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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 n…

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 (…

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 (flag) was used to signal the beginning of the games in the Circus. A mappa (cf. Mart. 7,72; 10,87; 12,29,11f.) was smaller than a mantellum and so was brought as a cloth for eating at table (napkin; cf. Mart. 12,28). In contrast to the mantellum it had no cult use. Table utensils Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography F. Fless, Opferdiener und Kultmusiker auf stadtrömischen historischen Reliefs, 19…

Clothing

(2,265 words)

Nudity

(1,906 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Weiler, Ingomar (Graz) | Willers, Dietrich (Berne)
[German version] A. Myth Nudity and disrobement are hardly ever themes in Greek myth. The most striking portrayal is the undressing of Aphrodite by Anchises in the Homeric hymn to Aphrodite (H. Hom. Aphr. 155-167), even if the nudity of the goddess is not explicitly mentioned (cf. Hom. Od. 8,265-305). More frequent is the accidental observation of a goddess bathing, followed by punishment (transformation, blinding etc). Instances are Erymanthus, Actaeon and Teiresias. The case of Arethusa [7] is dif…

Top

(119 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (στρόβιλος/ stróbilos, also βέμβηξ/ bémbēx, κῶνος/ kônos, στρόμβος/ strómbos, στρόφαλος/ stróphalos, Latin rhombus, turbo). The top was a popular toy in Antiquity (Children's games); made of box wood (hence also called buxum in Latin) with cross grooves, it was set rotating with the fingers and then propelled with a whip (Verg. Aen. 7,373-383 in an epic simile;  Callim. Epigr. 1,9; Tib. 1,5,3; Anth. Pal. 7,89). Original tops of clay, bronze, lead and other materials have been preserved as grave goods and votive gifts in sanctuaries (cf. Anth. Pal. 6,309) [1]. Hurschman…

Children's Games

(662 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The educational value of children's games was already known in antiquity; thus Plato (Pl. Leg. 643b-c; cf. Aristot. Pol. 7,17,1336a) saw in games imitating the activities of adults a preparation for later life. Quintilian (Quint. Inst. 1,1,20; 1,1,26; 1,3,11) fostered guessing games, games with ivory letters and learning in games in order to promote the child's mental capacities; for this purpose, the ostomáchion game ( loculus Archimedius) -- in which 14 variously shaped geometric figures had to be placed into a square or objects, people or ani…

Curtain

(135 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (παραπέτασμα/ parapétasma, προκάλυμμα/ prokálymma, αὐλαία/ aulaía; Lat. velum, aulaea). In Greek and Roman tents (Ath. 12,538d), houses, palaces, occasionally also in temples (Lk 23,45; cf. Paus. 5,12,4), curtains were attached to doors, windows (Juv. 9,105), as wall decoration (Juv. 6,227) and to the intercolumnia of the atria and peristyles; they served to keep out the rain or sun (Ov. Met. 10,595). Depictions of such curtains are known from Greek and Roman art (e.g. the parapétasma representations on Roman relief sarcophagi) and are extant in origina…

Asteas

(212 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Leading representative of Paestan red-figured vase painting ( Paestan ware), and along with  Python the only southern Italian vase painter who signed his name; he was working c. 360-330 BC. Most importantly, on the eleven signed vases depicting various myths (Telephus, Heracles, Europa i.a.) and mythic travesty (Ajax and Cassandra,  Phlyakes vases) A. named the persons depicted, and in one case (Hesperids lekythos: Naples, MN 2873) gave the scene a title. On one phlyakes vase (Berlin, SM F 3044) he is evidently referring to a contemporary stage-play. …

Dalmatica

(143 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Long-sleeved  tunica reaching down to the knees, named after its country of origin Dalmatia; mentioned in literature for the first time at the turn of the 2nd cent. AD. According to evidence from written sources and statues, the dalmatica was white with a purple   clavus that went vertically from the shoulders to the hem; the materials from which it was made were wool, silk, a half-silk and linen. The dalmatica was worn by men (with a cingulum militiae when on duty) and women. As early as the 3rd cent. AD it was adopted as liturgical church dress and became…

