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Nimbus

(1,534 words)

Author(s): Willers, Dietrich (Berne) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Nimbus vitreus Nimbus vitreus (‘glass clouds’), a pun by Martial (14,112), which has been misunderstood mostly since Friedländer's annotations [1. 322] and into the most recent commentary [2. 174] has been misunderstood and is translated as a ‘glass vessel for sprinkling liquids with numerous openings’. What is meant is the effect of such an instrument when wine is sprayed. Willers, Dietrich (Berne) Bibliography 1 L. Friedländer (ed.), M. Valerii Martialis epigrammaton libri (with explanatory notes), vol. 2, 1886 2 T.J. Leary (ed.), Martial Book XIV. T…

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…

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…

Beard

(709 words)

Author(s): Colbow, Gudrun (Liege) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Adult men in the ancient Orient are mostly represented wearing beards, but they can also be depicted like gods and demons as beardless without having any different meaning. Beards consisted of a long or short full beard with or without a shaved lip part. The short beard finishes half-rounded or pointed below, the long beard is straight or half-rounded; the wavy strands of hair falling onto the chest mostly end in curls that form decorative rows in the layered types.…

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…

Toga

(520 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The toga, adopted from the Etruscans, was the official garment of Roman citizens which was worn in public and which non-Romans were not allowed to wear (Suet. Claud. 15,3; gens togata: Verg. Aen. 1,282). Originally, the woolen toga was worn over the bare upper body and over the subligaculum that covered the lower body, later over the tunica . The common toga of the simple Roman citizen was white ( toga pura, toga virilis). Furthermore, there was the toga praetexta with a crimson stripe along the edges ( clavi; status symbols) which was worn by curule officials, by the Flamines …

Cera

(217 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κηρός; kērós). According to Plin. HN 11,11, (bees)wax was one of the most widely used materials. Among the properties of cera are conservation of shape, the capacity to seal and adhere (Hom. Od. 12,47-49 and passim), inflammability ( Lighting), lustre; cera also aids the healing process (Dioscorides 2,83,3; Plin. HN 22,116). When warmed, cera is easy to work, but also becomes soft or fluid ( Icarus). Cera was used in  sculpture;  painting; in bronze casting; in magic (for amulets and articulated dolls etc.); in funerary art (  imagines maiorum );…

Duodecim scripta

(172 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Board game in which a player attempted to remove his own 15 counters by reaching the end of the other side of the board. Moves were determined by throwing two or three dice; if two or three of the opponent's counters occupied a line, the first player's own counter could not be placed on that line; if only one counter was there, it could be removed. According to Isid. Orig. 18,60, duodecim scripta was played with a dice shaker or ‘tower’, dice and counters. The board consisted of 36 squares decorated with geometrical figures such as circles or squares,…

Centuripe vases

(160 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Brightly painted ceramics of the 3rd/2nd cents. BC, named after the place of their discovery in Sicily. Vessel forms ( Pottery, shapes and types of ) are pyxis, lekanis and lebes, and infrequently other types such as lekythos. The painting, in tempera colours (white, pink, black, yellow, red, gold, with isolated instances of green and blue) on a ground of orange-coloured clay (friezes of acanthus, tendrils and architectonic forms, heads, busts) is executed only on one side of the vessel. The vessels are of considera…

Ball games

(585 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (σφαιρίσεις; sphairíseis, pilae lusus). Homeric society already enjoyed ball games (BG) (Hom. Od. 6,110-118; 8,372-380), which have also been practised by people of all social levels (Ath. 1,14e, 15c; 12,548b; Plut. Alexander 39,5; Cic. Tusc. 5,60) and age groups since then. The Romans took many BG over from the Greek. Some were team games, like   harpaston or ἐπίσκυρος, epískyros (Poll. 9,103f.; schol. Pl. Tht. 146 i.a.), during which the opposite party was gradually pushed off the field by long-range shots, perhaps depicted on the relie…

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…

Mourning dress

(253 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] In the first place mourning dress belonged in the personal area of family and friends, but it could also accompany public mourning. In Homer only mourning goddesses wore dark veils (Hom. Il. 24,93 f.; Hom. H. 2,42). The society described by Homer contented itself with dirtying their clothes with dust and ashes or tearing them (Hom. Il. 18,22 f.; 23,40 f.; 24,640; 28,25). Such behaviour was retained in the historical period by the Greeks and the Romans (e.g. Plut. Solon 21; Eur. El…

