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(696 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg)
[German version] Initially the term hippeis (ἱππεῖς/ hippeîs, ‘rider’) denoted warriors who went into battle on horseback. In view of the great importance of hoplite warfare (  hoplítai ) during the archaic and classical periods, the hippeis did not play a substantial military role; often  horses were used only for the way to the battlefield. One reason for this was the fact that many areas of Greece provided only limited possibility to raise large numbers of horses (Hom. Od. 4,601ff.; Pl. Leg. 625d; cf. also Str. 8,8,1). Signific…


(900 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg)
(τιμωρία/ timōría, τίσις/ tísis; Latin ultio, vindicta , poena). [German version] A. Social conditions Revenge, a regular central element of relationships in human social structure, is encountered in Graeco-Roman history in specific forms which are very similar in the two cultures. Revenge belongs in the general framework of an ethic of reciprocation, which shapes, both positively and negatively, mutual exchange between individuals and groups (exchange of gifts; Euergetism). Under these premises, in Greece it…

Social structure

(4,590 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Müller-Wollermann, Renate | Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Kuchenbuch, Ludolf (Hagen)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East Social structure in the ancient Orient was determined by who controlled the fundamental means of production in an agrarian society, the arable land. The usual form of government in such societies was a patrimonial monarchy. Palaces and temples were the institutional centres dominating the economic and social structures and developments, especially in Egypt and Mesopotamia; all parts of society were directly or indirectly incorporated into this system. The existenc…


(391 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg)
[German version] (θῆτες; thêtes). According to the oldest evidence (Hom. Od. 4,644; 11,489; Hes. Op. 602), members of the lower peasant class in Greek communities of the Archaic Period. In all likelihood they were freemen in the sense of personal law, living as domestics in the home of their employer, at first mostly farmers, or hiring themselves out as day-labourers or seasonal workers. The word therefore later became a synonym for 'wage worker' (Pl. Plt. 290a; Isoc. Or. 14,48; Aristot. Pol. 1278a…


(5,179 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Müller-Wollermann, Renate | Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg) | Heinrichs, Johannes (Bonn) | Prinzing, Günther | Et al.
[German version] I. Ancient Near East Mesopotamian cuneiform texts attest to slavery in the ancient Near East from the early 3rd millennium BC [1]. However, at no time were slaves the essential producers in the structure of the total economy [2]. From the 3rd-1st millennia BC, slaves were primarily deployed in private households, and to a lesser extent in institutional households (Palace, Temple). The main sources thus mostly come from the field of private law and governmental legislation [3]. Some of…


(338 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg)
[German version] (γεωμόροι; geōmóroi, Dor. γαμόροι; gamóroi), technical term for the social elite in archaic and classical Samos and Syracuse. As is suggested literally in the name itself, the status of this elite was based on land ownership assumed to have been in this group's possession from the time of the earliest settlements. As the ruling class, the geomoroi probably enjoyed legal privileges for a while, a status clearly designated by the term. C. 600 BC or shortly thereafter, their pre-eminence was threatened on Samos (Plut. Quaest. Graec. 303e-304c), but they…


(2,316 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg) | von Reibnitz, Barbara (Basle)
I. Social History A. Greece [German version] 1. Private Friendship For the Greeks, friendship was one of the most important social relationships, generally egalitarian and guided by two main norms of behaviour, the duty of  reciprocity and a thinking guided by agonal competition (Thgn. 105ff.; 857ff.; 1263ff.; Eur. Or. 449ff.; 646ff.; Xen. Mem. 2,6,35). Political actions and the idea of justice were largely based on the desire of helping one's friends and harming one's enemies to the best of one's ability…


(1,560 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg) | Heimgartner, Martin (Halle)
[German version] I. Definition The terms σχολή ( scholḗ; Lat . schola, scola) and otium, which had equivalent meanings in Greek and Latin, have a wide spectrum of meaning; they could indicate any form of free time not used for labour or other occupations, but also the time dedicated to people or certain activities. From a sociological point of view, the term provides clear insights into essential elements of the Graeco-Roman social order and of social norms, precisely because of the possibility of comparing differing mentalities. Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg) [German version] II. Gr…


(7,857 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Feucht, Erika (Heidelberg) | Macuch, Maria (Berlin) | Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg) | Deißmann-Merten, Marie-Luise (Freiburg) | Et al.
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The family in Mesopotamia was organized in a patrilineal manner; remnants of matrilineal family structures are to be found in Hittite myths, among the Amorite nomads of the early 2nd millennium BC and the Arab tribes of the 7th cent. BC. As a rule monogamy was predominant; marriage to concubines with lesser rights was possible, while there is evidence of polygamy particularly in the ruling families. The family consisted of a married couple and their children althoug…


(159 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg)
[German version] (παρθενίαι/ partheníai). The word partheniae is derived from Greek παρθένος/ parthénos, 'virgin', and designates a group of Spartans who left Greece and founded Tarentum (Taras) toward the end of the 8th cent. BC. Our oldest sources (Antiochus FGrH 555 F 13; Ephorus FGrH 70 F 216; Aristot. Pol. 5,7,1306 b 29-31) probably already knew no more than the name and the fact itself. We therefore find explanations derived from the word, according to which they were illegitimate Spartans, or classif…


