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Bisutun

(388 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Old Persian bagastāna ‘place of gods’, Βαγίστανα; Bagístana), Βαγίστανον ὄρος; Bagístanon óros, Behistun). Rock face 30 km east of Kermanshah, on the road from Babylon to Ecbatana on the  Choaspes ( Silk Road [3. 11]), on which  Darius I had his achievements from c. 520 BC recorded pictorially and in inscription -- c. 70 m above the road level -- in several phases. Because of their trilingual form (Elamite, Babylonian, Old Persian) the inscription [1] was the key to decipherment of the  cuneiform script ( Trilinguals). The reli…

Songs

(1,465 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Fuhrer, Therese (Zürich)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East Many song genres are attested in Mesopotamia (beginning in approx. 2600 BC), in Egypt (from the 24th/23th cents. BC onwards), among the Hittites (14th/13th cent.), in Ugarit (14th/13th cents.) and in the OT (see below). There is no uniform genre classification, since hybrid forms are common. The ancient terminology is only of limited help. The umbrella term ‘cultic poetry’ refers to the literary, lyric form of song. The term ‘song’ is related to the type of performance, i.e. singing with or without instrumental accompaniment. Texts from M…

Trilingual inscriptions

(757 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Günter (Würzburg) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] I. General Inscriptions in three languages on a single object that refer to the same facts exist in Antiquity, albeit rather rarely on the whole, ordered by official as well as private sponsors. The different versions were usually tailored to the cultural requirements and interests of the respective audiences so that their messages (and length) are not always completely congruous (cf. [4]). Most of the trilingual inscriptions (TI) originated in the east. They reflect the multi-lingu…

Temple economy

(1,836 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Rosenberger, Veit (Augsburg)
[German version] I. The Ancient Orient and Egypt With palaces, temples constituted the central institutions of society in the Ancient Orient (in Mesopotamia from the 3rd millennium BC) and Egypt. Besides their function as locations for divine worship, they also normally exercised significant economic power. This was founded on the fact that they had at their disposal extensive tracts of agricultural land (the essential means of production of an agrarian society) and stocks of precious metals, i.a. in the form of craft-produced votive gifts (Votive offerings). The temple estates o…

Linen, flax

(966 words)

Author(s): Pekridou-Gorecki, Anastasia (Frankfurt/Main) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] I. General Linen (λίνον/ línon, Lat. linum) or flax belongs to the family of Geraniaceae. Linum angustifolium is considered the original form of cultivated flax. The use of this wild, perennial plant is archaeologically proven for the Neolithic period in Europe. Common flax ( Linum usitatissimum), an annual plant, has a delicate stalk with oblong, sessile leaves, and reaches a height of 60-90 cm. The stalks form the raw material from which the most important spinning material, after wool, can be extracted. The valuable fibre…

Ophir

(141 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Hebrew Ōfīr, Ōfir; LXX: Οὐφειρ/ Oupheir, Σωφαρα/ Sōphara, Σωφειρ(α)/ Sōpheir(a), Σωφηρα/ Sōphēra, Σωφιρα/ Sōphira, Σουφειρ/ Soupheir, Σουφιρ/ Souphir, Σοφειρ/ Sopheir). According to the OT, O. was the land of origin of gold (1 Kg 9:28, 22:49) and semi-precious stones (1 Kg 10:11, Job 28:16), which Solomon had shipped over the Red Sea to Israel. Gold from O. is also mentioned in a Hebrew ostracon (epigraphically dated between the 8th and 6th cents. BC) [2]. The location of O. is disputed: both southern Arabia (or the eastern African coast) and India (because of a Supara…

Municipal law

(1,388 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Galsterer, Hartmut (Bonn)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In the field of  legal texts in cuneiform, the political structure of the Mesopotamian confederation, that at times comprised small territorial states and at times large states stretching over the whole of southern Mesopotamia, created regional peculiarities that are demonstrated above all in the form of documents as well as in substantive law. The essential parameters of the legal system were defined by the structure of the society (Social structure), economy and f…

Put

(108 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] In the table of peoples in the OT (Gn 10:6), Pūt is considered one of the four sons of Ham. The ethnic Pūt is characterized as pertaining to Egypt's sphere of influence in the 10th cent. BC. Pūt is likewise mentioned in Jer 46:9, Ez 27:10; 30:5; 38:5 and Nah 3:9. In contrast to earlier suggestions identification with P. is no longer advocated; identification with Libya/Libyans is more likely. The Putāayā (Old Persian; Elamite Putiyap; Akkadian Puṭa) of the Darius [1] I inscriptions at Naqš-e Rostam also denotes Libyans, not - as occasionally assumed - P. [1. 197]. Renger, Jo…

Mitra

(396 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Piece of armour (μίτρα/ mítra; μίτρη/ mítrē). (1) According to Homer (Hom. Il. 4,137; 187; 216; 5,857) a piece of armour worn to protect the lower body, identified by archaeological research with semicircular plates of bronze, dating from the early Archaic period and found particularly on Crete. Similarly, mitra is the name of a piece of armour worn by the Salii (Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 2,70; Plut. Numa 13,4). (2) Belt for young women (Theocr. 27,55, cf. μιτροχίτων/ mitrochítōn, Athen. 12,523d) and goddesses (Callim. H. 1,120; 4,222, Epigr. 39) and also for…

Qadesh

(298 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Ḫattusa | Aegean Koine ( Qadeš, Kadeš). Town in central Syria, south of Ḥimṣ, modern Tall Nabī Mand, situated in a strategically important location at the junction between the Egyptian sphere of influence on the one hand and Mittanian and Hittite on the other. In the 15th cent., Thutmosis III attempted to conquer the town [2. 94-98]. In 1275 BC, it was the site of the famous battle between the Hittite ruler Muwattalli II (1290-1272 BC) and Ramesses I…