Daunian vases

(251 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Pottery type found among the Italic peoples who inhabited the area of modern provinces around Bari and Foggia, with local production sites particularly in Ordona and Canosa. From their early phase (around 700 BC), the vessels display a geometric ornamentation independent of the Greek range of subjects, which is applied in red and brown to black earthen colours onto the manually formed vessels. Among these are diamond and triangular patterns as well as band ornaments, wavy lines, circle, cross, square, arc, …

Rudis

(99 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] [1] Thin stick Thin stick or spoon for stirring foods, medications, etc. (Greek κύκηθρον/ kýkēthron, Aristoph. Pax 654), called rudicula in its small form (Plin. HN 34,176), usually made of wood, more rarely of iron (Plin. HN 34,170). Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] [2] Wooden epee Wooden stick or rapier for the fencing exercises of soldiers and gladiators. The rudis also served the lanista as a badge for separating fighting gladiators or for bestowing order on the fight. Retired gladiators received the rudis upon becoming supervisors in the fencing…

Acetabulum

(122 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] From Latin acetum (vinegar); this goblet-shaped vessel with an indented wall profile served as a container for vinegar and honey, as a table and cooking vessel as well as a wax melting utensil; also used as a beaker amongst conjurers. Usually, the acetabulum was made of clay or glass, sometimes of precious metal. Its volume was very small (0,068 l [1]); in Apicius (6,8,3) and Apici excerpta a Vindario VI, the acetabulum is also equivalent to a cooking vessel.  Catinus Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography 1 F. Hultsch, s. v. A., RE I, 155 f. G. Hilgers, Lat. Gefäßnamen, …

Epostrakismos

(62 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ἐποστρακισμός; epostrakismós). Boys' game, in which a shard or flat stone is skimmed on the water to make it hit the surface and skip. The winner was the one whose stone or shard made the most skips and went the furthest (Poll. 9, 119; Hes. s.v. E.; Min. Fel. 3; Eust. in Hom. Il. 18,543). Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)

Purse

(356 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] In Greek as in Latin, there were many terms denoting purse, e.g., βαλ(λ)άντιον ( bal(l)ántion), μαρσίππιον ( marsíppion), θύλακος ( thýlakos), φασκώλιον ( phaskṓlion), crumina, marsuppium, pasceolus, saccus, sacculus, sacciperium, versica; but the exact distinctions between them cannot be established today. The words may have referred only to differences in colour, shape and size, as may be inferred from Plaut. Rud. 1313-1318 (and 548). Purses were small bags kept on a cord around the neck or on the belt or ar…

Polos

(258 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (πόλος/ pólos). Cylindrical head-dress without brim, worn by female deities, e.g. Aphrodite (Paus. 2,10,4), Tyche (Paus. 4,30,6), Athena (Paus. 7,5,9), Hera, Demeter, Persephone, Cybele, and by mortals on festive occasions. As a goddess' crown, the pólos came from the Near East (e.g. ivory statuettes from Nimrud, see Kalḫu) to Greece, and was depicted on monuments as early as the Minoan-Mycenaean Period. The height of the pólos could be just a few centimetres, or it could assume considerable proportions, as in the head-dress of Hera of Samos [1. 19 fig. 6]. Such a tall p…

Sicilian vases

(267 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Just before the end of the 5th cent. BC, production of red-figured vases began in Himera and Syracuse in Sicily. In style, ornamentation, vase shape and themes they reveal considerable influence from Attic vase painting (Meidias Painter). In the second quarter of the 4th century BC a number of Sicilian vase painters emigrated, in order to lay the foundation on the Italian mainland of Campanian and Paestan vase painting  (Campanian vases; Paestan ware). To a limited extent vase pro…

