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Decay/Decline

(820 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. General – II. Greek Views – III. Roman Views I. General Decay/decline (cf. decadence, degeneration; inclinatio; Ger. Verfall) refers to a process of gradual deterioration that ends in sudden catastrophe (Gk καταστροφή), destruction, disintegration, slow dissolution, or ruin (Gk φϑορά/ phthorá), unless it is averted by reform or renaissance. Decay/decline is the corresponding antonym of progress, an – often …

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). The best-known representative of the gens Julia is C. Julius Caesar (100–44 bce).…

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), the “king,” the “father.” The name and the connection with the light of heaven (cf. dies, “day”) and to divination through the flight of birds ( auspicium) are common to Italian religion…

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”; Lat. ortus/occasus, Gk ἀνατολή/ anatolē/ δύσις/ dýsis) denote either (a) an East (cf. Matt 2:1: “Magi from the East”; also Anatolia/Turkey) or West (cf. the Hesperides), always relative, or (b) a geographical fiction, a construct of “mythic geography,” an ideological stereotype. The administrative language of the Roman Empire was clearer. After the reorganization of the Empire by Diocletian, the praefectus praetorio per Orientem (there was no an…

Progress

(963 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. The Term The word progress, ultimately from Lat. pro-gressus (cf. progressio, processus, profectus) and its Greek prototypes (προκοπή/ prokopḗ, προαγωγ ή/ proagōgḗ, προέρχεσϑαι/ proérchesthai); all have the basic meaning “move forward,” with the figurative sense of “change for the better (through human agency)” (like Ger. Fortschritt). In their figurative sense, these words are very rare in the ¶ Bible (Phil 1:12; 1:25). In the Middle Ages, the lexical field played only a modest role (Zorn, 341). Besides the “image of the road” (Bec…

Virgil

(711 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (Publius Vergilius [later Virgilius] Maro; Oct 15, 70 bce, near Mantua – Sep 21, 19 ce, in Brundisium [Brindisi]; buried in Naples). Virgil was born in humble circumstances. The erudite but sickly poet, a friend of Horace ( Carm. 1.3), was patronized by Asinius Pollio, Maecenas, and Augustus. Virgil’s Eclogae (written between 39 and 37) are 10 bucolic (“lyric”) poems of classical perfection in language, composition, subject matter, and metrics. Faced with an acute threat in the fall of the Roman republic, s

Tacitus, Publius Cornelius

(671 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] …

Cult Authors

(489 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. The term cult authors refe…

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 …

Theologia

(1,653 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. The Term 1. Earliest occurrence. The word ϑεολογ-/ theolog- (and its derivatives) appeared late in the history of the Greek language and was initially rare. The earliest witness dates from the late classical period, where we find the noun ϑεολογία/ theología. Plato criticized using fictional, mendacious, and immoral myths in the education of children. He names Homer, Hesiod, and the other poets who describe theogonies, theomachies, and battles between giants. Philosophers must specify guidelines (“types,” frames, features) governing what should be said of God or the gods: οἱ τύποι περὶ ϑ…

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 example, “paradoxica…

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 ancient cult and worship, and are a…

Antiquity

(3,085 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] …

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 167) instructed the young Aulus Gellius (c. 120–170) in the proper use of language. He cites “the earlier classification of rhetors and authors that identifies a writer as being in the highest tax bracket and wealthy, rather than proletarian” – classicus assiduusque scriptor, non proletarius

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 quindecimvir (Cichorius), and a widely traveled polyhistor and poet. He was a conservative republican, an adherent of the (old) Academy, and the author of more than 70 works on all facets of Roman culture,…

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

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 in antiquity, or were less central and widespread than in the modern period. This is true of human rights ( ius humanum), freedom of religion ( libertas religionis), person ( persona; self), as well as human dignity ( dignitas…

Pre-Socratics

(2,301 words)

Author(s): Hülser, Karlheinz | Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. Historiography of Philosophy The Pre-Socratics include all Greek thinkers prior to c. 400 bce who contributed something to what was later called philosophy, above all Thales, Anaximan­der, Anaximenes, Pythagoras and his school, Xenophanes of Colophon, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Zenon, Melissus, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, the atomists (Atomism: I) and other natural philosophers (Natural philosophy), and the Sophistic school. The term first appeared in the late 18th century and occupied an important place in the 19th-century histories of ¶ philosophy. It firs…
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