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Intertextuality

(1,180 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt)
[German version] A. Concept In the 1960s, criticism of the work-immanent interpretation of literary texts as closed systems was voiced in the aesthetics of reception of H. R. Jauss and in intertextuality as shaped by the semiotician Julia Kristeva. Kristeva was influenced by Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of the literary text as an open system: no text originates in a socio-historical vacuum; even at the very moment of its production it represents a dialogue with other literary and non-literary texts and…

Maiesta

(147 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt)
[German version] According to Calpurnius Piso fr. 42 Peter = 10 Forsythe the wife of Volcanus, no other references. Assumed Oscian origin [1] contributes little to clarification. It is possible that Piso, against a contemporary identification of Maia as the wife of Volcanus and eponym of the month of May (conceivable with Gell. NA 13,23; Cincius fr. 8 GRF in Macrob. Sat. 1,12,18; Ov. Fast. 5,81-106), derives the name of the month from a goddess M., with M. for her part probably coming from Latin maiestas (Ov. Fast. 5,11-53 mentions the latter as a possible eponym of the name of …

Vates

(519 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt)
[German version] Lat. 'announcer' of vaticinationes, 'prophecies', which occur by means of divine inspiration and are, according to Cicero, part of the 'natural' divination (Cic. Div. 1,4; 1,34 et passim; Divination VII: ill. of the communication pattern); occasionally, however, representatives of the 'artificial' divination (Haruspices; Augures) are also called vates (such as Liv. 2,42,10). The vates speaks in verse ( canere since Enn. Ann. 207; carmina: Sall. Hist. 1,77,3 et passim) and is thus part of a general ancient tradition of prophetically inspired text p…

Phylakterion

(1,299 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt)
[German version] (φυλακτήριον/ phylaktḗrion, literally 'means of protection') refers to a religious formula used to ask for protection (PGM VII 317f.) as well as to an amulet believed to offer safety, Latin amuletum (Char. 1,15; [1]). Since amulets were worn around the neck, head, arms and legs or attached to clothing, they were also called in Greek περιάμματα/ peri(h) ámmata or περίαπτα/ perí(h)apta (Plat. Resp. 426b; cf. Pind. Pyth. 3,52f.: peri(h)áptōn phármaka); in Latin, ligamenta or ligaturae (Aug. Serm. 4,36; cf. Cato Agr. 160: adligare), 'tied-on objects'. Here ancient …

Pudor

(165 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt)
[German version] As the social category of the human 'sense of shame', pudor is an element of Roman discourse on values from its earliest mention on (e.g. Plaut. Epid. 166). Yet only in the intensified moral discourses of the Augustan Period  - in imitation of the Greek a idṓs - does it come to the fore as an appellative and person. Amongst poets the mention of pudor can sometimes evoke Pudicitia (Serv. Auct. Aen. 4,27; Hor. Carm. saec. 57; [1. 89]). Admittedly, unlike the personification of female chastity, p udor was not formally worshipped. However, its combination with Copia, Fi…

Viriplaca

(180 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt)
[German version] V. is a goddess ( dea) of the city of Rome, recorded only in Val. Max. 2,1,6, whose small sanctuary ( sacellum) still stood on the Palatine at the time of Tiberius [II 1]: couples used to go there (but no longer in the time of Valerius Maximus) to resolve marriage difficulties by mutual exchange of their arguments. The name of the goddess was explained, entirely in the sense of a moralizing strategy by the author, with the etymology a placandis viris, 'from placating husbands'. With the aid of problematic 19th and 20th cent. religious and evolutionist categori…

Mundus

(835 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt)
[German version] A subterranean pit, presumably expanded into a chamber, associated in Rome and other Italic cities with religious cult. A possible architectonic parallel is the subterranean sanctuary of Dionysus in Volsinii (Bolsena) from the 3rd cent. BC [1 Fig. 1]. There is agreement neither on the etymology of the Latin word mundus [2], nor on the origins or the function of the religious mundus. It has been associated with a pre-deistic form of worship of the spirits of the dead, but also with primitive agrarian and fertility rituals (critica…

