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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

Dolls

(293 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κόρη/ kórē, νύμφη/ nýmphē; Lat. pup[ p] a) were made in antiquity from wood, bone, wax, cloth, clay, precious metals and the like and have been preserved in very large quantities from the early Bronze Age until the end of antiquity. We know of dolls in human as well as animal shape (Gell. NA 10,12,9) and of toys like e.g. items of furniture (beds, tables, chairs) and household objects (crockery, combs, lamps, mirrors, thymiaterion etc.). Human dolls were fitted out with great care. The …

Coae Vestes

(160 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Luxury  clothing from the island of Cos, with a transparent effect. They were known as early as Aristotle (Hist. an. 5,19; cf. Plin. HN 4,62) and received special mention during the Roman Imperial period.They were regarded as luxury clothing for demi-mondaines (e.g. Hor. Sat. 1,2,101; Tib. 2,3,57) but were also worn by men as light summer clothing. The sheen, purple colouring and decoration in gold thread, i.a. were highly esteemed. The fabric was woven from the raw silk of the bombyx ( Silk,  Butterfly), whose cocoons produced only short thread…

Parchment

(379 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Cleaned, depilated and tanned leather was one of the writing materials of Antiquity (Hdt. 5,58,3). Parchment emerged from a refined treatment of animal skin (donkey, calf, sheep, goat), which did not include tanning. Instead, the skin was soaked in a solution of slaked lime (calcium carbonate) for several days, then any remains of flesh, hair and epidermis were scraped off, and the skin was again soaked in a vat of lime for cleansing (calcination). The skin was then stretched over…

Ostrakinda

(162 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ὀστρακίνδα/ ostrakínda). The 'shard game' or 'day and night game', a running and catching game played by Greek boys: of two groups with an equal number of players, one group stands facing east (day) and the other west (night) on a line over which a player throws a shard (ὄστρακον, óstrakon) that is painted white on one side = day (ἡμέρα, hēméra) and black on the other = night (νύξ, nýx); as he does so, the thrower calls 'day or night'. If the disc falls on the black side, the members of the west team attempt to catch the east team who are running a…

Ceremonial dress

(491 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Wearing the ceremonial dress (CD) distinguished persons in society and identified them in their official roles. This holds true particularly for priestesses, state officials, but also for delegates (herald's staff) and others. In Greece, priests wore a white robe (Pl. Leg. 12,965a), the ungirded  chiton, which could also be red, or, less often, dyed with saffron or purple. Another characteristic was the  wreath ( stephanophóroi, ‘wearers of the wreath’, was thus the name of priests in e.g. Miletus); less commonly, priests displayed the attribu…

Loculi

(185 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (also lucellus). Loculi refer to boxes of different size that are divided into several compartments, such as caskets, cabinets, coffers etc. The loculi were used to hold the counting stones ( calculi) of students for class as well as to store jewellery or money (Hor. Sat. 1,3,17; 2,3,146; Frontin. Aq. 118); for the latter use, one could even carry them around as a purse (Juv. 11,38; Mart. 14,12f., cf. Petron. Sat. 140); holding spaces for any kind of animal in agriculture could also be referred to as loculi, as could the urns for voting. In the funerary practices, loculus desi…

Delphica

(70 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The round decorative table on three legs ( Household equipment;  Furniture) was called delphica by the Romans in imitation of the Delphic tripod (Procop. Vand. 1,21). The delphicae mentioned in literature (Mart. 12,66f.; Cic. Verr. 2,4,131) are probably to be identified with surviving tables from, in particular, the cities around Vesuvius. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography G. M. A. Richter, The Furniture of the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans, 1966, 111-112.

