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Roman Religion

(3,922 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
1. Definition 1.1. Distinctions In their classic epoch the Romans clearly distinguished their religion—the cultus deorum (cult of the gods), religiones (pl. religions), but also religio (sing.)—from other parts of their culture. Thus they maintained the difference between sacer and profanus (Sacred and Profane), ius divinum and ius humanum (divine and human law), and dies fasti, dies comitiales, and dies nefasti (days for business, for public assemblies, and for neither…

Paradoxography

(418 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (a post-classical coinage) is a genre of classical texts that recount wonders (Gk ϑαύματα/ tháumata; Lat. mirabilia) from the realm of nature and from history – extraordinary phenomena that are incredible and contrary to all expectations (Paradox). Paradoxography is a subdivision of natural history ( naturalis historia) and historiography. Its materials are considered empirical and historical; though unusual and hidden on the fringes of the known world, they are not myths from antiquity. In the Parallela minora of Pseudo-Plutarch, for exampl…

Caesar, Gaius Julius

(717 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] The word “Caesar” has three senses: (a) a branch of the Julian clan ( gens Julia), which traced its genealogy through Aeneas back to Aphrodite; (b) a title (cf. Mark 12:13–17; Acts 25:11) and the office of supreme ruler (cf. OHG keisar, Russian Tsar); (c) the personification of a modern conception of antique greatness, drive, and genius, which can be interpreted as the antithesis of Christian humility, passivity, and “foolishness” (F. Nietzsche: “Caesar figure,” “Jesus figure”; Gundolf).…

Jupiter

(525 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. Name and Image – II. Cult I. Name and Image 1. In the Roman pantheon (II), the name Jupiter denotes the “father of heaven” ( Diespiter, Jovis Pater; vocative: Ju-piter), the highest position, the power and the right (not war and violence), the principle of sovereignty and legitimacy in all spheres of life, the family, the state, history. He is the “grandest and best” ( optimus maximus

Orient and Occident

(1,016 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. The Cliché – II. The Classical Paradigms I. The Cliché 1. The words Orient and Occident (“the rising/setting sun”; …

Progress

(963 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert

Linear and Cyclical

(663 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. Metaphor and Stereotype – II. History of Ancient Religion and Ideas I. Metaphor and Stereotype The image of the straight line and the circle is used to describe experiences and conceptions of time and history (History/Concepts of History) in a simple and graphic manner, though not necessarily clearly and correctly. In a “pre-philosophical” system of classification and valuation, thought patterns, artistic styles, and even entire cultures are labeled as linear or cyclical. The …

Virgil

(711 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert

Tacitus, Publius Cornelius

(671 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (c. 55 – after 116 ce). Life and works. Tacitus was praetor (88) and quindecimvir (?), suffect consul (97), and proconsul of the province of

Cult Authors

(489 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. The term cult authors refers to a group of authors who collected and explicated the primary documents of the cults of the Greeks and Romans (rituals, calendars, cultic laws, priestly regulations, protocols, etc.). The group, which cannot be easily differentiated from local historians, periegetes, antiquarians, and theologians, includes about 100 authors (5th cent. bce to the end of the 4th cent. ce). Their themes and titles are: a. On Days (Gk perí hēmerón), On Months, On Feasts; b. On Sacrifices (Gk perí thysión), On Mysteries, On Dedications, On Purification…

Rohde, Erwin

(197 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (Oct 9, 1845, Hamburg – Jan 11, 1898, Heidelberg), taught classical philology in Kiel, Jena, Tübingen (1878–1886), Leipzig, and Heidelberg (prorector 1894/1895). Starting from novels and romance poetics of the modern period, Rohde, an antimodernist of refined sensitivity, researched the history of the novel in antiquity. Psyche (1890–1894, 9/101925; ET: Psyche: The Cult of Souls and the Belief in Immortality among the Greeks, 1925), his major contribution to the history of religion, offers a comprehensive presentation of the “development” of the Greeks’ ideas of the “soul,” its immortality, even its divinity. The lasting and wide influence of these works, including for non-specialists, was furthered by Rohde’s relationship – full of contradictions – to the person and work of F. Nietzsche, his friend as a fellow-student (1866/1867) and who had become a professor of Greek in Basel.…

Theologia

(1,653 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. The Term 1. Earliest occurrence.

Ritual Books (libri rituales)

(647 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. Ritual books are collections of rituals in written form (Rite and ritual), of prescriptive and descriptive texts for use in cult/worship, sometimes during the cultic act. They prescribe “with what animal sacrifices, on which days, in which temples a holy thing is to be made, and whence money might be requested for these expenses” (Livy I 19, 5; Sacrifice : II, 3). The ritual books provide instruction on the relation between action and word in…

Antiquity

(3,085 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Antiquity as Epoch – III. Religion and Antique Culture I. Concept 1. English – Latin – French.

Classics/Classical

(612 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] 1. In the language of Roman administrative law, the Latin word classicus denotes citizens assigned on the tax rolls to the highest of the five classes (Cato, cited by Gellius, VI 13). Reinforcing the principles of an “agonal culture” (Agon), the principle and terminology of the Roman class system were extended early on to linguistic and intellectual achievements. Plautus (2nd cent. bce) calls the everyday vernacular proletarius sermo ( Mil. glor. 752). 2. In Rome c. 140 ce, the rhetorician and tutor of princes Marcus Cornelius Fronto (c. 110-after 1…

Varro, Marcus Terentius

(677 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (116–27 bce). Life and work: Varro was a Roman official (praetor in 68), probably a

Capitol

(598 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] In the narrow sense, Capitol (Lat. caput, “head”) refers to the part of the mons Capitolinus which faces the Tiber; in a broader sense it refers to the whole hill including the arx (“fortress”), which was at one time connected to the Quirinal, and the hollow, known as the Asylum, between the two hilltops. Additionally, the Capitol is the name of the principal temple in Rome and its colonies, the aedes Capitolina of Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, and for any symbolic place which demonstrates the Roman relationship between religion and power in…

Decay/Decline

(820 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert

Human Dignity

(1,961 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Historical Background – II. Theology I. Historical Background 1. Important terminology of modern legal culture was formed in antiquity: natural law , freedom , equality , justice , etc. Some terms, however, appeared in a different context i…
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