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Agriculture

(7,403 words)

Author(s): Hruška, Blahoslav (Prague) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Osborne, Robin (Oxford) | Schreiner, Peter (Cologne) | Et al.
I. Near East and Egypt [German version] A. Introduction In the Near Orient (particularly the southern Levant and Syria) and Egypt, a fundamental change in the history of mankind occurred 12,000 years ago: the transition from the hunter-gatherer life of paleolithic times to neolithic agrarian society. In the so-called ‘fertile crescent’ and in Egypt, agriculture almost always included livestock farming. Agriculture also encompassed the planting of fruit trees, viticulture and horticulture. The methods of food production led to increasing freedom from dependency on e…

Steel

(153 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] Modern term for alloys of iron with a carbon content of up to two per cent. In the blast-furnace process, however, the iron extracted has a much higher carbon content, which has to be reduced by means of a technical procedure (refining). In Antiquity there was an entirely different technical problem: Crude iron, the product of the smelting process, had only an extremely limited carbon content and was therefore relatively soft. The iro…

Opera

(253 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The Latin term opera was used to describe the output of work demanded of a worker in one day. This says nothing about that worker's legal status; he could be a freeman, freedman or a slave (Cic. Off. 1,41; cf. also the definition in Paulus, Dig. 38,1,1: “operae sunt diurnum officium”). The Roman agrarian writers use opera to determine precisely at what time certain work had to be done; in this way, it was possible to specify the sp…

Social politics

(938 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] In modern industrial societies, the function of SP is to set up systems to prevent the occurrence of cases of hardship, and to protect individual citizens and groups of citizens from defined risks. A vital instrument of SP is social insurance, of the kind created in the German Empire between 1883 and 1889 (health insurance, accident insurance, old-age insurance); unemployment insurance followed during the Weimar Republic. Since that time, the actual concern in SP has been, on the …

Trireme

(850 words)

Author(s): Tilley, Alec F. | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
(τριήρης/ triḗrēs; Lat. trieris, triremis;from tri- 'three' and Gr. eretmón, Lat. remus 'oar'). [German version] I. History of the Trireme From the battle off Salamis [1] (480 BC) to the Hellenistic age, the trireme of the Classical period was the most battle-worthy warship of the eastern Mediterranean region. It was developed from the elongated boats of the archaic period, which possessed one or two banks of oars on both sides and were used in Naval warfare. The tactical goal in naval battles was to sink enemy ships by ramming them with a ram bow, or damaging them to such an extent t…

Lime

(576 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The technique used by the Greeks, of binding the individual blocks in quarried-stone walls by means of variously formed metal clamps, was adopted by the Romans for their monumental architecture. Besides that, they early on used mortar made of lime and sand as a bounding agent in house building. Thus, lime, which in Greece had been used primarily for the roughcast of buildings, acquired greater importance as a building material in the Roman period. Lime is obtaine…

Veterans

(1,638 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | O.S.
(Latin veterani). [German version] I. Republic The Roman army in the Republican Period was a militia; all citizens with means exceeding the defined level (cf. Census) were obliged to provide combat service in the military; the term of service depended on military requirements, and was not precisely defined. It was the custom for soldiers released from the army after military service to return to their farms, and to be available again for recruitment upon the outbreak of another war (Pol. 6,19-26; Liv.…

Biton

(285 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] (Bíτων; Bítōn). Author of a short work on catapults and siege equipment; named in Athenaeus (14,634); the work is dedicated to a King Attalus and was therefore composed between about 230 BC (when Attalus I assumed the title of king) and 133 BC (death of Attalus III). As B. mentions older types of catapults but not the torsion catapult that was otherwise well attested from the end of the 4th cent. BC, the work probably belongs to the early years of the reign of Attalus I. B. describes two catapults that could hurl stones weighing from c. 2 kg to 18 kg, a mobile siege tower ( helépol…

Portrait

(2,270 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Schneider, Norbert
Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) [German version] A. Introduction (CT) The genre of portraiture, which developed in Antiquity, and especially that which developed in Rome from the 1st cent. BC under the influence of the Greek, diverged into a multiplicity of types (portrait statues,  equestrian statues, portrait busts, apotheoses in relief form, imago clipeata on sarcophagi etc.). According to their respective functions and historical (re-)applications (e.g. as portraits of rulers or poets), these types cons…

Rigging

(287 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] From the Archaic Period on, Greek trading ships were no longer propelled by oarsmen but had a large sail attached to a yard (ἐπίκριον/ epíkrion; Lat. antemna/ antenna), allowing them to use wind power. Even the long warships had a mast with a yardsail; as these ships, however, had to be used regardless of wind conditions and in naval battles required great manoeuvrability, oarsmen could not be dispensed with; they used the sail on longer journeys in favourable wind. Greek warships in the 5th-4th cents. BC not only had the big sails (μεγάλα ἱστία/ megála histía; Xen. Hell. 1…

Taberna

(94 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Uggeri, Giovanni (Florence)
[German version] [1] Type of building Latin term for buildings, both urban and rural, used for storage, craft production, selling goods, offering drinks, meals and lodging, and also as living space. Storage economy; Workshop; Inn Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) [German version] [2] T. Frigida Road station in Etruria on the Via Aemilia Scauri between Pisae and Luna at the crossing over the Frigidus (modern Frigido), modern San Leonardo in Frigido. Uggeri, Giovanni (Florence) Bibliography L. Banti, Luni, 1937, 71  G. De Santis Alvisi, Questioni lunensi, in: Centro Studi Lunensi. …

