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Writing

(3,263 words)

Author(s): Röllig, Wolfgang (Tübingen) | Wachter, Rudolf (Basle) | Rives, James B. (Toronto)
[German version] I. Definition Writing is understood to be a set of signs for the visual preservation of human language. Within cultural history, creating and employing writing require (1) its usability, (2) a considerable degree of language analysis and (3) a triggering idea. Since writing can be mastered effortlessly even by six-year-olds and - once in existence - can be used for the most varied cultural purposes, the decisive factor for the moment of its invention is the idea. However, one should…

Sacer

(219 words)

Author(s): Rives, James B. (Toronto)
[German version] That which is withdrawn from everyday use and is given over to the gods (cf. sacrare, 'to make sacer': sacrifice [I A]). In the earliest Latin sources, the adjective sacer is used in connection with sacrificial animals (Plaut. Men. 290) and objects dedicated to a deity (CIL I2 47; 365; 396; 580). In archaic Roman law, a person guilty of certain crimes could be declared sacer. The person concerned was excluded from human society and could be killed without punishment (CIL I2 2; cf. Fest. 424 L.). Although over the course of time Roman jurists insisted that only…

Venus

(1,473 words)

Author(s): Rives, James B. (Toronto)
[German version] I. Meaning and origins Italic-Roman goddess V., the Italic-Roman goddess of love and erotic desire, was generally identified in Antiquity with Greek Aphrodite (= A.). There has been much speculation about Venus’ original nature. The theory that she was originally a goddess of gardens [8. 289] is no longer in favor; [9. 289], although the association appears already in the earliest Latin literature (Naevius ap. Paul. Fest. 51; Plautus ap. Plin. HN 19,50; cf., later, Varro Ling. 6,20; Var…

Sacra

(286 words)

Author(s): Rives, James B. (Toronto)
[German version] The customary Latin term for all kind of religious rituals (Macrob. Sat. 1,16,8). Its usage in old priestly titles is a sign of its antiquity ( e.g. rex sacrorum ). Roman scholars made a distinction between sacra publica and sacra privata (Fest. 284 L.). The former were listed in the local calendar and were divided into two main types: The first group were rituals which were carried out by magistrates and priests at public expense for the populus, but which did not require the public’s participation, the second group comprised festivals, such as the Fornac…

Sacerdos

(465 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Rives, James B. (Toronto)
[German version] [1] Name Rare Roman cognomen (‘priest’), in the Republican period attested for the Licinii (Licinius [I 41]), in the Imperial period for Marius Plotius [II 5] Claudius S. Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) Bibliography Kajanto, Cognomina, 319. [German version] [2] Priest (plur. sacerdotes). The second part of the Latin word is derived from the Indo-European *dhe- (cf. Greek tithénai, Lat. facere, English do): a sacerdos was thus 'someone who performed sacra '. Sacerdotes became the umbrella term for all religious functionaries, but its meaning as a tech…

Sacerdos

(381 words)

Author(s): Rives, James B. (Toronto)
[English version] (Pl. sacerdotes). Das zweite Glied des lat. Wortes stammt von indeur. *dhe- (vgl. griech. tithénai, lat. facere, dt. tun): Ein s. war also “einer, der die sacra macht”. S. entwickelte sich zu einem Oberbegriff für rel. Funktionsträger, als t.t. hatte es jedoch eine eingeschränktere Bed.: Wie Inschr. belegen, wurde es üblicherweise für Priester verwendet, die einer einzigen, insbesondere nichtröm. Gottheit dienten. Dieser Sprachgebrauch war bereits im frühen 2. Jh. v. Chr. etabliert (Plaut. Bacch. 307; Plaut…

Sacer

(205 words)

Author(s): Rives, James B. (Toronto)
[English version] Das dem alltäglichen Gebrauch Entzogene und den Göttern Übergebene (vgl. sacrare, “ s. machen”: Opfer I. A.). In den frühesten lat. Belegen wird das Adj. s. im Zusammenhang mit Opfertieren (Plaut. Men. 290) und einer Gottheit geweihten Gegenständen (CIL I2 47; 365; 396; 580) verwendet. Im archa. röm. Recht konnte eine bestimmter Verbrechen schuldige Person für s. erklärt werden; der Betreffende wurde aus der menschlichen Gemeinschaft ausgeschlossen und durfte ungestraft getötet werden (CIL I2 2; vgl. Fest. 424 L.). Obwohl die röm. Juristen im Lauf der…

Sacra

(250 words)

Author(s): Rives, James B. (Toronto)
[English version] Der gebräuchliche lat. Begriff für rel. Rituale aller Art (Macr. Sat. 1,16,8). Auf sein hohes Alter weist die Verwendung in alten Priestertiteln (z. B. rex sacrorum ) hin. Röm. Gelehrte unterschieden zw. s. publica und s. privata (Fest. 284 L.). Erstere wurden im lokalen Kalender aufgeführt und zerfielen in zwei Haupttypen: in Rituale, die von Magistraten und Priestern auf Staatskosten für den populus durchgeführt wurden, bei denen aber die Beteiligung des Volkes nicht nötig war, und in Feste wie die Fornacalia oder die Parilia, an denen üb…