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Python

(1,161 words)

Author(s): Junk, Tim (Kiel) | Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) | Engels, Johannes (Cologne) | Schmitt, Tassilo (Bielefeld) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Et al.
(Πύθων/ Pýthōn). [German version] [1] Dragon killed by Apollo near Delphi An enormous dragon killed by Apollo near Delphi with his arrows. The oldest version of the story is offered by H. Hom. 3,300-374: Apollo overcomes a female dragon who perpetrates her mischief in the vicinity of Delphi and into whose care Hera had given her son Typhon (Typhoeus, Typhon). The town and the god receive the nickname Pythṓ (cf. also the name of the female seer at Delphi, Pythía [1]) from its decaying (πύθεσθαι/ pýthesthai) corpse. According to Eur. IT 1245-1252, the dragon is male and guards the…

Seat

(409 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Essential item of furniture for sitting on in the sparsely furnished ancient household, mainly made of wood (maple, beech, oak), but sometimes also of bronze and partially or entirely of gold (Hdt. 1,14; Ath. 12,514) or marble. Occasionally individual parts of the chair also consisted of other materials such as ivory or onyx (Plin. HN 36,59), metal or precious metal. There were also woven seats made of willow branches (Plin. HN 16,174). Depictions and stone copies show what they looked like. In Antiquity the principal forms (cf.. Ath. 5,192e-f) were the díphros

Triga

(337 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Latin from triiuga; Greek τρίπωλος/ trípōlos; 'team of three'). Its significance as a racing, hunting or war vehicle was far less than that of bigae and of the quadriga. In Homer only extra horses for a team of two are mentioned (cf. Hom. Il. 8,80-86; 16,152-154 and 467-476) and on one occasion a gift of three horses (Hom. Od. 4,590); otherwise the literary sources on trigae are rather rare (e.g. Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 7,73). The same is true for representations in art; first and foremost are 9th-cent. BC Assyrian reliefs with battle and  huntin…

South Italian vases

(1,233 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Beginnings The first workshops in southern Italy for red-figured pottery appeared around the mid 5th cent. BC, founded by Athenian vase-painters. Native artists were trained there. Thus, the initial dependence on Attic models, which expressed itself e.g. in the choice of motif or Atticizing forms (Lucanian vases), was replaced by a characteristic painting style and repertoire of decorations and motifs. Towards the end of the 5th cent. BC, the so-called 'ornate and plain styles' emerged in Apulian vase-painting (Apulian vases). Through th…

Mourning

(981 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Literary sources In Greece and Rome, deaths and accidents, financial and business losses and military defeats were occasions for mourning (πένθος/ pénthos; Lat. luctus). Aside from the characteristic mourning dress, women displayed their mourning by renouncing gold jewellery (Dion. Hal. Ant. 5,48,4; Liv. 34,7,10), by beating, and sometimes baring, their chests (Prop. 2,13,27; Petron. 111,2), by loosening and tearing their hair (Catull. 64,348-351; Tib. 1,1,67 f.; Liv. 1,26,2), by crying and wailing (P…

Klismos

(111 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κλισμός; klismós, Latin cathedra). The klismos is a high chair without armrests and with a broad, curved backrest, attested as early as in Homer (e.g. Il. 8,436; Od. 4,136) as a seat for nobility, gods, and heroes. Greek and Roman art confirms this, but the klismos is often seen in representations of domestic rooms, schools, and other everyday scenes as well. At times, the seated persons laid an arm on the backrest for comfort and relaxation, and often the relaxed way of sitting is supported by footrests and cushions. Diphros; Furniture Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliogr…

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…

Stola

(181 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The stola was the garment worn in public by Roman matrons ( Matrona [1]), i.e. free-born women (Plin. HN 33,40), over a fairly close-fitting tunica or a looser calasis and under a palla, so that their bodies were entirely  enveloped (cf. Hor. Sat. 1,2,99). It reached to the ankles and was capacious, pleated and cinctured at bust or waist level (Mart. 3,93,4). The stola consisted of a tube of material which the wearer slipped into; it was held on the shoulders by means of twisted ribbons or strings. It had trimming ( instita) on the lower selvage, presumably a purple rib…

Thymiaterion

(457 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | A.FR., Hans Georg
(θυμιατήριον/ thymiatḗrion). [German version] I. Classical Antiquity Fumigating apparatus for burning aromatic substances (incense etc.) - adopted by ancient Greek culture from the Orient - of bronze, clay, precious metals, less often stone, used in cults of gods, rulers and the dead. The thymiaterion was part of the domestic inventory (Dem. Or. 24,183) and was used on celebratory occasions in the private sphere (wedding, symposion). They were carried in festal processions (Ath. 5,196 f). The thymiaterion consisted of a fumigating capsule with a perforated lid, in whic…

Culter

(133 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Greek μάχαιρα, máchaira). Originally the  knife, specifically the knife of butchers and therefore the butchering tool in  sacrifices (Hom. Hym. Apoll. 535f. for máchaira). On Greek and Roman representations, the hiereús or the victimarius has the sacrificial knife brought to him on a tray or holds it in his hand. The culter was used to open the carotid artery of the sacrificial animal and to cut out its intestines. The sacrificing victimarius was also called cultrarius after the sacrificial knife. Furthermore, the culter was the attribute of oriental peoples w…

