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(129 words)

Author(s): Harmon, Roger (Basle)
[German version] (ῥόμβος/ rhómbos, Lat. rhombus, ‘bull-roarer’), a wooden object which, when attached to a string (Schol. Clem. Al. Protrepticus 2,17,2) and twirled in the air (Eur. Hel. 1362), produced a loud (Schol. Apoll. Rhod. 1,1139), hissing (Schol. Clem. Al. ibid.) sound, the volume of which depended on the force of the motion (Archyt. fr. 1). It was used in the mysteries of Dionysus (Anth. Pal. 6,165), Cybele (Ath. 14,636a) and Demeter (OF 110). The rhombos as a tool of magic - often connected with the wryneck ( iynx ) - is barely distinguishable in the sources ( e.g., Theoc. Id. 2,3…


(3,978 words)

Author(s): Fortenbaugh, William W. | Harmon, Roger (Basle)
(Θεόφραστος/ Theóphrastos). Peripatetic philosopher, c. 371/0-287/6 BC, pupil and successor of Aristotle (Aristoteles [6]). [German version] I. Life Peripatetic philosopher, c. 371/0-287/6 BC T., born in Eresus on Lesbos, is said to have been a pupil of Alcippus. If he also studied in Athens with Plato [1], he must have had contact not only with Aristotle (Aristoteles [6]), but also with Speusippus and Xenocrates. After Plato's death (347), T. followed Aristotle to Asia Minor, then to Macedonia when Aristotle was summ…

Song of Sicilus (Seikilos)

(140 words)

Author(s): Harmon, Roger (Basle)
[German version] The only surviving ancient Greek song with musical notation whose origin is neither liturgical nor dramatic. It is inscribed on a grave stele from the 1st century AD, found in Tralles (Asia minor) in 1883; now in Copenhagen, NM (inv. 14897). The song is preceded by a votive inscription and followed by a now mostly destroyed explanation, both in the name of Sicilus (Σείκιλος/ Seíkilos), the donor of the stele. The text of the song, consisting of four iambic dimeters, exhorts: “As long as you live, shine!” The melody raises problems: the spec…


(296 words)

Author(s): Harmon, Roger (Basle)
[German version] (Φρῦνις/ Phrŷnis). Citharist from Mytilene, active 446-416 in Athens; a key figure of the 'New Music' of the late 5th century BC [5. 12]. Of his works nothing survives. Brought to the cithara (in about 480) by Aristocleides, a descendant of Terpander (schol. Aristoph. Nub. 971), P. was victorious at the Panathenaea in 446 [2. 40ff.] and was defeated in about 416 by Timotheus [4. 1332]. By applying freer rhythms (Phot. 320b), altered tuning (Plut. De musica 1141f) and kampaí (here: 'modulations') [3. 184f., 190] he renewed Terpander's citharody (Plut. De m…


(2,153 words)

Author(s): Hausleiter | Harmon, Roger (Basle)
[German version] I. Egypt and Ancient Orient As in all ancient culture, dance played an important role in the Ancient Orient as well as in Egypt; the documentary evidence for the latter, however, is incomparably better, both in pictures and in texts ─ there was hardly a part of life not involving dance: dances accompanied ‘rites of passage’ were magic-apotropaic, ecstatic, worshipful, amusing-entertaining, and even eroticizing. Children, women, and men danced together in separate groups; alongside, the…


(3,201 words)

Author(s): Chase, Michael (Victoria, BC) | Harmon, Roger (Basle)
(Πορφύριος; Porphýrios), Neoplatonist philosopher and scholar. [German version] A. Life P. ( c. AD 234 -305/310) came from a wealthy family of Phoenician Tyre (Tyrus). Nothing is known of his childhood. At Athens he studied mathematics under Demetrius, grammar with Apollonius, rhetoric with Minucianus and especially philology, literary criticism and philosophy with the great scholar Longinus [1], a representative of Middle Platonism. Possibly on Longinus' recommendation, P. left Athens in 263 to join the sc…
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