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Myos Hormos

(105 words)

Author(s): Felber, Heinz (Leipzig)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Egypt | Commerce | India, trade with | Egypt (Μυὸς Ὅρμος/ Muòs Hórmos, Egyptian Dww). Port on the Red Sea, modern Quṣar. Only Ptol. 4,5,8 refers to this port as Leukos limen, probably the result of a misidentification [1]. From the 1st cent. AD onwards, its links with the port city of Berenice [9] gained in importance. Remains of mostly sacral buildings in situ date back to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) Bibliography 1 A.Bülow-Jacobsen, H. Cuvigny, J.-L. Fournet, The Identification of Myos Hormos (BIAO 94), 1994, 27-42 2 C. Traunecker, Coptos, 1992. …

Horus

(588 words)

Author(s): Felber, Heinz (Leipzig)
[German version] The most important Egyptian hawk god, whose name (Egyptian Ḥrw, ‘the remote’) and form indicate his function as sky god. Any trace of his origins is lost in the mists of prehistory. The best-known H. god of historical times is H. Behedeti ( Bḥdtj) from  Edfu in Upper Egypt, however, there is evidence of a Lower Egyptian origin. H. soon assimilated other hawk gods and was closely linked with the sun god. H. is also regarded as the morning sun; his name is an appellative in the sense of ‘ruler/highest/sublime’ (e.g. in Harac…

Horapollo

(274 words)

Author(s): Felber, Heinz (Leipzig)
[German version] The Egyptian H., author of the Hieroglyphiká, possibly identical to H., the son of Asclepiades, came from a family of grammarians and philosophers from Phenebythis in Panopolites; was active in Alexandria around AD 500. H. is known, among other things, from the vita of the pupil of Proclus,  Isidorus [4], written by the Neoplatonist  Damascius, and from a Greek petition to an official of Phenebythis between 491 and 493 (pap. Cairo 67295). The Greek text of the Hieroglyphiká is recorded in MSS of the 14th cent. and, a…

Canopus

(234 words)

Author(s): Felber, Heinz (Leipzig)
[German version] Town at the mouth of the then westernmost branch of the Nile, Egyptian P(r)-gwtj, near what is now Abū Qīr west of Alexandria; as a seaport C. was the gate of Egypt (road to  Naucratis) from the 8th cent. BC onwards, until Alexandria, to which C. was linked via a canal, took on this role. C. was an important religious centre with  Sarapis as its principal god (famous temple as the place of healing sleep and of oracles [1; 2]). Isis and Harpocrates were worshipped here. An  Ibis cemetery from t…

Purification

(1,558 words)

Author(s): Heinze, Theodor (Geneva) | Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig)
[German version] A. Introduction The cleansing of defilement or impurity (Greek kátharsis, katharmós) can be understood as a strategy for overcoming calamity [5. 149-155]. Purification in this sense was introduced to Greek civilization through contact with the Ancient Orient [6. 55-64]. Heinze, Theodor (Geneva) B. Religious [German version] 1. Ancient Orient and Egypt Although the ancient oriental civilizations had certain widespread features in common, there were differences in which forms of impurity were regarded as particularly significant and how they were removed. In …

Origin myths and theories on the origin of culture

(2,363 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Heckel, Hartwig (Bochum)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt The relatively few ancient Oriental testimonials that can be regarded as OM provide important pointers to the self-image of a culture, but have not yet been discussed from this perspective. Aetiologies primarily with respect to festivals and cult…

Festivals; Feasts

(4,658 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] I. The Ancient Orient The ancient Mesopotamian calendar was based on the phases of the lunar cycle and was observed in the cult on a monthly basis (1st, 7th, 15th day). Annual feasts were frequently associated with the agrarian cycle (sowing, harvest), whereby regional differences must be drawn into consideration (e.g., irrigation vs. rainfed agriculture). Non-cyclical feasts were generally related to the ruler (crowning, temple and palace construction, war, d…