(322 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg)
[German version] (Εὐπατρίδαι; Eupatrídai). The term is a collective name initially for the nobility in Athens and it means descendants ‘of good fathers’. It reflects an important phase in the development of the social elite into an aristocracy, a phase in which there was less emphasis or not sole emphasis on the aspects of habitus, life style and wealth that were originally constitutive for the Greek nobility but rather an emphasis on aristrocratic descent that marked a clearer distinction. The E. consisted of lineages (γένη, génē) that were defined by patrilineal descent and di…

Ges anadasmos

(881 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg)
[German version] (γῆς ἀναδασμός; gês anadasmós). The term ges andasmos ( GA); (‘apportioning of land’, ‘land distribution’) was generally applied to a redistribution of agricultural land (‘land reform’). Such measures were important not only socially and economically but were also highly important politically, as landownership and citizenship were closely connected in the Greek polis. In the context of other measures, especially χρεῶν ἀποκοπή ( chreṓn apokopḗ, liquidation of debts) the ges andasmos was also the means and the objective in internal power struggles …


(995 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg)
[German version] I. General points The concept is derived from Greek   euergétēs (benefactor) and was coined as a scholarly term by A. Boulanger following the example of the comparable modern Greek euergetes [13. 22]. It refers to a central phenomenon in the ethics of reciprocity specific to Graeco-Roman civilization that is part of the ethnological and socio-anthropological concept of gift exchange. In the spirit of strict  reciprocity every act that was related to a person or group of persons, positive as well as negative, had to be repaid; the good deed (εὐεργεσία/ euergesía or benef…


(1,855 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg)
(ἐφηβεία; ephēbeía) [German version] I. Definition The ephebeia generally described a life stage in Greece between childhood and manhood, more specifically puberty, and in the more narrow sense the phase at its conclusion. This is valid from a biological point of view and is consequently treated in medical writings. As a rule, an age between 12 and 18, sometimes 12 and 20 is used to define ephebeia; occasionally the previous level after the end of childhood is described with its own term (e.g. μελλεφηβία, mellephēbía). Specific formal and ritual aspects are characteristic of the ephebeia…

Historiographical methods

(4,723 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg)
Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg) [German version] A. Introduction (CT) The meaning of the term 'historiographical methods' (HM) ranges from descriptions of certain techniques and work methods, almost in the sense of a craft, to discussions of fundamental (methodological) questions about the possibilities and modes of historical understanding. In the field of ancient history, which is both a historical discipline as well as the study of Antiquity in general, in addition to HM  those of the two most closely related areas, archaeology and philology, must also be considered. Gehrke, H…


(320 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg)
[German version] (πεντακοσιομέδιμνοι/ pentakosiomédimnoi, literally 'five-hundred-bushelers') were the members of the uppermost census-class in Athens. It was probably Solon that added them to the existing groups ( hippeís , zeugítai , thetai ), which were formalised in respect to financial gradings (Aristot. Ath. pol. 7,3ff.; 47,1; Aristot. Pol. 1274a 15ff.; Plut. Solon 18,1ff.). Eligibility for certain offices was connected to membership of this class; this was still the case in the 4th cent. BC for the office of treasurer (ταμίας/ tamías ; Aristot. Ath.…

Social conflicts

(2,089 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg)
[German version] I. Definition SC are in the following understood as conflicts conducted between different social groups, in the course of which various forms of violence or threat arise. Attempts to collate ancient SC under generalizing headings such as 'Struggle of the Orders' or - primarily in Marxist scholarship - 'class struggles' [13] remain controversial [4; 8]. Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg) [German version] II. Greece There is no explicit evidence of SC in the Mycenaean period - they are merely hypothetically postulated in the context of attempts…


(754 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg)
[German version] The word ὁπλίτης ( hoplítēs, pl. hoplítai) is derived from ὅπλον ( hóplon, ‘equipment, shield’; esp. in the pl. ὅπλα, hópla ‘weapons’) and describes heavily armed foot soldiers. Their bronze armament (panoply) consisted of a round shield of 0,9 m diameter with a vambrace (πόρπαξ, pórpax) in the centre and a handgrip (ἀντιλαβή, antilabḗ) at the edge, a helmet, a breastplate, greaves, which reached from the ankles to above the knees, a spear for thrusting as well as a short sword for close-quarters combat. There are archaeological re…


(161 words)

Author(s): Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg)
[German version] (πελάται/ pelátai, sg.: πελάτης, -τας/ pelátēs, - tas) is a general term in Greek for dependents. In the time of Solon (late 7th-early 6th cents. BC) it may have had a technical meaning analogous to hektḗmoroi in Athens (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 2,2) which, in any case, was lost. By the time of Plato (Plat. Euthyphr. 4c) pelátēs describes seasonal workers free by civil law (Poll. 3,82). The word thus had a meaning similar to thetes, and the two terms were often used synonymously. Pelátai further described certain people in relationships of dependency outside the Gree…