Apulian vases

(511 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Leading genre of red-figured,  southern Italian vase painting, c. 430 - c. 300 BC, with its production centre in Taranto. Apulian vases (AV) are subdivided into plain and ornate style. The first hardly employs any additional colours and concentrates on bell-shaped and colonette craters as well as smaller vessel types, and applies simple decor and compositions of one to four figures to them (Sisyphus Painter, Tarporley Painter). Mythological themes are one of the focal points, furthermore the…

Fish-plate

(313 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Archaeological research regards the fish-plate (FP) as a plate that is decorated with paintings almost exclusively of fish and other marine animals (mussel, cuttlefish, prawn, shrimp, electric ray, seahorse and many more); other motifs are rare (e.g. grasshopper, head of a woman or purely floral ornament). FP have a wide standing ring and a handle of varying height. Their dish, with an edge bent round to the outside, inclines in a trough shape towards the deepened centre. As a cer…

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; …

Anaxyrides

(128 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ἀναξυρίδες; anaxyrídes). Iranian trousers worn by Scythians, Persians and neighbouring peoples (Hdt. 7,61 ff.) as well as mythical figures of the Orient (Amazons, Trojans, Orpheus, i.a.) who were characterized by these trousers. Anaxyrides were already known to the Greeks in the 6th cent. BC (various vase paintings; ‘Persian’ rider, Athens AM Inv. 606). In ancient art, anaxyrides are depicted as close-fitting along the legs, often in conjunction with a bodice resembling a leotard which covers the arms. This oriental attire is completed by the kandys (Iranian sl…

Abolla

(209 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Manganaro, Giacomo (Sant' Agata li Battiata)
[German version] [1] Roman cloak Roman cloak of unknown form; known from literary sources but not identifiable with certainty from monuments. In contradistinction to the  toga, the abolla is the costume of the farmer and the soldier (Non. 538,16), and to satirists it is the cloak favoured by philosophers of the Cynic and Stoic schools (Mart. 4,53; Juv. 3,115). The abolla was evidently similar to the   chlamys , both in form and in the way it was worn (Serv. Verg. Aen. 5,421). Abolla is possibly a general term for the shoulder-cloak (cf. Juv. 4,76, mentioned as the cloak of the praefectus urbi). …

Headgear

(427 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] plays only a minor role in myth and history. One case in point is Hades' helmet of invisibility which Athena uses (κυνέη Ἄϊδος/ kynéē Áïdos, Hom. Il. 5,844 f.) and then hands to  Perseus [1].  Midas hides his donkey ears under a turban ( Tiara), Ov. Met. 11,180 f. A hat (  pilleus ) was taken from  Lucumo ( Tarquinius [11] Priscus) by an eagle and then brought back, which was seen as a positive omen for the future, Liv. 1,34; a wind blows  Alexander [4] the Great's   kausia off his head (Arr. Anab. 7,22,2 f.). Greek and Roman men went bareheaded in everyday life, unless …

Sagum

(150 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Male garment of a rectangular cloth (felt or loden) with a triangular or circular section cut out, sometimes also with hood. Worn as a shawl or cape and fixed at the right shoulder with a buckle or fibula (Pins), thus leaving the right side of the body uncovered. The sagum originally came from Gaul (Diod. Sic. 5,30,1: σάγος/ ságos; Varro, Ling. 5,167; Caes. B Gall. 5,42,3: sagulum) but was also worn by Germans and Iberians and in Italy and North Africa. It belonged to the garb of slaves and workers and to the battle dress of Roman navy and infan…

Sports equipment

(774 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Equipment needed for training and for practising a sport in antiquity. 1) Hoplitodromia (verb ὁπλιτοδρομεῖν/ hoplitodromeȋn) was the last running competition to be included in the programme of the Olympic Games (Olympia IV.) in 520 BC (65th Olympiad). In the beginning it was run in full kit (helmet, greaves, round shield), but the armour was successively reduced until only the shield (ἀσπίς/ aspís) remained ( cf. Paus. 6,10,4). this discipline, which only adult males entered, is represented particularly in vase paintings. 2) The torch race (λαμπαδηδρομία/ lampadēd…
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