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Writing materials

(1,589 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Hurschmann
[German version] I. Writing media In Antiquity, a large variety of media were used as writing support. Modern scholarship divides them into inorganic and organic materials. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] A. Inorganic An inorganic medium for writing is natural rock on which inscriptions were chiselled; they are found in Egypt and in the mountains of to the east Mesopotamia from the 2nd half of the 3rd millennium BC. An early example from Greece are the inscriptions of Thera (IG XII 3,536-601; 1410-1493) from the end…

Chlamys

(271 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (χλαμύς; chlamýs). Shoulder-coat made of wool for travellers, warriors and hunters. The many-coloured and embroidered chlamys appeared in the 6th cent. BC and originally came from Thessaly (Poll. 7,46; 10,124; Philostr. Heroïkos 674) where it was also awarded as a winner's prize after athletic contests (Eust. in Hom. Il. 2,732), or Macedonia (Aristot. fr. 500 Rose). Typically it was worn as follows: the cloth of the ovally or rectangularly tailored coat was folded vertically, laid around the lef…

Mantellum

(165 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] ( mantellum, mantelium, χειρόμακτρον; cheirómaktron). A rectangular linen cloth with braiding and fringes; in cult activity it served as a hand towel carried by the servants of the sacrifice,at meals is served for cleaning hands (e.g. Xen. Cyr. 1,3,5) and as a tablecloth (Mart. 12,28). In Sappho (99 Diehl) the cheirómaktron is mentioned as a head adornment. In its main functions as a tablecloth and towel the mantellum corresponds with the mappa that was also a popular gift at Saturnalia (Mart. 5,18,1). There is evidence that from the time of Nero (Suet. Nero 22) a mappa (fl…

Clothing

(2,265 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
A. General [German version] 1. Raw materials Attested in early monuments from the Minoan and Mycenaean period, hides and leather, as well as wool, sheepskins and goatskins, are amongst the oldest materials used for clothing. The use of  linen or flax to make garments developed thanks to the agency of the Phoenicians; Alexander [4] the Great's wars of conquest introduced  silk into Greece. The Romans used the same materials for clothing as the Greeks;  cotton came into use as well in the 2nd cent. BC; s…

Pera

(144 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (πήρα/ pḗra, πηρίδιον/ pērídion, Latin pera). A bag or satchel for carrying bread (Theoc. Epigr. 1,49; Ath. 10,422b), seeds (Anth. Pal. 6,95; 104) or herbs and vegetables (Aristoph. Plut. 298), which belonged to the equipment of hunters (Anth. Pal. 6,176), shepherds (Anth. Pal. 6,177) or fishermen and was worn at the hip by means of a strap over the shoulder. The pera was already an item characterizing beggars in Hom. Od. 13,437; 17,197; 410; 466 (cf. Aristoph. Nub. 924), and later became, along with the walking staff ( báktron, Latin baculum, staff), a symbol used by …

Depas

(225 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (δέπας; dépas). Wine bowl, mentioned several times in Homer and probably also attested in Hittite, for drinking, libations, mixing and ladling, made from precious metal and decorated (‘Nestor's cup’, Hom. Il. 11,632ff.). As synonyms Homer uses ἄλεισον ( áleison), ἀμφικύπελλον ( amphikýpellon), κύπελλον ( kýpellon); from which the depas has been understood to be a two-handled cup, similar to the cantharus ( Pottery, shape and types of). Archaeological finds and interpretation of Linear-B tablets from Pylos and Knossos (where it appears as di-pa) seem to have br…

Karbatine

(60 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (καρβατίνη/ karbatínē, cf. Lat. pero). Shoe made from rough leather, mostly worn by shepherds and farmers, later also shoe for soldiers (Xen. An. 4,5,14), apparently laced up (cf. Lucian. Alexander 39). In Aristot. Hist. an. 499a 29 also a camel shoe. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography O. Lau, Schuster und Schusterhandwerk in der griech.-röm. Lit. und Kunst, 1967, 119-121.

Cosmetics

(562 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] In Greek and Roman antiquity there was a huge demand for essences, oils and pomades. As part of their skin care men lotioned themselves to keep their skin soft and tender (Ath. 15,686). Lotioning extended from the head over the entire body and it was a widespread custom to apply lotion several times a day, with a different lotion being used for each part of the body (Ath. 12,553d). Without lotion one was considered dirty. According to tradition, animal fats and butter were the fir…

Kosymbe

(111 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κοσ(σ)ύμβη, κόσ(σ)υμβος; kos(s)ýmbē, kós(s)ymbos, also θύσανος; thýsanos, κρόσσος; króssos). Designation for the warp-threads remaining on the edges of garments, from there also for fringe, fringed dress and fringed hairstyle (Poll. 2,30). The kosymbe was often manufactured separately to ornament the clothing. As early as Homer (Il. 14,181) it is used in connection with Hera's belt, here designated as θύσανος/ thýsanos. In art it is often attached to dresses and cloth. The kosymbe gained symbolic meaning in the mystery cults; particularly, represent…