Board games

(916 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A. Ancient East Attested since the 2nd half of the 4th millennium, board games were used as a pastime but also for divination purposes ( Divination; in conjunction with models of the liver [3]). The playing boards of 5 × 4 squares were made from wood (carved or with coloured inlays), stone (painted or with inlays) or baked clay; the playing pieces and dice, from ivory or bone; no information is available on the way the games were played. There is probably no connection with the Egypt…

City deity

(508 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The religion of Mesopotamia is characterized by a system of tutelary deities for the numerous city settlements that has its origin in the Sumerian religion of the 4th millennium BC. There is evidence of the existence and worship of city deities from the 3rd to the 1st millennium. Individual city deities achieved supraregional importance in the course of history (e.g.  Assur [2];  Enlil;  Ištar,  Marduk;  Nabû).  Asia Minor IV.;  Pantheon;  Religion II. and III. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) [German version] II. Classical antiquity For Graeco-Roman …

Polytheism

(1,339 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
I. In general and in classical antiquity [German version] 1. History of the term The adjective πολύθεος/ polýtheos refers in poetic Greek to that which pertains to many deities: the altar as the seat ( hédra) of many gods (Aesch. Suppl. 424) or the divine assembly attended by many gods (Lucian. Iuppiter Tragoedus 14). It is only in Jewish and Christian literature (Apologists) that this concept is used to justify the rule ( monarchía) of a single deity. Philo [12] of Alexandria coined the terms δόξα πολύθεος/ dóxa polýtheos (Phil. De decalogo 65) and πολυθεΐα/ polytheḯa (Phil. De mutatione…

Personification

(3,673 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Shapiro, H. Alan (Baltimore)
I. Terminology [German version] A. Personification in Rhetoric and Poetry The early modern term personificatio expresses the Hellenistic, rhetorical concept of προσωποποιία/ prosōpopoiía , which refers to the representation of fictive persons, concrete (inanimate) items or abstract concepts as speakers and actors (Latin, conformatio: Rhet. Her. 4,66; personarum ficta inductio: Cic. De or. 3,205; prosopopoeia: Quint. Inst. 9,29-37). As a fictional personalisation, primarily of concepts, prosōpopoiía was considered by Greek literary theory to be an element of a…

Volturnus

(583 words)

Author(s): Vanotti, Gabriella (Novara) | Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg)
[German version] [1] River in southern Italy River in southern Italy (approximately 185 km in length) with a catchment area of approximately 5,677 km2. It rises on the south-eastern slopes of Monte Metuccia (near Aesernia) from a large karst spring, absorbs tributaries from the Monti del Matese and ultimately the Calor (modern Calore) to the west of mons Taburnus, before breaking to the north of the Tifata mons through to the Mare Tyrrhenum, where its alluvial deposits have created the plain of Campania (Str. 5,4,4;…

Deification

(1,408 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | von Lieven, Alexandra (Berlin) | Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In the Ancient Orient the deification of  rulers always occurred in the context of the legitimization and exercise of  rulership. Deified rulers and proper gods were always differentiated on principle. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) [German version] A. Mesopotamia References to the deification of living rulers are geographically restricted to Babylonia and temporally to the late 3rd and early 2nd millennium BC: a) individual rulers claimed divine descent for themselves as a means of legitimizing their rule…

Moon deities

(1,252 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Röllig, Wolfgang (Tübingen) | von Lieven, Alexandra (Berlin)
[German version] I. General The status of the moon in ancient mythological speculation and cult worship reflected its central position in the calendar cycles, agricultural cycles and monthly cycles with respect to their various aspects. The moon (personified) could be the addressee of the cult; the cult also included the male and female deities embedded in the traditional panthea and associated with the moon as moon deities (MD) with regard to their particular aspect. Whilst e.g. Selene/Luna just li…