Strigilis

(292 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Groß, Walter Hatto (Hamburg) | Künzl, Ernst (Mainz)
(Greek στλεγγίς/ stlengís, ξύστρα/ xýstra). [German version] [1] Implement for sports and cosmetics Ancient implement for sports and cosmetics, primarily of bronze or iron, for scraping off oil, sweat and dirt after practising sport and after visiting a steam bath ( laconica or sudatoria) in the balnea or thermae. It was part of a grooming set, which for the Greeks also included a sponge and a small bottle of oil (Alabastron, Lekythos [1]), and for the Romans an ampulla (small bottle of oil) and a patera (hand-dish for pouring water on the body or for holding oil). A strigilis consisted of …

Manicae

(308 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
(χειρίς; cheirís). [German version] A. Sleeve Clothing from as early as the Minoan-Mycenaean period had sleeves down to the wrist, shorter ones to the elbow or just to the upper arm. In the archaic and classical periods the chiton with sleeves was the usual dress for ‘barbarians (Persians, Scythians et al.), but it was also worn by Greeks. In Roman dress manicae were initially a sign of effeminacy ( Tunic) - Commodus could still be censured because he wore a tunic with sleeves (Cass. Dio 72,17, cf. SHA Heliogab. 26,3). From the 3rd cent. AD, the adoption …

Askoliasmos

(153 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ἀσκωλιασμός; askōliasmós). ‘Hopping on one leg’ (Pl. Symp. 190d with Schol.; Aristoph. Plut. 1129 etc.), also ‘hopping on a wineskin’. Mentioned by Eratosthenes (fr.22) and Didymus (Schol. in Aristoph. ibid.) at Attic grape harvest festivals as dances on a wineskin made of the skin of a pig or pelt of a goat that was filled with air or wine and -- as Poll. 9,121 writes -- oil was rubbed into it to make it harder to stand. The festival Askolia mentioned from time to time was invented by the grammarians. Eubolus (fr.8) mentions the askōliasmós also as an Attic folk entertai…

Kampyle

(84 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (καμπύλη; kampýlē). Staff with a cambered handle, mostly used by farmers and shepherds, beggars, old men and travellers, in contrast to the straight walking stick baktēría (βακτηρία) used by full citizens. According to the Vit. Soph. 6 (according to Satyrus) Sophocles is supposed to have introduced the kampyle into the theatre. According to Poll. 4,119 the old men in comedies carry kampyles. On representations of theatre, actors are often depicted with a kampyle. Lituus; Staff Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography Bibliography: Staff.

Cesnola Painter

(187 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Named after his geometric krater, formerly in the Cesnola collection (h. 114.9 cm with lid, from Kourion/Cyprus, now in New York, MMA, Inv. 74. 51. 965;  Geometric pottery). The work of the anonymous vase painter combines motifs from the Middle East with those from mainland Greece and the Greek islands. In the past, both the unusual form of the eponymous krater and the combination of decorative motifs led to discussion as to its date and origin, but these are now confirmed by ana…

Pen

(298 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κάλαμος/ kálamos, lat. calamus). Besides the stylus , the pen was the second indispensable writing implement in antiquity. It was used to write with red or black ink on papyrus and parchment, as well as on whitened or uncoated wooden tablets. Pens made from reed stalks (κάλαμος/ kálamos, lat. calamus) were sharpened with a penknife (σμίλη, scalprum librarium) and given a slit in the middle, so that they resembled the modern steel pen in appearance and functioned correspondingly (Pers. 3,10-14). After longer use, kalamoi which had become blunt could be resharpen…

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…

Games of dexterity

(530 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] were primarily performed by children. With some of these games  astragaloi (knucklebones), nuts, pebbles, coins, small balls or potsherds were used as toys ( Children's games), with others, sticks, discs, wheels, etc. A favourite was the so-called πεντάλιθα ( pentálitha) (Poll. 9,126), in which five stones (nuts, balls, etc.) were thrown up in the air and caught in the palm of the hand or on the back of the hand. In another, the orca-game, nuts, stones etc. were thrown into a narrow-necked container (Ps.-Ov. Nux 85f.; Pers. 3,50). Similar to this game was the ἐς βόθυνον ( es…

Ostrakon

(261 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ὄστρακον; óstrakon). Sherd of pottery, sometimes of (lime)stone, which was used as writing material for short  messages, smaller documents, receipts, etc.; they were rarely used for literary texts (Sappho fr. 2 Lobel-Page). Ostraca are attested from pre-Ptolemaic Egypt and then up to the end of Graeco-Roman antiquity. The respective texts were written in ink or scratched into the ostrakon; examples have survived in the Hieratic, Demotic, Greek, Coptic and Arabic scripts. In contrast to expensive papyrus, óstraka were waste products of a household, and th…