Xenon group

(245 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A special group of South Italian vases, named after a label on a pot in Frankfurt with the charioteer Xenon preparing to start [1]. The decoration of XG vases was applied with red slip to a pot covered with dark glaze (Gnathia ware). The pots (Pottery) used are quite small in scale. Decoration is chiefly limited to ornamentation (Ornaments) such as ivy and laurel branches, rod ornaments, wavy lines, meanders etc.; in contrast, representations of animals or people are distinctly ra…

Cradle

(193 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (λίκνον/ líknon, σκάφη/ skáphē; Lat. cunae, cunabula, n. pl.). The líknon, actually the ‘grain rocker’, was used as a cradle (H. Hom. 4,150; 254; 290; 358; [1. 298, fig. 285]; cf. Callim. H. 1,48). A container similar to a tub served as a second form of the cradle (Soph. TrGF IV, 385; Ath. 13,606f; 607a;   scáphē ). There were often notches or small struts on the frame of the cradle for attaching cords. Safety belts could be drawn crosswise over the cradle. From time to time two children could be accommodated in them (Plut. Romulus 3,4). Depictions of infants in skáphai are know…

Ephedrismos

(156 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ἐφεδρισμός; ephedrismós). A game where a target (δίορος; díoros) on the ground is to be hit with a rock or a ball; the loser had to carry the winner, who covered the loser's eyes, on his back until he touched the target with his foot. Boys and girls participated in ephedrismos, which according to the evidence of monuments became popular in the 5th cent. BC and is depicted in various stages. The representations also show satyrs and Erotes playing ephedrismos. The piggyback motif is very widespread in the Greek and Roman art (intaglios, sculpture; group in Ro…

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…

Kemos

(92 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κημός; kēmós, late Ancient Greek χάμος; chámos; Lat. c[h]amus, -um). Kemoi cover a variety of objects that apparently relate to the basic concept of wrapping, covering, etc. Part of these are nosebags for horses, from which they take their fodder (Hesych. s.v.), as well as bow nets for fish, and the type of cloth that bakers tied around their mouth and nose (Ath. 12,548c) and that women wore in public to cover the lower part of their face. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography H. Schenkl, s.v. K., RE 11, 157-162.

Tarantinon

(79 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ταραντῖνον; tarantînon). A light diaphanous luxury garment with fringes, first recorded in literature in the 4th century BC (Men. Epitr. 272); the original place of production was Tarentum (Taras), cf. Poll. 7,76. Hetaerae wore it without undergarments (Aristaen. 1,25,  cf.  Ael. VH 7,9). In  Ath. 14,622b male participants in a Dionysian festal procession wear tarantina. Barbaron Hyphasmata; Coae Vestes; Fimbriae; Clothing Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography U. Mandel, Zum Fransentuch des Typus Colonna, in: MDAI(Ist) 39, 1989, 547-554.

Kottabos

(302 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κότταβος; kóttabos, verb: κοτταβίζειν; kottabízein). Greek party game, probably of Sicilian origin (schol. Aristoph. Pax 1244; Anac. fr. 41 D), played by women (hetaerae) and men during a symposium ( Banquet). Kottabos is frequently mentioned in ancient literature (since Anac. fr.. 41 D = Ath. 10,427d) and has especially been captured in vase images from the end of the 6th cent. BC on. The goal was to strike a metal disk, resting on a construction similar to a lamp stand, with wine dregs, shot from a drinking …

Nails

(331 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ἧλος/ hḗlos, Lat. clavus, more rarely πάτταλος/ páttalos, γόμφος/ gómphos, Lat. palus). Nails have survived in abundance from the Early Bronze Age onwards; they have shanks that are rounded or angular in section and heads of various forms (round, pointed, flat, globular, spherical, etc.). Surviving nails are made of bronze or iron, though decorative nails may be made of gold or silver, or only have a head made of precious metal, but in antiquity wooden nails were also used. Nails were used …

