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Soccus

(90 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Slipper-like, light half-shoe (Catull. 61,10), probably adopted by the Romans from Greek areas (perhaps σύκχος/ sýkchos or συκχίς/ sykchís, Anth. Pal. 6,294). Originally a woman's shoe, it was also worn by 'effeminate' men (Suet. Cal. 52). Later Diocletian's Price Edict distinguished between socci for men and women, in various colours. The soccus was also considered to be a comedy actor's shoe (cf. Hor. Epist. 2,1,174; Hor. Ars 79 f.), so that soccus became a synonym for comedy (as cothurnus for tragedy). Illustration of a soccus under shoes. Hurschmann, Rolf (Ham…

Armarium

(212 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Cabinet). The second most important piece of furniture for storage besides the arca. The armarium seems to be a typically Roman item, unknown to the Greeks until quite late ( pyrgiskos). The term armarium basically describes a cabinet for equipment, but also a cupboard for food, money and jewellery. It was also used for bookcases and shelves in  libraries. A funeral relief in Rome (TM 184) depicts the armarium in a cobbler's shop [3. 114-115 pl. 117,1-2], and as a household furniture item together with, among other things, the arca (Leiden, Mus. [2. 69, 301]), cf. …

Lomentum

(133 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] [1] Cosmetic Cosmetic ( Cosmetics) created from bean flour (Plin. HN 18,117), used by Roman women to cover up and reduce wrinkles (Mart. 3,42; 14,60), with the addition of sun-dried, crushed snails (Plin. HN 30,127), lomentum rendered the skin soft and white. It further served as a remedy for ulcers, burns or tumours (Plin. HN 20,127; 22,141). Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] [2] Two types of blue pigment Two types of blue pigment gained from ‘sky blue’ ( caeruleum, cf. [1]) (Plin. HN 33,162f.), one representing the more expensive (10 denarii per…

Pluteus

(223 words)

Author(s): Groß, Walter Hatto (Hamburg) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
(also pluteum). The root meaning of 'enclosure, screen or shelter made of boards or latticework' extends to several objects: [German version] [1] Breastwork As a military t.t, a special breastwork or screen used by the testudo (Vitr. De arch. 10,15,1; cf. Siegecraft). Groß, Walter Hatto (Hamburg) [German version] [2] Wooden fence A wooden fence (Liv. 10,38,5) or even a small wooden temple (Anth. Lat. 139, 158). Groß, Walter Hatto (Hamburg) [German version] [3] Balustrade As an architectural t.t., a railing or balustrade of wood or stone (Vitr. De arch. 4,4,1; 5,1,5 et passim). Groß, Wal…

Bracelets

(308 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Bracelets were already common in the old cultures of the Near East and Egypt ( Jewellery). For the Aegean region, we know of examples from Early Cyclade times, and from the Minoan and Mycenaean epochs. Bracelets were worn on the forearm above the wrist or on the upper arm, often on both arms or on forearm and upper arm at the same time. The basic shape was a bangle with room for decorations and inscriptions, either closed or with sculpted ends. Spirally wound bracelets which ended…

Ear ornaments

(960 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient see  Jewellery Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] II. Classical Antiquity Ear ornaments (ἐνώτια/ enṓtia, ἐνωτάρια/ enōtária, ἐνωτίδιον/ enōtídion, Lat. inaures) are seldom mentioned in Gr. myth (Hom. Il. 14,183; Hom. Od. 18,298; Hymn. Hom. ad Ven. 8), but numerous finds and representations attest that already in early times they formed part of the  jewellery of men (Hom. Od. 18,298) and women. In the classical period and later, the wearing of ear ornaments by men was regarded…

Kanoun

(237 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (τὸ κανοῦν; tò kanoûn). Flat - sometimes quite small - basket woven from willow twigs, round or oval in shape, with three handles; a kanoun could sometimes also be made from bronze (e.g. Hom. Il. 630) or gold (Hom. Od. 10,355; Eur. IA 1565). Mentioned already by Homer (Hom. Il. 9,217; Hom. Od. 1,148) as a household item in which bread, onions (Hom. Il. 11, 630) etc. are placed on the table during meal times (wastebasket in Hom. Od. 20,300 ?). Also mentioned by Homer as a sacrificial implement for cult sa…

Lucanian vases

(332 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The production of red-figure Lucanian vases (LV) begins around 430 BC with the Pisticci Painter, named after a place where his vases were discovered. He is still wholly within the Attic tradition, which is visible in the stylistic treatment of his figures, the ornaments and forms of the vessels. He prefers bell craters, which he ornaments with scenes of pursuit and of everyday life or with Dionysiac images. His successors, the Amycus and the Cyclops Painters, apparently settled in Metapontium and founded a workshop here, which was in operation until c. 380-370 BC. The …

Papyrus

(2,017 words)

Author(s): Dorandi, Tiziano (Paris) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
I. Material [German version] A. Term and manufacture The term papyrus was adopted into the European languages via the Greek πάπυρος/ pápyros, lat. papyrus, and ultimately is the source of the modern terms for paper, Papier, papier, etc.  Papyrus is hypothetically derived from an (unattested) Egyptian * pa-prro ('that of the king'). Papyrus, an aquatic plant with a long stem and a triangular cross-section ( Cyperus papyrus L.), was in its processed form a widespread writing material ('paper') in the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean. Papyrus is produced by p…

Labrum

(398 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (from lavabrum, diminutive labellum, Greek λουτήριον/ loutḗrion and λεκάνη/ lekánē). The labrum, a large shallow basin with a raised, thickened rim and resting on a high pedestal, served various purposes. As materials used for the labrum, marble, porphyry, clay, stone and others are cited. In the Greek realm, the labrum is a washbasin where men and women cleansed themselves with water; on vases in Lower Italy this often takes place in the presence of Eros, with waterfowl (swans or geese) sometimes cavorting in the water of the labrum. It also often appears in love o…

