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Universal language

(1,092 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] I. General points The term UL today conveys two meanings: (1) an artificially created language, intended to serve as a lingua franca for the entire world; efforts of this kind were made especially in the 19th cent. (e.g. Esperanto and Volapük); yet, as might be expected, they fell behind their self-imposed goal. (2) A language actually in world-wide use today is, above all, English. In the wake of the colonial period, it has established itself on all continents at least as a subsidiary means of commun…

Inanna

(120 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] City goddess of  Uruk, etymologized as the ‘Queen of Heaven’. She is represented by symbols from the 2nd half of the 4th millennium (looped reed bundles, in the 1st millennium also a star), and by inscriptions from c. 3200 BC. She is the goddess of the planet Venus, unmarried, and representing the power of sexuality; she also has martial features. Mesopotamian mythology equates her with  Ištar; as such she appears in the Ninevite recension of the  Gilgamesh Epic as well as in the myth of ‘Ishtar's descent into the Underworld.  Hieros Gamos;  Tammuz;  Venus; Ishtar Renger, J…

Ancient Near Eastern philology and history (Assyriology)

(5,513 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
Renger, Johannes (Berlin) [German version] A. Name and definition (CT) Ancient Near Eastern Philology and History (ANEPH) is part of Ancient Near Eastern Studies, which includes the archaeology of the ancient Near East as well as philology and history. The term ‘ancient Near Eastern’, in the context of Western European and American scholarship, refers to the geographical area of the Ne…

Taxes

(6,422 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Römer, Malte (Berlin) | Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld) | Galsterer, Hartmut (Bonn) | Pack, Edgar (Cologne) | Et al.
[German version] I. Mesopotamia Income needed to finance tasks of state and general social functions (administration, the military, irrigation, prestige buildings, the court, cults, etc.) did not come from an all-embracing system of taxation levied on individuals, transactions or property, but on a general duty of service and labour on the part of subjects. Under the oikos economy (3rd millennium BC), the palace’s i…

Labaca

(37 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Fischer, Klaus (Bonn)
[German version] (Λάβακα; Lábaka). According to Ptol. 7,1,46, city in north-west India, in the land of the Pandoi (probably Old Indian Pāṇḍava). Renger, Johannes (Berlin)…

Sumerians

(167 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Akkadian term (of unclear etymology) [2. 33 f.] for the predominant ethnicity of southern Mesopotamia (Babylonia) towards the end of the 4th and in the 3rd millennium BC, defined by their Sumerian writing culture (Sumerian). By the early 3rd millennium, Semitic-speaking ethnicities (called Akkadians in scholarly literature; Akkadian) also played a role in Mesopotamia. In addition, there were population groups in southern Mesopotamia that can be defined through the substrate langua…

Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh Epic

(592 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Gilgameš, Gilgameš Epic). G., legendary ruler of  Uruk in southern Mesopotamia; linked in the sources passed down to us with the construction of the 9-km long city wall of Uruk around 2900 BC. Non-literary sources already mention G. about 2700 BC. The rulers of the 3rd dynasty of Ur (21st cent. BC) originating in Uruk maintained that they were genealogically connected with G. and therefore fostered the stories passed down about G. and his equally legenda…

Antioch

(1,581 words)

Author(s): Wittke, Anne-Maria (Tübingen) | Leisten, Thomas (Princeton) | Wagner, Jörg (Tübingen) | Tomaschitz, Kurt (Vienna) | Weiß, Peter (Kiel) | Et al.
(Ἀντιόχεια; Antiócheia). [German version] [1] on the Orontes Founded as Antigonea on the Orontes 307 BC, but after the defeat of Antigonus I by Seleucus I Nicator at  Ipsus (301 BC), the town was moved to the site of present-day Antakya (Turkey) in 300 BC, and renamed as A. in honour of the latter's father Antiochus. Capital city of the Seleucid kingdom; it developed under the Seleucids through incorporating numerous settlements into a tetrapolis, each with their own boundary walls. Thanks to its positi…

Callipolis

(459 words)