Fritillus

(147 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (φιμός, phimós). The shaker was used for throwing the dice and the   astragaloi in various  board games and  dice games (Hor. Sat. 2,7,17; Juv. 14,5; Mart. 4,14,7-9; 5,84,1-5 and passim; Sen. Apocol. 12,3,31; 14,4; 15,1; Sid. Apoll. Epist. 2,9,4 etc.). Besides shakers made of perishable material, there were some made of clay [1. fig. 15 from Mainz-Kastell, Wiesbaden] and bronze (Schol. Juv. 14,5 mentions horn). The playing-pieces in the shape of towers (called turricula or pyrgus) made of ivory, wood or copperplate, through which the dice were rolled on t…

Filter

(147 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Filters were used for straining and filtering water, wine, oils, perfume, vinegar, honey and liquid medicine. For this purpose various materials were used: linen cloths, bast weave, ash, clay or wood. Greek and Roman antiquity knew different filtering vessels (ἡθμός/ hēthmós, ὑλιστήρ/ hylistḗr, colum, infundibulum, saccus etc.), including the superb Macedonian devices of the Hellenistic period, as well as the metal ladles with the sieve-like bottom and the wine sieves mainly known from the Roman Imperial period (Hildesheim s…

Soccus

(90 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Slipper-like, light half-shoe (Catull. 61,10), probably adopted by the Romans from Greek areas (perhaps σύκχος/ sýkchos or συκχίς/ sykchís, Anth. Pal. 6,294). Originally a woman's shoe, it was also worn by 'effeminate' men (Suet. Cal. 52). Later Diocletian's Price Edict distinguished between socci for men and women, in various colours. The soccus was also considered to be a comedy actor's shoe (cf. Hor. Epist. 2,1,174; Hor. Ars 79 f.), so that soccus became a synonym for comedy (as cothurnus for tragedy). Illustration of a soccus under shoes. Hurschmann, Rolf (Ham…

Armarium

(212 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Cabinet). The second most important piece of furniture for storage besides the arca. The armarium seems to be a typically Roman item, unknown to the Greeks until quite late ( pyrgiskos). The term armarium basically describes a cabinet for equipment, but also a cupboard for food, money and jewellery. It was also used for bookcases and shelves in  libraries. A funeral relief in Rome (TM 184) depicts the armarium in a cobbler's shop [3. 114-115 pl. 117,1-2], and as a household furniture item together with, among other things, the arca (Leiden, Mus. [2. 69, 301]), cf. …

Lomentum

(133 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] [1] Cosmetic Cosmetic ( Cosmetics) created from bean flour (Plin. HN 18,117), used by Roman women to cover up and reduce wrinkles (Mart. 3,42; 14,60), with the addition of sun-dried, crushed snails (Plin. HN 30,127), lomentum rendered the skin soft and white. It further served as a remedy for ulcers, burns or tumours (Plin. HN 20,127; 22,141). Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] [2] Two types of blue pigment Two types of blue pigment gained from ‘sky blue’ ( caeruleum, cf. [1]) (Plin. HN 33,162f.), one representing the more expensive (10 denarii per…

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…

Bracelets

(308 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Bracelets were already common in the old cultures of the Near East and Egypt ( Jewellery). For the Aegean region, we know of examples from Early Cyclade times, and from the Minoan and Mycenaean epochs. Bracelets were worn on the forearm above the wrist or on the upper arm, often on both arms or on forearm and upper arm at the same time. The basic shape was a bangle with room for decorations and inscriptions, either closed or with sculpted ends. Spirally wound bracelets which ended…

Ear ornaments

(960 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient see  Jewellery Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] II. Classical Antiquity Ear ornaments (ἐνώτια/ enṓtia, ἐνωτάρια/ enōtária, ἐνωτίδιον/ enōtídion, Lat. inaures) are seldom mentioned in Gr. myth (Hom. Il. 14,183; Hom. Od. 18,298; Hymn. Hom. ad Ven. 8), but numerous finds and representations attest that already in early times they formed part of the  jewellery of men (Hom. Od. 18,298) and women. In the classical period and later, the wearing of ear ornaments by men was regarded…