Pantheon

(2,240 words)

Author(s): Richter, Thomas (Frankfurt/Main) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] [1] Name to describe the plurality of gods In modern scholarship on religious history, the term 'pantheon' is used in systematizing the plurality of ancient gods (Polytheism). In the following, it will be used accordingly to denote all the many deities worshipped in a particular geographical area and socio-historical context. Richter, Thomas (Frankfurt/Main) [German version] I. Mesopotamia Sumerian does not have its own expression for a collective of gods corresponding to the term 'pantheon'. The Sumerian term A-nun-na, 'seed of the prince' (i.e. of Enki, …

Romulus

(2,313 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Leppin, Hartmut (Hannover) | Groß-Albenhausen, Kirsten (Frankfurt/Main) | Bleckmann, Bruno (Strasbourg) | Küppers, Jochem (Düsseldorf)
[German version] [1] Legendary founder of Rome The legendary founder of Rome. Perhaps literally 'the Roman'. A possible correspondence between the Etruscan nomen gentile Rumelna (Volsinii, 6th cent. BC: ET Vs 1,35) and the alleged Roman nomen gentile Romilius - the name is securely attested only in an old tribus Romilia/-ulia (Paul Fest. 331 L.) - and between R. and an Etruscan praenomen * Rumele [1. 31 f.] proves nothing about the historicity of the figure of R. Also problematic is the attempt [2. 491-520; 3. 95-150] to connect the finds from the Roman Mon…

Nicander

(1,519 words)

Author(s): Meier, Mischa (Bielefeld) | Günther, Linda-Marie (Munich) | Fornaro, Sotera (Sassari) | Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence) | Damschen, Gregor (Halle/Saale) | Et al.
(Νίκανδρος; Níkandros). [German version] [1] Spartan king, c. 715 BC Spartan king, Eurypontid, the father of Theopompus (Hdt. 8,131). N. led the raid of Spartans and Asinaeans into Argolis, in retaliation for which the Argives destroyed Asine [1] ( c. 715 BC). The settlement was refounded a few years later on the Messenian Gulf (Asine [2]; Paus. 2,36,4f.; 3,7,4; 4,14,3f.). Meier, Mischa (Bielefeld) Bibliography M. Meier, Aristokraten und Damoden, 1998, 74f., 93, 96. [German version] [2] Strategos in the Aetolian League, 190/189, 184/3 and 177/6 BC Son of Bittus of Trichonium (Syll.3 5…

Sacrifice

(10,943 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Et al.
I. Religious studies [German version] A. General Sacrifice is one of the central concepts in describing ritual religion in ancient and modern cultures. In European Modernity, the term sacrifice (directly or indirectly influenced by Christian theology of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ to redeem mankind) also has an intimation towards individual self-giving ('sacrifice of self'). The range of nuances in the modern meaning stretches to include discourses that have lost their religious motif and hav…

Ritual

(8,221 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | von Lieven, Alexandra (Berlin) | Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Et al.
[German version] I. Term Ritual refers to an elaborate sequence of individual rites which, following an established ritual syntax, are logically connected within a certain functional context. Rituals are not limited to religious contexts but exist in other cultural contexts, political as well as social. The significance of rituals for those who participate in them can be reduced neither to an integrative function (legitimation ritual) nor to a temporary disabling of the regular structure - the two e…

Religion

(13,714 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Assmann, Jan (Heidelberg) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Colpe, Carsten (Berlin) | Et al.
I. Introduction [German version] A. Definition of the concept 'Religion', the substantive for describing the religious, denotes a system of common practices, individual ideas about faith, codified norms and examples of theological exegesis whose validity is derived chiefly from an authoritative principle or being. For the academic study of religion, conversely, the word is a purely heuristic category in which those practices, ideas, norms and theological constructs are examined historically; however, the…
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