Zeira

(99 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ζειρά/z eirá). A loose colourful cloak, reaching to the feet and belted in the middle, worn by Arabs (Hdt. 7,69) and Thracians (Hdt. 7,75), which gave protection from the cold and, unlike the chlamýs , was long enough to keep the feet warm when on horseback (Xen. An. 7,4,4). In depictions of Thracians in Attic vase painting it can be identified from its length and ornamental decorations. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography W. Raeck, Zum Barbarenbild in der Kunst Athens, 1981, 69-72 I. Mader, Thrakische Reiter auf dem Fries des Parthenon?, in: F. Blakolmer (ed.), …

Jewellery

(2,921 words)

Author(s): Rehm, Ellen (Frankfurt/Main) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
Material and motifs indicate that jewellery in antiquity could be thought of as warding off evil or bringing luck. Not only men, women and children, but also idols wore jewellery. Jewellery was also often used as grave goods. [German version] I. Near East Beads made of shell and bone (later also wood) are again and again found in graves from the 7th/6th millennia BC. Gold and silver jewellery is known from the middle of the 3rd millennium BC from the Near East, sometimes with inlaid semiprecious stones, and in a great variety of forms (p…

Throne

(613 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt Ceremonially decorated piece of furniture for gods and rulers to sit on, with a high back and often with arm-rests. The sides were often shaped as animals or animal protomae; the legs were often worked in the shape of animal legs. Apart from a few fragments in stone, most thrones were probably made of wood and hence in the area of the Near East have not been preserved, but are known from numerous depictions. Thrones were presumably usually provided with metal (gold) or ivory embellishments (cf. the numerous surviving examples from Egypt). Nissen, H…

Owl Pillar Group

(183 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Group of red-figured Campanian vases, named after one of its motifs (an owl standing on a column or pillar), dating from the 2nd and 3rd quarters of the 5th cent. BC. The primary pottery form is the Attic ('Nolan') amphora (Pottery, shapes and types of, fig. A 5), while kalpis (Pottery, shapes and types of, fig. B 12), krater and jug are much rarer. In their adoption of the particular shapes of amphora and kalpis, as well as in their style, the painters of the OPG attempted to imi…

Razor

(222 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ξυρόν/ xyrón; Lat. novacula, cultellus, culter tonsorius). Razors were used from the early Greek period on for shaving the  beard and cutting hair from the head when in mourning, for example; numerous examples survive. They could easily exceed 20 cm in length; materials used for blades were iron and bronze; for handles bronze, ivory and wood. Razors are instanced in various forms: they could be shaped like a spatula or a crescent, long and slender with a straight or curved blade, broad…

Lanx

(191 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A plate or flat Roman bowl of varying size, form (oval, rectangular or multiangular) and function; it was used in kitchen work (e.g. Petron. Sat. 28,8), but more often for the serving of dishes like fish, meat and poultry (Mart. 7,48,3; 11,31,19); drinking-cups were served on it. It also found use in Roman legal relations. It is mentioned further as a torture instrument, and the head of John the Baptist was presented on a lanx. In religious ritual , lanx generally designates the sacrificial vessel (e.g. Verg. G. 2,194; Verg. Aen. 213-214). Materials for the lanx included pr…

Periskelis

(138 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (περισκελίς/ periskelís, περισκέλιον/ periskélion. Latin periscelis, periscelium). Term no longer current in archaeological scholarship for a simple band of material or metal worn as a thigh ornament above the knee by women of the lower classes and prostitutes (Hor. Epist. 1,17,56; Alci. fr. 4; Petron. 67), less commonly by women from higher circles (Petron. 67; Longus 1,5). They should be distinguished from clasps worn above the ankle and known as compedes (Petron. 67; Plin. HN 33,39-40 and 152). Such bangles and clasps are common in Greek and Roma…

Chlaina

(253 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (χλαῖνα; chlaîna, from χλιαίνω; chliaínō, ‘to warm’). Already mentioned in Homer (Il. 16,224; Od. 4,50 and passim) as a warm coat for men made out of sheep's wool to protect against cold and rain. The chlaina could be laid over the shoulders unfolded (ἁπλοΐς; haploís) or double-folded (δίπλαξ; díplax) and be held together with a pin; it could be red or purple in colour and decorated with patterns or figures (Hom.Il. 10,133; 22,441). The chlaina was, according to Poll. 7,46, worn as a cape over the  chiton and was part of the dress of farmers and shepher…

Board games

(916 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A. Ancient East Attested since the 2nd half of the 4th millennium, board games were used as a pastime but also for divination purposes ( Divination; in conjunction with models of the liver [3]). The playing boards of 5 × 4 squares were made from wood (carved or with coloured inlays), stone (painted or with inlays) or baked clay; the playing pieces and dice, from ivory or bone; no information is available on the way the games were played. There is probably no connection with the Egypt…

Pataikoi

(193 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Πάταικοι; Pátaikoi). Dwarf figures, mounted on the bow of Phoenician triremes according to Hdt. 3,37. Coins from Aradus [1] and Sidon from the late 4th cent. BC onward show half-figures or protome heads on ships [1. table 2,1, table 18,12-14]. From these Phoenician figures the term was transferred to figures of dwarfs; pátaikos thus became a descriptive proper name for people of short stature (Hdt. 7,154; cf. also the Pataíkeia festival at Delos, named after its founder Pátaikos). The term also became proverbial for thieves, however. Herodotus compares t…
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