Liberalitas, largitio

(1,766 words)

Author(s): Corbier, Mireille (Paris) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] A. Etymology and development of the word's meaning The term liberalitas (= li.) denotes, on an abstract level, an attribute (cf. Sen. Dial. 7,24,3: ... quia a libero animo proficiscitur, ita nominata est), in a particular case an act of generosity. The term largitio (= la.) belongs to the area of gifts, as does li.; derived from the adjective largus (in the original sense of a freely flowing spring, Cic. Off. 2,52) la. usually signifies the distribution of gifts. In the political vocabulary of the late Republic la., seen as a gift by means of which a particular purp…

Vacuum

(379 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] Pre-Platonic thinkers, such as the Pythagoreans (Pythagorean School) or Anaxagoras [2] had a concept of an empty “space” (τὸ κενόν/ tò kenón). The examination of this view led Aristotle (Aristoteles [6]) to the conclusion that no such 'void' could exist. His argument reveals that Anaxagoras had undertaken experiments to study phenomena of air. For Aristotle, Anaxagoras' demonstrations show that air is a form of matter (ὅτι ἔστι τι ὁ ἀήρ/ hóti ésti ti ho aḗr: Aristot. Ph. 213a-214b). In the 3rd cent. BC, Ctesibius [1] constructed apparatuses which made use o…

Tactics

(952 words)

Author(s): Burckhardt, Leonhard (Basle) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Greece Tactics are understood as the planning and execution of military operations, such as marching and battles. Before the emergence of the phalanx , no tactical organization of the army is discernible. The battle formation of the phalanx, however, required the army to be divided into subunits, with a marching order, an ordered array in file and a clear system of orders. Ancient historians and military writers document various marching orders and possible transitions (often probably rather remote from reality) fr…

Water lifting devices

(1,820 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. General points Water was needed for various purposes in ancient civilizations: in the household as drinking water, for preparing food, and for hygiene (Hygiene, personal); in crafts (Crafts, Trade) for metalwork (Metallurgy) and for fulling (Fulling, Fuller); in public life for bathhouses and thermae; and finally in agriculture for the irrigation of gardens and fields. However, in the Mediterranean region, it was not available in sufficient quantity and quality in the form of surf…

Ivory

(218 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] (ἐλέφας/ eléphas, Latin ebur) was obtained from the tusks of African and Indian elephants, and like silk, amber, incense and pepper is one of those precious goods that had to be imported from areas outside the Roman empire; according to Pliny, ivory was the most valuable material supplied by land animals (Plin. HN 37,204). The price for ivory was extraordinarily high in the 1st cent. AD; nevertheless there was a shortage of ivory so that people began also to process the ordinary bone…

Metallurgy

(2,957 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Giesen, Katharina (Tübingen) | Kohler, Christoph (Bad Krozingen) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
I. Ancient Near East [German version] A. Metal extraction Metals are extracted from ores (smelting). Precious metals: gold, silver, elektron; base metals: copper, tin, lead, iron. The beginnings of metallurgy can be found in mineralogically favourable regions, particularly near the (copper-)ore deposits of Anatolia. Elements of pyrotechnology have been identified in aceramic neolithic settlements of the early 7th millennium BC, in particular products of metallurgy based on the smelting of copper ore. The…

Military technology and engineering

(1,756 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Gniers, Andrea Maria (Los Angeles) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient For Mesopotamia, as for the Near East in general, we are poorly informed by both written and archaeological sources about military organization, techniques, and engineering. The isolated case of the ‘Vulture Stele’ (about 2500 BC, from Tello, southern Babylonia; [1. pl. 91]) points to differences between heavily and lightly armed soldiers. The war chariots depicted there and on the ‘Ur Standard’ (somewhat older, from Ur; [1. pl. VIII]) were probably static symbols, …

Purpur

(548 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[English version] (πορφύρα/ porphýra; lat. purpur) war ein in der Ant. für die Herstellung kostbarer Stoffe und Gewänder verwendeter Farbstoff (Färberei), der aus verschiedenen, im Mittelmeer lebenden Schneckenarten (Schnecke) gewonnen wurde; Aristoteles hat der P.-Schnecke lange Ausführungen gewidmet (Aristot. hist. an. 546b-547b); die wichtigste ant. Beschreibung der P.-Schnecken und der Herstellung des Farbstoffes findet sich bei Plinius (Plin. nat. 9,124-138). Wahrscheinlich ist das Verfahren, aus den Meeresschnecken Farbstoff zu gewinnen, zuerst von…

Ernährung

(3,376 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Englund, Robert K. (Berlin)
[English version] I. Allgemein Die E., die allgemein als Aufnahme von Stoffen für die Erhaltung, die Fortpflanzung und das Wachstum von Lebewesen definiert wird, ist im Bereich der menschlichen Geschichte keineswegs nur als physiologischer Vorgang zu begreifen und zu untersuchen, sondern muß in Zusammenhang mit einer Vielzahl von wirtschaftlichen, sozialen, kulturellen und rel. Faktoren gesehen werden. Die Wahl der Nahrungsmittel erfolgt in einer Ges. nicht allein unter Berücksichtigung ihres Nährwe…
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