Kanoun

(237 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (τὸ κανοῦν; tò kanoûn). Flat - sometimes quite small - basket woven from willow twigs, round or oval in shape, with three handles; a kanoun could sometimes also be made from bronze (e.g. Hom. Il. 630) or gold (Hom. Od. 10,355; Eur. IA 1565). Mentioned already by Homer (Hom. Il. 9,217; Hom. Od. 1,148) as a household item in which bread, onions (Hom. Il. 11, 630) etc. are placed on the table during meal times (wastebasket in Hom. Od. 20,300 ?). Also mentioned by Homer as a sacrificial implement for cult sa…

Lucanian vases

(332 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The production of red-figure Lucanian vases (LV) begins around 430 BC with the Pisticci Painter, named after a place where his vases were discovered. He is still wholly within the Attic tradition, which is visible in the stylistic treatment of his figures, the ornaments and forms of the vessels. He prefers bell craters, which he ornaments with scenes of pursuit and of everyday life or with Dionysiac images. His successors, the Amycus and the Cyclops Painters, apparently settled in Metapontium and founded a workshop here, which was in operation until c. 380-370 BC. The …

Papyrus

(2,017 words)

Author(s): Dorandi, Tiziano (Paris) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
I. Material [German version] A. Term and manufacture The term papyrus was adopted into the European languages via the Greek πάπυρος/ pápyros, lat. papyrus, and ultimately is the source of the modern terms for paper, Papier, papier, etc.  Papyrus is hypothetically derived from an (unattested) Egyptian * pa-prro ('that of the king'). Papyrus, an aquatic plant with a long stem and a triangular cross-section ( Cyperus papyrus L.), was in its processed form a widespread writing material ('paper') in the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean. Papyrus is produced by p…

Labrum

(398 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (from lavabrum, diminutive labellum, Greek λουτήριον/ loutḗrion and λεκάνη/ lekánē). The labrum, a large shallow basin with a raised, thickened rim and resting on a high pedestal, served various purposes. As materials used for the labrum, marble, porphyry, clay, stone and others are cited. In the Greek realm, the labrum is a washbasin where men and women cleansed themselves with water; on vases in Lower Italy this often takes place in the presence of Eros, with waterfowl (swans or geese) sometimes cavorting in the water of the labrum. It also often appears in love o…

Zeira

(99 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ζειρά/z eirá). A loose colourful cloak, reaching to the feet and belted in the middle, worn by Arabs (Hdt. 7,69) and Thracians (Hdt. 7,75), which gave protection from the cold and, unlike the chlamýs , was long enough to keep the feet warm when on horseback (Xen. An. 7,4,4). In depictions of Thracians in Attic vase painting it can be identified from its length and ornamental decorations. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography W. Raeck, Zum Barbarenbild in der Kunst Athens, 1981, 69-72 I. Mader, Thrakische Reiter auf dem Fries des Parthenon?, in: F. Blakolmer (ed.), …

Jewellery

(2,921 words)

Author(s): Rehm, Ellen (Frankfurt/Main) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
Material and motifs indicate that jewellery in antiquity could be thought of as warding off evil or bringing luck. Not only men, women and children, but also idols wore jewellery. Jewellery was also often used as grave goods. [German version] I. Near East Beads made of shell and bone (later also wood) are again and again found in graves from the 7th/6th millennia BC. Gold and silver jewellery is known from the middle of the 3rd millennium BC from the Near East, sometimes with inlaid semiprecious stones, and in a great variety of forms (p…

Throne

(613 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt Ceremonially decorated piece of furniture for gods and rulers to sit on, with a high back and often with arm-rests. The sides were often shaped as animals or animal protomae; the legs were often worked in the shape of animal legs. Apart from a few fragments in stone, most thrones were probably made of wood and hence in the area of the Near East have not been preserved, but are known from numerous depictions. Thrones were presumably usually provided with metal (gold) or ivory embellishments (cf. the numerous surviving examples from Egypt). Nissen, H…

