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Purification

(2,436 words)

Author(s): Stausberg, Michael | Cancik, Hubert | Seidl, Theodor | Kollmann, Bernd | Schneider-Ludorff, Gury | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies As with many animals, purification is a basic area of human behavior. Mutual purifying implies and generates expectations, trust, solidarity, and hierarchy. Religious actions (e.g. the purifying of statues and pictures of gods) go back to identical structures. Purifying is a fundamental element of ritual actions. Ritual objects, but also the actors themselves, are purified. This process is often self-referential: purification happens not with regard to something unclean, but for the ritual. Purification rites are …

Historiography

(5,830 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Karl | Cancik, Hubert | Dietrich, Walter | Plümacher, Eckhard | Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Et al.
[German Version] I. Ancient Near East – II. Greece – III. Rome – IV. The Bible – V. Christianity – VI. Judaism I. Ancient Near East Historiography in the classic sense, with a reflective account of historical linkages, developed rudimentarily at best in the cuneiform cultures of the ancient Near East in Hittite and Neo-Assyrian annals and the introductions to treaties; even these documents were usually written to justify the political actions. Around the middle of the 3rd millennium bce, however, there appeared an immense number of all sorts of texts containing more or less detailed historical narratives. Despite their sometimes questionable truth, these doc…

Virgil

(711 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (Publius Vergilius [later Virgilius] Maro; Oct 15, 70 bce, near Mantua – Sep 21, 19 ce, in Brundisium [Brindisi]; buried in Naples). Virgil was born in humble circumstances. The erudite but sickly poet, a friend of Horace ( Carm. 1.3), was patronized by Asinius Pollio, Maecenas, and Augustus. Virgil’s Eclogae (written between 39 and 37) are 10 bucolic (“lyric”) poems of classical perfection in language, composition, subject matter, and metrics. Faced with an acute threat in the fall of the Roman republic, shepherds, mythical figures, and real figures with much ¶ love and s…

Rome, The Idea of

(904 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert | Wallraff, Martin | Schimmelpfennig, Bernhard
[German Version] I. Greco-Roman Antiquity 1. The picture (imaginaire, myth, idea) that the Romans developed of themselves, their city, and their rule (Imperium Romanum) has an exemplary early period, with its founders – “pious father Aeneas” (Virgil, Aen.), Romulus, and Numa, founder of the city and founder of religion (Livy, Book I); its type – “the good old Roman” in a toga, beardless (Cicero, Cato maior), and its distinctions from its rivals in Greece (Athens). Might and right are contrasted with learning, art, and philosophy: excudent alii... / tu regere imperio populos, Romane; “others may create art / you, Roman, lead the peoples under your rule” (Virg. Aen. VI 847–853). Hadrian was the first to set up in Rome a cult of the Dea Roma ¶ (121/135 ce), linking it with that of Venus, the mother of Aeneas (cf. the anagram Roma-Amor); festival, Mar 21. Only by force could the rhetorical topo…

Tacitus, Publius Cornelius

(671 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (c. 55 – after 116 ce). Life and works. Tacitus was praetor (88) and quindecimvir (?), suffect consul (97), and proconsul of the province of Asia (112/113). The biography of his father-in-law Gnaeus Julius Agricola (d. 93) combines the laudatio funebris

Cult Authors

(489 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert

Classics/Classical

(612 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] 1. In the language of Roman administrative law, the Latin word classicus denotes citizens assigned on the tax rolls to the highest of the five classes (Cato, cited by Gellius, VI 13). Reinforcing the principles of an “agonal culture” (Agon), the principle and terminology of the Roman class system were extended early on to linguistic and intellectual achievements. Plautus (2nd cent. bce) calls the everyday vernacular proletarius sermo ( Mil. glor. 752). 2. In Rome c. 140 ce, the rhetorician and tutor of princes Marcus Cornelius Fronto (c. 110-after 1…

Rome

(11,156 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram | Cancik, Hubert | Veltri, Giuseppe | Wallraff, Martin | Schimmelpfennig, Bernhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. History and Archaeology 1. History and archaeology. On a favorable site, on the road from Etruria to Latium and Campania, at a ford over the Tiber about 30 km from its mouth, and also on the road from the coast going in the direction of the Apennines, and in fertile lands by the river, there were small settlements from at least the 14th century bce (esp. on the Capitol). According to legend, Rome was then founded in 753 bce by Romulus, who became its first king. Other legends make Aeneas, son of Anchises ¶ and Aphrodite, the most important Trojan hero after Hector, into t…

Religious Criticism

(2,242 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert | Krötke, Wolf
[German Version] I. Greco-Roman Antiquity 1. Types, topics, argumentation patterns

Varro, Marcus Terentius

(677 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (116–27 bce). Life and work: Varro was a Roman official (praetor in 68), probably a quindecimvir (Cichorius), and a widely traveled polyhistor and poet. He was a conservative republican, an adherent of the (old) Academy, and the author of more than 70 works on all facets of Roman culture, in more than 500 volumes. His enormous oeuvre comprises works on philology and literary history (the theater, history of the alphabet, etc.), history, and antiquarian topics (calendar), further the artes libera…

