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Vexillatio

(223 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] From the late 1st cent. onwards, rather than entire legions (Legio) being sent to reinforce Roman troops in a theatre of war, smaller units were usually dispatched to the scene; these were formed for the specific occasion, and their members drawn from individual legions or auxiliary units (Auxilia). Thus, for the siege of Jerusalem during the Jewish War, the legions stationed in Egypt provided 2,000 soldiers and the frontier troops on the Euphrates 3,000 (Jos. BI 5,43 f.). Such units, called vexillationes, normally comprised 1,000 (ILS 2726) or 2,000 men. They…

Castration of animals

(328 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] ( castratio) was a frequent procedure in ancient agriculture, designed to adapt the characteristics of male animals to the requirements of human beings. In horses and cattle, the castration served the purpose of altering the temperament of the animal without impairing its viability (Xen. Cyr. 7,5,62). Aristotle describes the effects of castration in his zoological writings, drawing attention to how the mutilation of a small part of the body affects an ani- mal's entire appearance. …

Pigs

(1,385 words)

Author(s): Nissen | Reeg, Gottfried | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Near East and Egypt The Near East is part of the original range of the wild pig ( Sus scrofa L.), which was evidently used in various places for breeding the domestic pig; the earliest examples date from the 7th millennium BC [6. 73]. The pig (Sumerian šaḫ(a); Akkadian šaḫû [3]) was of some significance during most periods and in most regions of the Near East, probably esp. as a provider of meat. The few pictorial representations usually depict wild pigs. Pigs are mentioned from the beginning of written records in Mesopotamia…

Fiscus

(396 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] In the time of the late Republic the word fiscus on the one hand referred to a container for storing money, on the other hand it already referred to public funds that were placed at the disposal of a promagistrate in the province (Cic. Verr. 2,3,197). Furthermore fiscus also meant the private assets of a Roman citizen. In the Principate period the fis cus was the cashier's office of the princeps; as he alone could dispose of the fiscus, he could also exercise considerable influence over politics by using these finances. This already applies to Augustus who …

Wealth, distribution of

(1,635 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. General The study of the distribution of wealth in a society should offer information about the various types of wealth and their economic significance in a national economy and about the share of individuals or social groups in the overall national wealth. Because quantitative information on the economy and private wealth is only available in an extremely limited scope for Antiquity, the statistical methods of modern economics cannot be applied in the field of ancient economic h…

Hunting

(1,391 words)

Author(s): Galter, Hannes D. (Graz) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Archaeological finds attest to battues with traps in the Middle East from the 7th millennium BC onwards. On the other hand, there is only a little cuneiform evidence of the occupation of the hunter, e.g. in the  Gilgamesh Epic (TUAT 3. 676, I iii 9ff.). Wild cattle, wild goats, wild donkeys, gazelles, lions,  elephants and many other animals were hunted. As hunting weapons, people used traps, nets and snares as well as bows and arrows, throwing-sticks, lances, sword…

Materialism

(955 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The concept of materialism does not appear until the first half of the eighteenth century, and is first used polemically in the context of the criticism of materialist thought in Enlightenment philosophy, as antithesis of idealism or spiritualism (Kant). Here, only those teachings will be designated as materialism which (a) represent a monism which holds that all being can be reduced to one or more material principles, while (b) that which appears to be non-material is either an e…

Drainage

(646 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The meagre productivity of ancient agriculture rendered the effective use and cultivation of any suitable land imperative for growing grain, viticulture, and planting olive trees. Hills and mountain slopes in Greece were prepared for cultivation through terracing, and drainage measures were used to gain virgin land or to protect land from flooding after the winter rains. The requirements were different in Greece and Italy: in the Greek interior, there are fairly large plains in which lakes are formed by surface inflow; run-off is often subsurface ( katavothra) and …

Nutrition

(3,630 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Englund, Robert K. (Berlin)
[German version] I. General With respect to human history, nutrition, generally defined as the intake of substances for the sustenance, procreation and growth of living organisms, should not in any way be understood or investigated only as a physiological process, but must be seen in the context of a multiplicity of economic, social, cultural and religious factors. The choice of foodstuffs in a society is made not only with regard to their nutritional value, but also based on social and religious va…

Hyginus, C. Iulius

(841 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Life and Work a) A philologist and polymath of the Augustan era from Spain or Alexandria; a freedman of Augustus who served as the prefect of the Palatine library after 28 BC while simultaneously engaging in extensive teaching activities (for biography, cf. Suet. Gram. 20). Nevertheless, he had to be supported his whole life by Clodius [II 6] Licinus and died in poverty. Ov. Tr. 3,14 is addressed to him. His substantial œuvre includes works of philology (comm. to the Propempticon Pollionis of  Helvius [I 3] Cinna; discussion of selected passages of  Vergili…

Rations

(515 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East In the Ancient Near Eastern oikos or palace economy, the majority or (large) parts of the population were integrated into the institutional households of temples and/or palaces as direct dependents (the extent varied according to region and period). They were provided with the rations of natural produce (grain, oil, wool) guaranteeing them the level of subsistence necessary for their reproduction. In Mesopotamia, these rations of produce were in part supplemented, and in certain periods replaced, by the allocation of areas of land ( c. 6 ha.) as…

