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Cytheris

(167 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] Descriptive artist's name (‘belonging to Aphrodite’) of a Roman mime actress ( mima) of the 1st cent. BC; bought out of slavery by Volumnius Eutrapelus, her official name was Volumnia (Cic. Phil. 2,58). Nothing is known about her stage performances, but all the more about her erotic qualities. She attained notoriety as mistress of Antonius [I 9]: before his marriage to Fulvia in 47 she accompanied him on his public appearances in an open litter (Cic. Att. 10,10,5; Plut. Antonius 9,7). Cicero …

Pylades

(340 words)

Author(s): Binder, Carsten (Kiel) | Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
(Πυλάδης/ Pyládēs, Doric form Πυλάδας/ Pyládas, Pind. Pyth. 11,23). [German version] [1] Friend of Orestes Phocian hero, son of Strophius and Anaxabia (e.g. Eur. Or. 764 f.; other mothers: schol. Eur. Or. 33, Hyg. Fab. 117). P. and Electra [4] (Eur. Or. 1092; 1207 ff.; Eur. IT 716 among others) were the parents of Strophius and Medon [4] (Paus. 2,16,7; Hyg. Fab. 119 f.) or Medeon (Steph. Byz. s. v. Μεδεών). P. grew up together with Orestes [1] and partakes in the latter's revenge on his mother and Aegisthus. F…

Roscius

(1,412 words)

Author(s): Fündling, Jörg (Bonn) | Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster) | Eck, Werner (Cologne)
Italian nomen gentile, with many bearers in Ameria (CIL XI 4507-16) and Lanuvium (CIL XIV 3225-7). Fündling, Jörg (Bonn) I. Republican Period [German version] [I 1] R., L. Roman envoy killed in 438 BC by the Fidenati A Roman envoy killed in 438 BC together with his three colleagues by the Fidenati (Fidenae); because of this all three were honoured with statues on the Rostra (Cic. Phil. 9,4; Liv. 4,17,2-6). Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) [German version] [I 2] R., Sex. Father and son; the latter was defended by Cicero in 80 BC against the accusation of patricide and embezzlement From Ameria; so…

Echeia

(173 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] (ἠχεῖα; ēcheîa). Instruments/objects producing or amplifying sound (echo). Vitruvius refers to echia as bronze vessels with a wide opening, which were used for resonance reinforcement in the theatre (Vitr. De arch. 1,1,9; 5,5). Tuned to various keys, they were supposedly installed under the rows of seats according to mathematical calculations. They did not exist in Rome, but L. Mummius is said to have brought pieces of loot of this type back from Corinth. However, nothing in the theatre of C…

Protagonistes

(354 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] (πρωταγωνιστής/ prōtagōnistḗs, 'first in competition', esp. 'first actor, chief presenter'). As a t.t., rare and attested only late; since the derived verb πρωταγωνιστεῖν/ prōtagōnisteîn was used in a metaphorical sense ('stand in the foreground') as early as Aristotle (Aristot. Poet. 1449a 18 and Pol. 1338b 30), however, the word prōtagōnistḗs may have its origin in the 5th cent. BC. In dramatic competitions much depended on the abilities of the prōtagōnistḗs. Aeschylus [1] personally undertook the leading parts in his tragedies, while Sophocles […

Maeson

(233 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] (Μαίσων; Maísōn). In the catalogue of masks of Iulius [IV 17] Pollux (4,148; 150), M. is listed among the slave characters of the New Comedy as a man with a red fringe of hair around his bald head [1]. Athenaeus (14,659a) specifies the mask type as a local cook (in contrast to Tettix who comes from a foreign country) and names as his source Aristophanes of Byzantium (fr. 363 Slater). The latter derives M. from an actor of the same name from Megara (it has been debated since antiqui…

Neoptolemus

(2,308 words)

Author(s): Scherf, Johannes (Tübingen) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster) | Engels, Johannes (Cologne) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Et al.
(Νεοπτόλεμος; Neoptólemos). [German version] [1] Son of Achilles and Deidamia The son of Achilles [1] and Deidamia, the daughter of king Lycomedes [1] of Scyros. Rare but explainable variants of the mother's name are Pyrrha (Heliodorus 3,2 = Anth. Pal. 9,485,8) and Iphigenia (Duris of Samos FGrH 76 F 88; on this FGrH 2 C 130). Homer only knows the name N., and Pyrrhus probably only becomes more common in the 4th cent. (first Theopompus FGrH 115 F 355) because of dynastic considerations of the Epirote king…

Masada

(348 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Dead Sea (textual finds) (Greek Μασάδα, Masáda; Hebrew mṣdh, Arabic Tall al-Sab). The name, which is recorded only in Greek and Latin, is probably derived from the Aramaic meṣādā (‘fortress’). It stands in isolation on a rocky plateau on the western shore of the Dead Sea, a rhomboid 600 m north-south and 300 m east-west; 50 m above sea-level with steep cliffs c. 350 m above ground level in the east and c. 150 m in the west. Jos. BI 7,280-294 offers a detailed description, and it is mentioned in Plin. HN 5,73 and S…

Masks

(1,705 words)

Author(s): Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] I. Phoenicia Facial masks and head protomes (also shortened human representations including the neck and shoulder part) are a common type of monument since the 9th/8th cent. BC in the Phoenician-Punic world. They spread from the Levant (here going back to the 2nd millennium, e.g. in Tell Qāṣila, also from Tyrus, Amrīt, Akhzib, Hazor, Sarepta etc.) via Cyprus, Carthage, Sicily (Motya), Sardinia and Ibiza into the far west (Cadiz). The masks (with openings for eyes and mouth) mostly …

Mechane

(320 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] The Greeks called any mechanical device μηχανή but in the narrow sense it referred to the Greek theatre machinery: a crane installed behind the stage as a flying apparatus that can be swung into the scene to take the characters in a drama to a remote location or cause gods to appear up high. The mechane is referred to in drama texts and later sources under many names: κρεμάθρα ( kremáthra, ‘suspension device’, Aristoph. Nub. 218), γέρανος ( géranos, ‘crane’ [in both senses], Poll. 4,130), αἰώρημα ( aiṓrēma, ‘swing’, schol. Aristoph. Pax 80), κράδη ( krádē, ‘fig branch’, Ari…

Callippides

(224 words)

Author(s): Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster)
[German version] (Καλλιππίδης; Kallippídēs). Tragic actor of the 5th/4th cents. BC, who, popular and controversial, was remembered long after his death. He himself was many times the victorious  protagonist, for example at the Lenaia of the year 418, but the tetralogy of his poet did not win a prize [1]. His expressive gesticulation, aimed at producing a realistic effect, was modern in its style; it displeased Mynniscus who had once appeared with Aeschylus and who described the young colleague as a…
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