Author(s): Kaletsch, Hans (Regensburg) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Treidler, Hans (Berlin) | von Bredow, Iris (Bietigheim-Bissingen) | Lombardo, Mario (Lecce) | Et al.
(Καλλίπολις; Kallípolis). [German version] [1] Place in Caria Place in Caria (Arr. Anab. 2,5,7; Steph. Byz. s.v. Callipolis), its location disputed: either near the modern Gelibolu, south of the eastern end of the Ceramic Gulf (ancient and medieval remains, no finds indicating a settlement),or east of it, 10 km inland, near Duran Çiftlik (remains of an ancient sanctuary and a church; the associated settlement about 1.5 km east of Kızılkaya, stone-cist …

Caspii

(49 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Indian mountain tribe in the Hindu Kush; the ancestors of the Kāfir (i.e. ‘the disbelieving’) in the valleys of the Kūnar, the river of Tschitral. In the records of the Persian taxation districts in Hdt. 3,93, they are summarized with the Saces.…

Money, money economy

(6,610 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | von Reden, Sitta (Bristol) | Crawford, Michael Hewson (London) | Morrisson, Cécile (Paris) | Kuchenbuch, Ludolf (Hagen)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt As early as the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC metals (copper and silver, later also tin and gold) fulfilled monetary functions as a medium of exchange, a means of payment for religious, legal or other liabilities, a measure of value and a means of storing wealth. Until the 1st millennium fungible goods, primarily corn, also served as a medium of exchange and measure of value. Economies in the Near East and Egypt were characterised by subsistence production, self-sufficient palace and oîkos economies. The need for goods or services w…

Xisuthrus

(66 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)

Political administration

(4,328 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham) | Eck, Werner (Cologne) | Tinnefeld, Franz (Munich)
[German version] I. General The states of antiquity had no executive PA independent of government and legislature in the sense of the modern separation of powers. The triple division of constitutions, indicated in Aristot. Pol. 1297b 35-1301a 15 ( tría mória, 1297b 37), into a decision-making, legislating organ ( tò bouleuómenon), an executive element ('on the offices':

Storage economy

(2,351 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Corbier, Mireille (Paris)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East The creation of stores, esp. of less perishable foodstuffs (esp. grain), is essential to the existence of societies whose agriculture is strongly exposed to environmental and political risks. The paradigm for such experiences is found in the OT story, referring to ancient Egypt, of the seven 'fat' and seven 'lean' years (Gn 41:25-36). The economy (I.) of Mesopotamia, centralized from the 4th millennium BC, also had a central SE, but it is known only from texts. In…

Cattle

(2,971 words)

Author(s): Raepsaet, Georges (Brüssel) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Jameson, Michael (Stanford)
[German version] I. General information Cattle ( Bos taurus) belong to the bovine family and are descended from the Eurasian big-horned aurochs (

Sun god

(930 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | von Lieven, Alexandra (Berlin) | Taracha, Piotr
[German version] I. Mesopotamia In Mesopotamia, the Sumerian sun god Utu (written with the Sumerian sign for day, ud, which may be an etymological connection) was regarded as the city god of South Babylonian Larsa [2. 287-291] and the Akkadian god Šamaš (also common Semitic for 'sun') as the city god of North Babylonian Sippar. The sun god was never at the top of the Mesopotamian pantheon [1] which was dominated by Enlil (3rd/early 2nd millennium), Marduk (1st millennium) and Assur [2]. As the god of daylight, Ša…

Progenitors

(1,342 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | von Lieven, Alexandra (Berlin) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East Knowledge of one's own progenitors in the ancient Near East legitimized one's status and material and immaterial rights in the individual and societal spheres. Such knowledge was based on patriarchal relationships of kinship. Evidence for this comes, for example, from lineage lists (Genealogies; OT: Gn 5; 11:10-32; 22:20-24; 25:1-9; Judges 4:18-22: progenitors of David [1]; 1 Sam 9:1-2: progenitors of Saul; Mt 1:1-17: progenitors of Jesus), the Assyrian Kings' Lis…

Population, demographic history

(3,019 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] A. Object of research, and method The object of demographic history is the description and explanation of structures and developments in (ancient) populations in their relationship to living space. So far, ancient demographic history has made studies of esp. ancient views of population development, the numerical values of ancient populations (at a particular point in time or over a particular period of time), the age and gender structures of ancient demographics and particular determina…
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