Kosmetes

(335 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
(κοσμητής; kosmētḗs, ‘steward’). [German version] [1] Athenian official responsible for the training of the ephebes In Athens, the official responsible for the training of the ephebes after the reorganization of the ephēbeía around 335/334 BC. The kosmētes was chosen by the people, presumably from those citizens over 40 years of age ([Aristot.] Ath. Pol. 42,2). During the two-year training period, a kosmētes was probably responsible for a contingent of ephebes for both years. He is named in many lists of ephebes from the 4th cent. BC to the 3rd cent. AD; …

Rug

(602 words)

Author(s): A.NU. | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
(τάπης, τάπις, ταπήτιον/ tápēs, tápis, tapḗtion; Lati. tapes, tapete). [German version] I. Ancient Near East and Egypt The only surviving rug (from kurgan V at Pazyrik, southern Siberia, 5th-4th cent. BC) is knotted in wool [1]. Otherwise, the existence of rugs in the ancient Near East can only be deduced from various pictorial representations. Owing to their similarity to modern rugs [2], the geometric motifs on wall paintings (7th cent.) at Çatal Hüyük (Turkey) are called 'kelim motifs'. However, definite evid…

Krepis

(395 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] [1] Architectural term (κρηπίς/ krēpís, κρηπίδωμα/ krēpídōma). Ancient term, documented frequently in building inscriptions, for the stepped base which served as the foundation for various edifices, but particularly for Greek colonnade construction (sources: Ebert 7-9). The krepis rests on the euthynteria (the top layer of the foundation, the first to be precisely planed) and ends in the stylobate, the surface on which the columns stand. The shaping of the initially one- or two-stepped krepis in the early 6th cent. BC is an important result of the comi…

Situla

(484 words)

Author(s): Kohler, Christoph (Bad Krozingen) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Italic, Celtic and Germanic Bucket-shaped vessel, as a rule metal, for the carrying and short-term holding of liquids. The shape is generally conical, with flat shoulders and a wide opening, on which a carrying handle was often also fixed with eyelets. The bottom, body and rim were mostly fashioned separately, then riveted together. In Etruria situlae are recorded from the 9th cent. BC onwards and were widely distributed there from the Orientalising Period on. Situlae had far greate…

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…

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…

Astragalos

(257 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
(ἀστράγαλος; astrágalos). [German version] [1] see Ornaments see  Ornaments Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] [2] Playing-piece Playing-piece ( talus). Knucklebones from calves and sheep/goats, also those made of gold, glass, marble, clay, metals and ivory, mentioned already in Hom. Il. 23,85-88 as playing-pieces. Astragaloi were used as counters for games of chance,  dice and throwing games, including the games ‘odd or even’ (Pl. Ly. 206e) or πεντάλιθα ( pentálitha,  Games of dexterity). In the astragalos game the individual sides had varying values: the co…

Torques

(475 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
('torque'; Lat. also torquis; Gr. στρεπτόν/ streptón, 'twisted'). [German version] I. Classical Antiquity Helically twisted collar of bronze, gold or silver with open but almost touching ends, which were thickened or figure-shaped and could sometimes be turned outwards. Torques are known from the Bronze Age onwards and numerous examples survive. The Greeks learned of torques from the Medes and Persians, where they were worn by people of high status (Hdt. 8,113,1; 9,80,4; Xen. Cyr. 1,3,2-3; cf. Curt. 3,3,13),…

Kiss

(4,070 words)

Author(s): Binder, Gerhard (Bochum) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Typology To create a typology of the kiss in antiquity seems rather difficult, given its many specifications, of which the erotic kiss represents no more than a single facet. Existing approaches barely go beyond collections of material [1; 2; 3]. As far as tradition permits, two main categories can be distinguished: formal kisses (in politics; client relations; cult, religion) and private kisses (in family, kinship, friendship; love relations). Within these main categories and th…

Peplos

(543 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Baumbach, Manuel (Zürich)
(πέπλος; péplos). [German version] [1] Blanket, cloth, or shroud Blanket, cloth, or shroud (Hom. Il. 24,796; Eur. Tro. 627, cf. Eur. Hec. 432); later, women's outer garment or coat (Hom. Il. 5,734; Hom. Od. 18,292, cf. Xen. Cyr. 5,1,6). In the myth, the Trojan women place a peplos on the knees of the cult image of seated Athena (Hom. Il. 6,303). Peplos is also the term used for esp. magnificent robes, above all for the dress of Hera of Olympia which was newly woven every four years by 16 women (Paus. 5,16) and for that of Athena Polias in Athens, which wa…

Tainia

(303 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
(Greek ταινία/ tainía). Term for bindings of all kinds. [German version] [1] Headband for festivals (Head)band, worn at Greek festivals (Pl. Symp. 212d.e, 213d; Xen. Symp. 5,9). Even gods wore, or bound their heads with, tainiai. (Paus. 1,8,4). Furthermore, cult images (Paus. 8,31,8; 10,35,10), trees (Theocr. 18,44), monuments [3], urns, sacrificial animals and deceased (Lucian, Dial. mort. 13,4) had tainiai wound round them. The Romans adopted tainiai from the Greeks (e.g. Ov. Met. 8,724 f.). As a sign of a victor and of success (Paus. 4,16,6; 6,20,10; 9,22,3…
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