Capitol

(598 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] In the narrow sense, Capitol (Lat. caput, “head”) refers to the part of the mons Capitolinus which faces the Tiber; in a broader sense it refers to the whole hill including the arx (“fortress”), which was at one time connected to the Quirinal, and the hollow, known as the Asylum, between the two hilltops. Additionally, the Capitol is the name of the principal temple in Rome and its colonies, the

Decay/Decline

(820 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. General – II. Greek Views – III. Roman Views I. General Decay/decline (cf. decadence, degeneration; inclinatio; Ger. Verfall) refers to a process of gradual deterioration that ends in sudden catastrophe (Gk καταστροφή), destruction, disintegration, slow dissolution, or ruin (Gk φϑορά/ phthorá), unless it is averted by reform or renaissance. Decay/decline is the corresponding antonym of progress, an – often …

Progress

(963 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. The Term The word progress, ultimately from Lat. pro-gressus (cf. progressio, processus, profectus) and its Greek prototypes (προκοπή/ prokopḗ, προαγωγ ή/ proagōgḗ, προέρχεσϑαι/ proérchesthai); all have the basic meaning “move forward,” with the figurative sense of “change for the better (through human agency)” (like Ger. Fortschritt). In their figurative sense, these words are very rare in the ¶ Bible (Phil 1:12; 1:25). In the Middle Ages, the lexical field played only a modest role (Zorn, 341). Besides the “image of the road” (Bec…

Linear and Cyclical

(663 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. Metaphor and Stereotype – II. History of Ancient Religion and Ideas I. Metaphor and Stereotype The image of the straight line and the circle is used to describe experiences and conceptions of time and history (History/Concepts of History) in a simple and graphic manner, though not necessarily clearly and correctly. In a “pre-philosophical” system of classification and valuation, thought patterns, artistic styles, and even entire cultures are labeled as linear or cyclical. The history of humanity, which is linear and open to the future as well as to progress, or nature (co…

Human Dignity

(1,961 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Historical Background – II. Theology I. Historical Background 1. Important terminology of modern legal culture was formed in antiquity: natural law , freedom , equality , justice , etc. Some terms, however, appeared in a different context in antiquity, or were less central and widespread than in the modern period. This is true of human rights ( ius humanum), freedom of religion ( libertas religionis), person ( persona; self), as well as human dignity ( dignitas hominis; dignity, dignity of life). The latter expression first appears in Cicero ( De officiis I 30.106;…

Myth and Mythology

(12,158 words)

Author(s): Segal, Robert Alan | Kamel, Susan | Müller, Hans-Peter | Graf, Fritz | Cancik, Hubert | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. History – III. Philosophy of Religion – IV. Fundamental Theology. – V. Missiology I. Religious Studies 1. The Concept and Its History Myth may be defined by either content or function. Defined by content, myth is a belief about something significant, such as the world or society. Defined by function, myth accomplishes something significant, such as explaining the world or supporting society. Most theories of myth are concerned with the function of myth, but many are also concerned with either the origin or the subject matter of myth. Myt…

Death

(11,861 words)

Author(s): Heller, Birgit | Cancik, Hubert | Liess, Kathrin | Necker, Gerold | Goldberg, Sylvie-Anne | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies and History of Religions – II. Death and the Realm of the Dead in the Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Philosophy – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. History of Dogma and Dogmatics – VIII. Ethics – IX. Practical Theology – X. Art – XI. Islam – XII. Buddhism – XIII. Hinduism I. Religious Studies and History of Religions 1. General Modern religious criticism regards religion as compensation for human anxiety in the face of death. …

Ritual Books (libri rituales)

(647 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. Ritual books are collections of rituals in written form (Rite and ritual), of prescriptive and descriptive texts for use in cult/worship, sometimes during the cultic act. They prescribe “with what animal sacrifices, on which days, in which temples a holy thing is to be made, and whence money might be requested for these expenses” (Livy I 19, 5; Sacrifice : II, 3). The ritual books provide instruction on the relation between action and word in ancient cult and worship, and are a…

Human Rights

(5,661 words)

Author(s): Steiner, Udo | Cancik, Hubert | Leppin, Volker | Wielandt, Rotraud | Mokrosch, Reinhold
[German Version] I. Concept and Terminology – II. History – III. Ethics – IV. Constitutional and International Law – V. Education I. Concept and Terminology In the usage of international law and national constitutional states, human rights are rights possessed by every individual (Human beings) by virtue of his or her humanity, independent of cultures, nationalities, and periods (universality). Their guiding principle is that of human dignity (inviolable, indisposable, inalienable). Guarantees of human rights can a…

Rohde, Erwin

(197 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (Oct 9, 1845, Hamburg – Jan 11, 1898, Heidelberg), taught classical philology in Kiel, Jena, Tübingen (1878–1886), Leipzig, and Heidelberg (prorector 1894/1895). Starting from novels and romance poetics of the modern period, Rohde, an antimodernist of refined sensitivity, researched the history of the novel in antiquity. Psyche (1890–1894, 9/101925; ET: Psyche: The Cult of Souls and the Belief in Immortality among the Greeks, 1925), his major contribution to the history of religion, offers a comprehensive presentation of the “development” of…
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