Lead

(759 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] Metal of low hardness, high specific weight (11.34) and low melting point (327°C); the most important lead-ore to be found in nature is galena (galenite; PbS), due to its silver content of up to 1% of greater economic significance in antiquity, mainly for the extraction of silver. The silver of Laurium, for instance, was extracted by mining and smelting galena. Important deposits outside of Attica were located mainly in Spain, Sardinia and Britain. In antiquity, lead and tin were considered two types of one metal; in Latin, lead was called plumbum nigrum, tin plumbum cand…

Technology, History of

(4,496 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) [German version] A. The Technology of Classical Antiquity as a Research Area (CT) Classical scholarship did not recognize ancient technology as the subject of a special discipline in its own right until late. Up to about 1980, investigations into problems of ancient technology by Classical historians, archaeologists and linguists were relatively rare, and only a few essays and monographs were generally devoted to the field; there were no general treatments of a scholarly standard, no…

Fowling

(509 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] (ὀρνιθευτική/ ornitheutikḗ, ἰξευτικά/ ixeutiká; Latin aucupium). As is shown by the large number of casual references, fowling was probably very widespread in Antiquity, and in rural regions was esp. common. In literary texts, fowling regularly appears in connection with hunting and fishing, as in Sophocles [1], who introduces fowling to illustrate the supremacy of humans over animals (Soph. Ant. 342-347). Plato [1] deals with fowling among the regulations for hunting, but rejects it a…

Artes liberales

(2,330 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Schneider, Jakob Hans Josef (Tübingen RWG)
Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) [German version] Artes liberales (CT) The Artes Liberales (AL) describe a group of usually seven of study, ‘worthy of a free man’ (Seneca epist. 88; i.e.: grammar, logic/dialectics, rhetoric and arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy). They originate from the Greek educational programme of the enkyklios paideia, which were passed on to the Latin Middle Ages through the encyclopaedias of Martianus Capella, Cassiodorus, and Isidor of Seville. They are usually divided up into groups of three and four; since Boethius the group of four is ( De arithmetica

Bücher-Meyer controversy

(2,128 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) [German version] A. Introduction (CT) The debate that went on between 1893 and 1902 over the basic features of the economy in Classical Antiquity is referred to in more recent scholarly historical literature, both in Ancient History as well as the history of the discipline, as the Bücher-Meyer Controversy (BMC). The origin of this discussion was the publication in 1893 of a book entitled Die Entstehung der Volkswirtschaft  (‘Industrial Evolution, 1907) by the economist Karl Bücher promulgating the view that a dominance of a home economy…

Barrels (wooden)

(229 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] While in the Mediterranean, liquids such as wine and oil were generally stored in large clay jars (ίθος, dolium) and transported in animal skins or amphorae, we find the increasing use of wooden barrels for the storing and transporting of wine in the western provinces and northern Italy from the early Principate onwards (Upper Italy: Str. 5,1,8; 5,1,12; Alps: Plin. HN 14,132). Numerous reliefs and funerary sculptures show wine barrels being transported on heavy, horse-drawn wagons (funerary reliefs in Langres and Augsburg), or oar-driven shi…

Gynaecocracy

(553 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] (γυναικοκρατία; gynaikokratía). The term gynaecocracy (‘Rule of women’, from Greek γυνή/ gynḗ, ‘woman’ and κρατεῖν/ krateín, ‘to rule’; cf. gynaikokrateísthai, ‘to be ruled by women’) is first attested in philosophical texts from the 4th cent. BC. The use is almost always polemical. In Aristotle the gynaecocracy becomes a theme in the context of criticism of the politeía (constitution) of the Spartans and was considered as the prerequisite for greed and an extremely unequal distribution of land (Aristot. Pol. 1269b 12-1270a 31; cf. als…

Oils for cooking

(2,001 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt In the Ancient Orient and Egypt, oil was not only part of human nutrition (e.g. the daily rations for the population dependent on central institutions), but was also used as body oil, for making scent, for embalming (in Egypt), for medicinal purposes, in craft production, as lamp oil and in the cultic and ritual sphere (e.g. unction for rulers in Israel: 1 Sam 10,1; 16,3; not in Mesopotamia). Depending on the regionally varying agronomic and climatic conditions, oil was obtained from a number of plants: whereas numerous olei…

Screw

(531 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The screw appears among the five simple mechanical instruments listed in the Mechanics of Hero I of Alexandria (1st cent. AD), next to the rotating axle, lever, pulley and wedge (Hero, Mēchaniká 2,5). It is not mentioned either in the description of surgical instruments in Hippocrates (Hippoc. Perì agmôn 31) or in Aristotelian mechanics. Since there is no indication of the use of the screw before Archimedes [1], it can be considered one of the most significant technical inventions of the Hellenistic period. It appears that the principle of the screw was first us…
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