Owl Pillar Group

(183 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Group of red-figured Campanian vases, named after one of its motifs (an owl standing on a column or pillar), dating from the 2nd and 3rd quarters of the 5th cent. BC. The primary pottery form is the Attic ('Nolan') amphora (Pottery, shapes and types of, fig. A 5), while kalpis (Pottery, shapes and types of, fig. B 12), krater and jug are much rarer. In their adoption of the particular shapes of amphora and kalpis, as well as in their style, the painters of the OPG attempted to imi…

Razor

(222 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ξυρόν/ xyrón; Lat. novacula, cultellus, culter tonsorius). Razors were used from the early Greek period on for shaving the  beard and cutting hair from the head when in mourning, for example; numerous examples survive. They could easily exceed 20 cm in length; materials used for blades were iron and bronze; for handles bronze, ivory and wood. Razors are instanced in various forms: they could be shaped like a spatula or a crescent, long and slender with a straight or curved blade, broad…

Lanx

(191 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A plate or flat Roman bowl of varying size, form (oval, rectangular or multiangular) and function; it was used in kitchen work (e.g. Petron. Sat. 28,8), but more often for the serving of dishes like fish, meat and poultry (Mart. 7,48,3; 11,31,19); drinking-cups were served on it. It also found use in Roman legal relations. It is mentioned further as a torture instrument, and the head of John the Baptist was presented on a lanx. In religious ritual , lanx generally designates the sacrificial vessel (e.g. Verg. G. 2,194; Verg. Aen. 213-214). Materials for the lanx included pr…

Periskelis

(138 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (περισκελίς/ periskelís, περισκέλιον/ periskélion. Latin periscelis, periscelium). Term no longer current in archaeological scholarship for a simple band of material or metal worn as a thigh ornament above the knee by women of the lower classes and prostitutes (Hor. Epist. 1,17,56; Alci. fr. 4; Petron. 67), less commonly by women from higher circles (Petron. 67; Longus 1,5). They should be distinguished from clasps worn above the ankle and known as compedes (Petron. 67; Plin. HN 33,39-40 and 152). Such bangles and clasps are common in Greek and Roma…

Chlaina

(253 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (χλαῖνα; chlaîna, from χλιαίνω; chliaínō, ‘to warm’). Already mentioned in Homer (Il. 16,224; Od. 4,50 and passim) as a warm coat for men made out of sheep's wool to protect against cold and rain. The chlaina could be laid over the shoulders unfolded (ἁπλοΐς; haploís) or double-folded (δίπλαξ; díplax) and be held together with a pin; it could be red or purple in colour and decorated with patterns or figures (Hom.Il. 10,133; 22,441). The chlaina was, according to Poll. 7,46, worn as a cape over the  chiton and was part of the dress of farmers and shepher…

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…

Pataikoi

(193 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Πάταικοι; Pátaikoi). Dwarf figures, mounted on the bow of Phoenician triremes according to Hdt. 3,37. Coins from Aradus [1] and Sidon from the late 4th cent. BC onward show half-figures or protome heads on ships [1. table 2,1, table 18,12-14]. From these Phoenician figures the term was transferred to figures of dwarfs; pátaikos thus became a descriptive proper name for people of short stature (Hdt. 7,154; cf. also the Pataíkeia festival at Delos, named after its founder Pátaikos). The term also became proverbial for thieves, however. Herodotus compares t…

Konopion

(74 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (τὸ κωνώπιον; tò kōnṓpion, Latin conopium, conopeum). Originally, the konopion was a sleeping net for the protection against mosquitos, flies, etc. (Anth. Pal. 9,764; Prop. 3,11,45). According to Hdt. 2,95, the Egyptians even used their fishing nets for this purpose. The term was later used in various ways for litters and sofas (medieval canapeum developed into canapé). A cradle was called conopeum as well. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography Bibliography: see Kline.

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…
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