Barbaron Hyphasmata

(142 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (βαρβάρων ὑφάσματα; barbárōn hyphásmata). The Greeks called the valuable Median-Persian robes, materials, blankets i.a., with colourful  ornaments, detailed figurative decorations, hybrid and fable creatures barbaron hyphasmata (BH ). The BH arrived in Greece through commerce (Aristoph. Vesp. 1132ff.), as loot (Hdt. 9,80) or gifts (Ath. 2,48d). BH were donated as  votive offerings to sanctuaries (Paus. 5,12,4) or they were worn as luxury robes as a demonstration of wealth and power. The BH led to changes in…

Running and catching games

(453 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Running and catching games tended to be played in open areas and streets (e.g., Callim. Epigr. 1,9; Verg. Aen. 7,379) where children could chase one another (Hor. Ars P 455f.; cf. Hor. Ars P 412-415 perhaps races) or engage in the popular pastime of hoop rolling (τροχός/ trochós, trochus), often depicted on Greek vases in particular (also in Ganymedes [1]) (Poll. 10,64). From indications in Roman sources this game was frequently played in the street (Mart. 14,168; 14,169; cf. ibidem 12,168; 14,157) and even on frozen rivers (Ma…

Comb

(385 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ὁ κτείς; ho kteís, Lat. pecten). Combs for wool and for the hair were known already in prehistorical Europe, Egypt and the Near East. They were made from a range of different materials (olive wood, boxwood, ivory, bone, later also from bronze and iron) and could also vary in shape (trapezoid or oblong). In the post-Mycenaean period they had two rows of teeth, with those on one side being more narrowly set teeth. Semi-circular combs appeared in the archaic period. The Classical period …

Pins

(3,978 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Giesen, Katharina (Tübingen) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen) | Steimle, Christopher (Erfurt) | Et al.
[German version] I. General Pins and needles (βελόνη/ belónē, περόνη/ perónē, ῥαφίς/ rhaphís, Latin acus) were put to a variety of uses in the ancient household: they were used for hair, garments and sewing. They were also a utensil, for example, in the work of doctors (Surgical instruments), sailmakers etc. Tattoos were also done using special needles. The shape of the pin, long and thin with one sharp end, has not changed since prehistoric times. In sewing needles, the head is generally unadorned and flat; …

Bustum

(106 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The term already defined in the  Tabulae duodecim (Cic. Leg. 2, 64) as ‘tomb’ was, according to Paul. Fest. 6, 78; 25,3; 27,11 and Serv. Aen. 11,201, the place where the corpse was cremated and the remains buried, whilst the place where dead bodies were actually burnt was generally known as   ustrinum . There is a lot of archaeological evidence of this type of funeral.  Burial Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography T. Bechert, Röm. Germanien zwischen Rhein und Maas, 1982, 244-246 M. Struck (ed.), Römerzeitliche Gräber als Quellen zu Rel., Bevölkerungsstruktu…

Ring

(802 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (δακτύλιος/ daktýlios, ἀκαρές/ akarés; Latin anulus). In the following, ring refers exclusively to finger rings (for earrings, see Ear ornaments). The rings in the Aegina and Thyreatis treasures from the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC already display outstanding technical command and high artistic quality. From the early Mycenaean period, gold wire and silver rings deserve note, along with the so-called shield rings, which developed into a leading form of Mycenaean jewellery. They …

Kausia

(195 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (καυσία; kausía). Primarily Macedonian head cover with a wide brim to protect the wearer from the rays of the sun ( kaûsis), but it could also serve as a helmet (Anth. Pal. 6,335). The kausia was made from leather or felt and sometimes had a chin strap. Depictions on coins of the 5th cent. BC already document the kausia as part of the attire of Macedonian kings. From Alexander [4] the Great (Ath. 12,537e), the kausia, by then scarlet, has become one of the main features of the Macedonian royal costume (Plut. Antonius 54; cf. Arr. Anab. 7,22,2) and is worn with a tiara ( diádēma
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