removal of the fleece from the sheep in its tota…

Prayer

(2,863 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
I. Ancient Orient [German version] A. General remarks Several hundred prayers have been preserved from the ancient Orient, dating from as far back as the 3rd millennium BC. In some cases, the history of their texts can be traced back for several centuries. A variety of genres usually classified as lamentations, hymns, etc., are actually prayers, since lamentations or hymns of praise to a deity simply represent the occasion for a following prayer, which constitutes the underlying reason for that hymn or lamentation. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) [German version] B. Egypt Invocations of th…

Prisoners of war

(1,665 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Burckhardt, Leonhard (Basle) | Le Bohec, Yann (Lyon)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In the early period (4th-3rd millennia), both in Egypt ( sqr-nḫ, 'those tied up for killing' [3]) and in Mesopotamia, POW were often killed on the battlefield. Killing - as a ritualized act - or parading POW and plunder before the ruler was ideological in character and hence a theme of pictorial representation  (southern Mesopotamia in 3100 BC: the killing of chained, naked POW in the presence of the ruler [5. 9]; 24th cent: naked male POW - probably immediately after their…

Assemblies

(2,182 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East There was at various periods and in various regions of the ancient Near East a spectrum of manifestations of collective bodies with diverse powers of decision-making  and capacities for implementation. Crucial to the role of such collective bodies was on the one hand the nature of their historical genesis, and on the other hand the nature of their integration into the prevailing system of rulership. There were no popular assemblies as in the Classical Mediterranea…

Kinship, Relatives

(1,915 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | di Mattia, Margherita (Rome)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt Both Sumerian and Akkadian kinship terms - other than basic words like father (Sumerian a.a, Akkadian abu), mother (Sumerian ama, Akkadian ummu), son (Sumerian dumu, Akkadian māru), daughter (Sumerian dumu.munus, ‘female son’, Akkadian mārtu), brother (Sumerian šeš, Akkadian aḫu), sister (Sumerian nin, Akkadian aḫātu, ‘female brother’) - are of an analytical character (e.g. Akkadian abi abi or abi ummi, paternal or maternal grandfather; father's brother = uncle). In Sumerian, šeš.bànda (literally ‘little brother’) …

Inn

(1,837 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Dräger, Michael
[German version] I. Ancient Orient So far, evidence of inns comes mainly from Mesopotamia. There the inn was usually also the place where - outside institutional households -  beer was brewed. Inns normally served beer, with only one mention of the operator of a  wine tavern (ancient Babylonian period, 17th cent. BC; [3]). The running of an inn by a landlord or landlady or a hot-food stall by a cook was registered and licensed by royal edict in the ancient Babylonian period [5. 85]. Both had to pay a…

Nimbus

(1,534 words)

Author(s): Willers, Dietrich (Berne) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Nimbus vitreus Nimbus vitreus (‘glass clouds’), a pun by Martial (14,112), which has been misunderstood mostly since Friedländer's annotations [1. 322] and into the most recent commentary [2. 174] has been misunderstood and is translated as a ‘glass vessel for sprinkling liquids with numerous openings’. What is meant is the effect of such an instrument when wine is sprayed. Willers, Dietrich (Berne) Bibliography 1 L. Friedländer (ed.), M. Valerii Martialis epigrammaton libri (with explanatory notes), vol. 2, 1886 2 T.J. Leary (ed.), Martial Book XIV. T…

Gardens

(2,325 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Carroll-Spillecke, Maureen (Cologne) | Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike (Potsdam)
[German version] [1] Horticulture s.  Horticulture Renger, Johannes (Berlin) [2] Gardens [German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt In the immediate proximity of homes, gardens were important providers of shade for humans and livestock. Pleasure gardens as part of palace grounds enhanced prestige. As part of the temple grounds they symbolized the cosmos. The Garden of Eden is a mythological invention (Gen 2,8; 2,15). Gardens were depicted in reliefs (Assyria) and wall paintings (Egypt). Assyrian kings recorded …

Women rulers

(1,599 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | AN.WI.
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In the societies of the Ancient Orient and Egypt with their rules regarding patrilineal inheritance and succession, women did not assume the role of rulers. The only exceptions to this occurred in cases when a female member of the ruling family - generally the queen mother - acted as regent for an underage heir to the throne. For example, Hatshepsut, half-sister and wife of Thutmosis [2] II, acted for 22 years as regent for her underage nephew Thutmosis [3] III.. In…

War booty

(1,607 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Burckhardt, Leonhard (Basle) | Le Bohec, Yann (Lyon)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East In the ancient Near East, the procurement of WB was directed towards obtaining important raw materials (e.g. metals - Egypt: gold from Nubia, silver from Cilicia, copper from Cyprus (Middle Kingdom); Assyria: iron from Iran, silver from Cilicia; Cilices, Cilicia) and items required for further warfare (e.g. horses, chariots in Assyria, 1st millennium BC) or served to supply the royal court with luxury goods for purposes of prestige. WB must be distinguished from '…

Polytheism

(1,339 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
I. In general and in classical antiquity [German version] 1. History of the term The adjective πολύθεος/ polýtheos refers in poetic Greek to that which pertains to many deities: the altar as the seat ( hédra) of many gods (Aesch. Suppl. 424) or the divine assembly attended by many gods (Lucian. Iuppiter Tragoedus 14). It is only in Jewish and Christian literature (Apologists) that this concept is used to justify the rule ( monarchía) of a single deity. Philo [12] of Alexandria coined the terms δόξα πολύθεος/ dóxa polýtheos (Phil. De decalogo 65) and πολυθεΐα/ polytheḯa (Phil. De mutatione…

Price

(3,822 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | von Reden, Sitta (Bristol) | Kuchenbuch, Ludolf (Hagen)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East Prices or equivalents for numerous fungible items had a generally recognized value in both Egypt and Mesopotamia, though nothing is known of how this came about. Prices in Egypt were at first expressed in a value unit šn( tj) (perhaps 'silver ring'?), in the New Kingdom also in copper and sacks of grain (though neither served as media of exchange) [7. 13]. In Mesopotamia, they were generally expressed in weights of silver (in Assyria, occasionally also tin). Indications as to equivalents are preserved to varying degrees of abundance and …

Adamas

(93 words)

Author(s): Peter, Ulrike (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
(Ἀδάμας; Adámas). [German version] [1] Thracian (4th cent. BC) Thracian, who in the 370s BC seceded from Cotys (Aristot. Pol. 5,10,1311b). The identification with A. in IG XII 5,245 is doubtful (SEG 34, 1984, 856). Peter, Ulrike (Berlin) [German version] [2] River of India on the Gulf of Bengal A river of India on the Gulf of Bengal mentioned only in Ptol. 7,1,17; 41, identical with the current Subarna rekha. The name means ‘River of Diamonds’. Inland, to this day the diamond mines of Chota Nagpur are known. Renger, Johannes (Berlin)

Husbandry

(3,460 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Jameson, Michael (Stanford) | Jongman, Willem (Groningen)
(Animal) [German version] I. Ancient Orient In the Ancient Orient and Egypt animal husbandry was always systemically linked with agricultural production (farming), insofar as both were mutually dependent and together formed the basis for society's subsistence. That view was given expression (i.a.) in the Sumerian polemical poem ‘Mother ewe and grain’ [1]. In Mesopotamia the basis of animal husbandry was mainly the keeping of herds of  sheep and to a lesser extent of  goats, which were collectively termed ‘domestic livestock’ (Sumerian u8.udu-ḫia; Akkadian ṣēnu). Sheep were pri…
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