Latrunculorum ludus

(249 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The game in which it was a matter of defeating all the stones of the opponent by clever placement of one's own, takes its name from Latin latro (‘mercenary’, later also ‘bandit’); the winner was given the title Imperator (cf. SHA Proculus 13,2). The course of the game has not been fully clarified, but from the literary sources (Varro, Ling. 10,22; Ov. Ars am. 3,357f., cf. 2,207; Sen. De tranquillitate animi 14,7; Laus Pisonis 190-208) we have an approximate picture: the latrunculorum ludus was played by two partners on a chess-board-like playing board that norm…

Kredemnon

(191 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κρήδεμνον; krḗdemnon, Latin calautica, also κάλυμνα/ kálymna, καλύπτρη/ kalýptrē). In general the top covering, also of a wine or storage vessel (Hom. Od. 3,392) or of a circular wall (Hom. Il. 16,100), but subsequently mostly a woman's headscarf which covered the shoulders and could be used to conceal the face (Hom. Il. 14,184; 16,470; Hom. Od. 1,334). In the 5th cent. BC the word continued to be used only in poetry (e.g. Eur. Phoen. 1490); the usual expressions for veils and especially for bridal veils were kálymna and kalýptrē (cf. Aesch. Ag. 1178). The krḗdemnon was a…

Lamp

(725 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] As containers for flammable oil and wick holders, lamps made of clay are a ubiquitous find from antiquity; less numerous are lamps made of bronze, marble and plaster. The basic shape of the lamp was the stone bowl, which was already used as a lamp early in the Stone Age. Early lamps of clay follow this basic form; they are shaped on a potter's wheel and creased one or several times to accommodate the wick in the spout that is thereby created. These Phoenician lamps (also called ‘P…

Bathing costume

(98 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ᾤα λουτρίς; ṓia loutrís, subligar). Men and women wore loin cloths or bath towels made from sheepskins or cloth during the communal bath in bath houses (Poll. 7,66; 10,181,   perizoma ,   subligaculum ), women also wore a breast band (vase paintings, ‘bikini girl’ of  Piazza Armerina). Men's bathing costumes could also be made from leather ( aluta, Mart. 7,35,1). In Pap. Cair. Zen. 60,8, there is mention of an ἐκλουστρίς ( ekloustrís). It is uncertain if bonnets ( vesica) were worn. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography R. Ginouvès, Balaneutikè, 1962, 223-225 W. Hein…

Karchesion

(89 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] [1] see Schiffahrt see Navigation Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] [2] Drinking vessel A quite large drinking vessel, similar in shape to the kantharos (Ath. 11,474e-475b; Macrob. Sat. 5,21,1-6) for wine (Mart. 8,56,14; Ov. Met. 12,317), which according to Ath. 11,500f. was one of the vessels of a Greek symposium. In Rome, it was also a sacrificial vessel (e.g. Ov. Met. 7,246). Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography W. Hilgers, Lat. Gefäßnamen, BJ, 31. Beih., 1969, 48; 140f. S. Rottroff, Hellenistic Pottery, The Athenian Agora 29, 1997, 88f.

Teano ware

(196 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Genre of vases from the last quarter of the 4th cent. and the first half of the 3rd cent. BC, named after their main find spot in northern Campania, the ancient Teanum Sidicinum, which was probably also the centre of production. Shallow bowls on small circular stands, known as footed dishes, with tall stems, skyphoi, gutti, oinochoai, kernoi and vessels in the shape of birds (see ill.) are common; other vessel types, such as kalyx kraters, are distinctly rare. The decoration of th…

Footstool

(241 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (θρῆνυς/ thrḗnys, ὑποπόδιον/ hypopódion, σφέλας/ sphélas, rarely χελώνη/ chelṓnē; Latin scabellum, scamnum). The footstool was used as a foot bench for a person sitting on the  klismos,  throne or a similar high seating (cf. Hom. Od. 17,409 f.), or as a step for climbing up on the  Kline or down from it. There were three footstool variants: rectangular footstools with simple vertical legs, rectangular footstools with curved legs that ended in animal feet (lion feet), sphinxes etc., as well a…

Mastic

(264 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (μαστίχη; mastíchē, Lat. mastiche, mastix). Aromatic resin of the mastic tree ( schínos; pistacia lentiscus L.) and the oil from its berries. The name is presumably derived from masásthai, ‘to chew’, since the resin was popular for chewing, because of its pleasant taste and hardness, for dental care and against bad breath, just as small pieces of mastic wood were used as toothpicks. The small, evergreen mastic tree (and bush) was planted and cultivated all over the Mediterranean, although its resin was not o…

Gestures

(3,867 words)

Author(s): Bonatz, Dominik (Berlin) | Dominicus, Brigitte (Diersdorf) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The forms of expression in ancient Oriental art were reinforced by a marked language of gestures that was especially useful in the communication between mortals and gods as well as between subordinate and higher-ranking persons. In the sacred sphere gestures expressed individual feelings and wishes; in the profane sphere their official information content was foregrounded more strongly. Prayer gestures were frequently represented by hands placed together in front of…

Messapian pottery

(239 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Messapian pottery originated on the Italian peninsula of Salento (in Antiquity Messapia or Iapygia) around the mid-7th cent. BC as an independent genre. For the most part, geometric patterns (circles, squares, diamonds, horizontal lines, swastikas, etc.) were sparsely distributed over vessels; later, under Greek influence maeanders were added. Preferred vessel forms were the olla , pitcher and trozzella ( nestoris). Early in the 5th cent. BC, figurative representations, which also included new ornaments (ivy and other leaf motifs), appe…
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