Weights

(2,896 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Hitzl, Konrad (Tübingen)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In Mesopotamia and its neighbouring regions, weights were made of stone (primarily haematite [Haematite], or else limestone and others) or metal (bronze, copper), often in the form of a barleycorn or a loaf, or figuratively as a duck (3rd to 1st millennia), and in Assyria from the 1st millennium also as a lion. Weights could be inscr…

Hospitality

(1,855 words)

Author(s): Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Wagner-Hasel, Beate (Darmstadt)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt In Egypt and Mesopotamia, hospitality was not regarded as a value in itself, but generosity to the needy was seen in both cultures as an obligatory norm, in the sense of a communicative and vertical solidarity [1; 2]. According to Egyptian sources, strangers were treated with reserve, and late teachings (Ankh-Sheshonqi 21,24f.) speak of the loneliness of a person in a strange city where (s)he has no relatives. Rarely, letters contain admonitions to treat an announce…

Square measures

(917 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Chantraine, Heinrich (Mannheim)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East Various concepts of square measures (SM) are found (even simultaneously) in Mesopotamia. The oldest, attested from the late 4th millennium BC, was based on the length measurements of squares or rectangles, and was thus suited to the needs of surveying fields: 1 rod × 1 rod (with 1 rod = 6 m) = 1 rod square ('bed') (36 m2). The fundamental unit for fields was 1 'field' or 'dyke' (0.36 ha). In the 1st mill…

Measure of volume

(1,573 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Measures of volume were used to measure liquids and especially grain and other bulk solids (dates, etc.). Therefore, they were employed in the administration of grain, including the issuing of rations. According to cuneiform sources, ordinary measuring vessels (especially the sea) were made of wood. Special measures for liquids can only be identified locally with a standard ‘vessel’ usually containing 20 or 30 litres. Despite all temporal and local differences, a relatively constant absolute size of the small unit (Sumerian sìla, Akkadian = c. 0.8-1.0 litres) may be assumed in Mesopotamia. Beginning with the earliest sources (about 3000 BC), the relationship between measures in Babylonia is generally based on the factors of 5 or 10 but also 6, which allow easy division. The ratio of 6 ban/

Inscriptions

(4,367 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Hallof, Klaus (Berlin) | Galsterer, Hartmut (Bonn)
I. Ancient Orient [German version] A. General In the more restricted sense, inscriptions are texts - usually of monumental character - that, because of their function, are intended to last, as well as texts that are written on other-than-usual writing materials, e.g. clay tablets,  papyrus,  ostraka, etc. Inscriptions are closely tied to other texts by commonalities of writing, form and content. Therefore, despite specific research efforts, ancient oriental epigraphy has not developed as an independent…

Banquet

(3,705 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Schmitt-Pantel, Pauline (Paris) | Binder, Gerhard (Bochum)
[German version] I. Egypt and the ancient Orient The central Egyptian sources of information regarding banquets are the depictions of the funerary banquet in the tombs of Theban officials dating from the 18th dynasty (15th -14th cents. BC). The early pictures show the tomb's occupant with his spouse as the host in front of a table loaded with dishes of food and faced by their guests in several rows. Servants adorn them with flowers and bring wine and food, pleasant-smelling ointments and utensils for ha…

World, creation of the

(4,741 words)

Author(s): Merkt, Andreas (Mainz) | Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Heimgartner, Martin (Halle) | Hollender, Elisabeth (Cologne) | Et al.
[German version] I. Definition The term 'creation of the world' ('CW') (κτίσις/ ktísis, Lat. creatio) in the narrower sense should be distinguished from two similar concepts. Unlike 'cosmogony', 'CW' refers to a personal act. Secondly, unlike 'fashioning of the world' in the sense of the craft of a demiourgos [3] (cf. [1]), 'CW' does not mean the mere modelling of existing material in analogy to the creative intervention of an artist, but the absolute bringing-into-being of everything (the universe, i.e. 'the whole', τὰ πάντα/ tà pánta) out of the void. The concept of a creation…