Bilingual inscriptions

(1,899 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Neumann, Hans (Berlin)
[German version] A. Definition Bilingual inscriptions (or ‘bilingues’) are inscriptions that present the same text in two languages so as to be comprehensible to different readerships. Thus, bilingual inscriptions (BI), with closely corresponding texts, are distinguished from others in which one of the texts only summarizes the other. -- ‘Quasi-BI’ do indeed differ in their text format but treat the same subject matter or the same personalities. BI are only such texts as are composed contemporaneou…

Tennes

(247 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Sylvia | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Eponym of the island of Tenedos (Τέννης/ Ténnēs, also Τένης/ Ténēs). According to Plutarch (Quaest. Graec. 28) the eponym of the island of Tenedos, son of king Cycnus [2]; Apollo is often given as his father. Stepson of Philomene, who after an alleged rape has T. and his sister Hemithea put out at sea in a chest. Under the protection of Poseidon they land on the island of Leucophrys near Troy, where T. becomes king. The island is named after him. Later Cycnus recognises the truth and sai…

Thinis

(97 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Greek Θίνις/ Thínis, Θίς/ Thís; Coptic tin). Capital of the eighth nome of Upper Egypt, precise location unknown. T. was an ancient royal metropolis of the First and Second Dynasties (3000-2635 BC). According to Manetho [1], who calls the rulers (e.g. Menes [1]) of the First Dynasty  Θεινίτης, -αι/ Theinítēs, -ai, 'Thinites', this period is also known as the Thinite period. The necropol(e)is of T. was/were located on the other bank of the Nile at Lepidotonpolis. The chief god of T. was Onuris. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography E. Brovarski, s. v. Thinis, LÄ …

Sacrifice

(10,943 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Et al.
I. Religious studies [German version] A. General Sacrifice is one of the central concepts in describing ritual religion in ancient and modern cultures. In European Modernity, the term sacrifice (directly or indirectly influenced by Christian theology of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ to redeem mankind) also has an intimation towards individual self-giving ('sacrifice of self'). The range of nuances in the modern meaning stretches to include discourses that have lost their religious motif and hav…

Cookery books

(807 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Schmitt-Pantel, Pauline (Paris)
[German version] I. Near East and Egypt Although there is copious epigraphical and graphic evidence for a highly developed  table culture at the courts of oriental rulers in antiquity, cooking recipes are known to us so far only from Mesopotamia: 34 from the 18th cent. BC (gathered from three clay tablets), one from the 6th/5th cents. BC. They offer practical instructions in the manner of medical prescriptions. The reason why the recipes were preserved in writing is not clear. They deal predominantly with stewed poultry and other meat, together with two recipes…

Empires, Concept of empire

(1,874 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The idea of a  rulership that encompassed the entire known world was expressed in Mesopotamia in various royal epithets ─ i.a. ‘Ruler of the Four Regions (of the world)’ ( šar kibrāt arbaim/erbettim), ‘Ruler over the Totality’ ( šar kiššatim), ‘Ruler of Rulers’ ( šar šarrāni). The title ‘Ruler of the Four Regions (of the world)’ is first documented for the Akkadian ruler  Naramsin (23rd cent. BC). However, the claim inherent in this title did not hold true according to contemporary documents, since Naramsin's…

Amulet

(478 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Grieshammer, Reinhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] A. Ancient Orient Since prehistoric times in the Ancient Orient there have been numerous objects made as pendants (either figurative or abstract symbols) which could be worn, tied on or hung and also chains or other arrangements, which were all referred to as amulets [1]. Particularly Akkadian and Hittite texts for experts in the area of magic rituals describe materials, shapes and the process for making amulets and the purpose for which they are used. Stones and plants are ascribed …

Callipolis

(459 words)

Author(s): Kaletsch, Hans (Regensburg) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Treidler, Hans (Berlin) | von Bredow, Iris (Bietigheim-Bissingen) | Lombardo, Mario (Lecce) | Et al.
(Καλλίπολις; Kallípolis). [German version] [1] Place in Caria Place in Caria (Arr. Anab. 2,5,7; Steph. Byz. s.v. Callipolis), its location disputed: either near the modern Gelibolu, south of the eastern end of the Ceramic Gulf (ancient and medieval remains, no finds indicating a settlement),or east of it, 10 km inland, near Duran Çiftlik (remains of an ancient sanctuary and a church; the associated settlement about 1.5 km east of Kızılkaya, stone-cist tombs on the eastern side of the mound). C. was unde…

Months, names of the

(2,315 words)

Author(s): Freydank, Helmut (Potsdam) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Trümpy, Catherine (Basle)
I. Ancient Orient [German version] A. Mesopotamia From the middle of the 3rd millennium BC onwards, numerous systems for the names of the months that varied according to region and era are attested. In the Old Babylonian Period (20th-17th cents. BC), a system used throughout Babylonia gained acceptance. In the 19th/18th cents., there were initially autonomous local systems, among other places in the Diyālā area and in Mari, and up to the end of the 2nd millennium BC also in Assyria as well as during va…

Caspii

(49 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Indian mountain tribe in the Hindu Kush; the ancestors of the Kāfir (i.e. ‘the disbelieving’) in the valleys of the Kūnar, the river of Tschitral. In the records of the Persian taxation districts in Hdt. 3,93, they are summarized with the Saces. Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
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