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Footstool

(241 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (θρῆνυς/ thrḗnys, ὑποπόδιον/ hypopódion, σφέλας/ sphélas, rarely χελώνη/ chelṓnē; Latin scabellum, scamnum). The footstool was used as a foot bench for a person sitting on the  klismos,  throne or a similar high seating (cf. Hom. Od. 17,409 f.), or as a step for climbing up on the  Kline or down from it. There were three footstool variants: rectangular footstools with simple vertical legs, rectangular footstools with curved legs that ended in animal feet (lion feet), sphinxes etc., as well a…

Mastic

(264 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (μαστίχη; mastíchē, Lat. mastiche, mastix). Aromatic resin of the mastic tree ( schínos; pistacia lentiscus L.) and the oil from its berries. The name is presumably derived from masásthai, ‘to chew’, since the resin was popular for chewing, because of its pleasant taste and hardness, for dental care and against bad breath, just as small pieces of mastic wood were used as toothpicks. The small, evergreen mastic tree (and bush) was planted and cultivated all over the Mediterranean, although its resin was not o…

Gestures

(3,867 words)

Author(s): Bonatz, Dominik (Berlin) | Dominicus, Brigitte (Diersdorf) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The forms of expression in ancient Oriental art were reinforced by a marked language of gestures that was especially useful in the communication between mortals and gods as well as between subordinate and higher-ranking persons. In the sacred sphere gestures expressed individual feelings and wishes; in the profane sphere their official information content was foregrounded more strongly. Prayer gestures were frequently represented by hands placed together in front of…

Messapian pottery

(239 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Messapian pottery originated on the Italian peninsula of Salento (in Antiquity Messapia or Iapygia) around the mid-7th cent. BC as an independent genre. For the most part, geometric patterns (circles, squares, diamonds, horizontal lines, swastikas, etc.) were sparsely distributed over vessels; later, under Greek influence maeanders were added. Preferred vessel forms were the olla , pitcher and trozzella ( nestoris). Early in the 5th cent. BC, figurative representations, which also included new ornaments (ivy and other leaf motifs), appe…

Mantica

(79 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A Roman sack made of leather for transporting goods of all kinds including food (Apul. Met. 1,18). The mantica was carried on the shoulder so that it lay over the back and chest (Pers. 4,24; Hor. Sat. 1,6,106), or when travelling on horseback over its hindquarters. A manticula, a small leather sack, was carried by poorer people. manticulari also means ‘steal’ or ‘cheat’, and the thief (‘cutpurse’) was called a manticulator ( -arius). Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)

Plate

(96 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (πίναξ/ pínax, λεκάνη/ lekánē; Lat. catillus). Plates were used, like flatter platters and deeper bowls, for preparing and serving food at table (e.g. Hom. Od. 1,141; 16,49 f.); they could be round or square, with or without a stand, with curved or steep walls. In archaeological finds plates are attested from the 8th cent. BC until the end of Antiquity in various materials (bronze, wood, silver, clay, tin etc.). Catinus [1]; Crockery; Fish-plate; Lanx; Table culture Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography S. Künzl, Das Tafelgeschirr, in: E. Künzl (ed.), Die Ala…

Knives

(421 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The essential part of the knife is the blade, the form and development of which is determined by its particular function and use such as cutting off or cutting up. Furthermore, in the shape of a dagger it is used for piercing. The knife is one of the oldest and most essential aids in the history of humanity; it has been used for housework ( Household equipment), for hunting, as a tool in many areas (e.g. for working with wood or leather: σμίλη/ smílē, σμίλιον/ smílion, τομεύς/ tomeús, Latin scalprum, culter, crepidarius), in agriculture (tree knives, picks, sickles for …

Scissors

(168 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ψαλίς/ psalís; Latin forfex, forpex, forficula). Scissors, made of iron or bronze, were used in sheep and goat shearing, for cutting cloth and metal, hair and beards, in cobbling and in agriculture, for chopping plants and fruits and separating grapes from the vine. Scissors seem to have come into use from the early 5th cent. BC in Greece, and in Italy (according to written sources) from around 300 BC (Varro, Rust. 2,11,9), though the plucking of fleeces was still common in sheep-shea…

Sandals

(579 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (πέδιλον/ pédilon, σανδάλον, -ιον/ sandálon, -ion; Lat. sandalion, solea, all usually plur). Sandals (soles attached with straps to the feet and reaching up to the ankles or just above) were certainly the most common ancient footwear and were made in various variations. Greek sandals were tied with thin laces up to the ankles [2. 270, fig. 5]; only in the Roman Imperial Period did there emerge ribbon-like leather straps, crossing or running diagonally over the foot. The straps were often …

Purpurissum

(81 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Costly paint and make-up (Plin. HN 35,44) manufactured from the mixture of heated purple sap and silver clay (or silver chalk, creta argentaria); purpurissum became brighter the more silver clay was added. As a painter's pigment, purpurissum was highly esteemed for its vivid colour (Plin. HN 35,30; 35,44 f.; 35,49). Women used purpurissum together with white lead ( cerussa) to colour their cheeks and lips (cf. Plaut. Mostell. 258, 261; Plaut. Truc. 290). Cosmetics; Pigments Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)

Lock, Key

(835 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
[German version] I. Classical antiquity (Lock: κλεῖθρον/ kleîthron or κλεῖστρον/ kleîstron, βαλανάγρα/ balanágra; cf. Lat. claustrum/ claustra; bolt: μοχλός/ mochlós; key: κλεῖς/ kleîs, κλειδίον/ kleidíon; Lat. clavis). Apart from the bolting of a door or gate by means of a beam, a system was employed in Greek/Roman antiquity that had already been described in Hom. Od. 21,6f.; 46-50 and was still in use in Roman times: a bolt provided with projections was drawn into its locked position from the outside by means of a cord…

Cista

(206 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κίστη, kístē). A round basket woven out of willow branches or tree bark, with a lid that often has the same height as the lower part and can be placed over it; also with a flapping lid or a disc-shaped lid. The cista is illustrated on numerous monuments, e.g., Attic and Lower Italian vases, funerary reliefs and Locrian clay tablets. Figurines have also been found. In marriage scenes they function as a gift to the woman. They apparently represent the female sphere since numerous household objects are visible when opened. …

Stylus

(296 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
(γραφίς/ graphís, γραφεῖον/ grapheîon; Latin stilus, graphium). [German version] [1] Tool for drawing Tool for drawing, also called a drawing- (or ruling)-pen, see Construction technique, Building trade. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] [2] Writing implement Implement for writing on a wooden tablet covered with wax (Cera). The pointed (lower) end of a stylus was used to engrave the text to be written on the tablet and, by inverting it, the flat (upper) end could be used to correct mistakes by re-smoothing the wax ( stilum vertere, e.g. Hor. Sat. 1,10,72). Representati…

Iliupersis Painter

(213 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Apulian vase painter of the second quarter of the 4th cent. BC, named after a volute crater in London (BM Inv. F 160 [1. 193 no. 8]) with the image of the  Iliupersis. The Iliupersis Painter (IP) belongs to those creatively engaged vase painters who produced pioneering innovations for the development of later  Apulian vase painting; among these are the introduction of burial scenes ( Naiscus vases), additionally the fluting of vessels on their lower sections and the decoration of …

Quadriga

(519 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (τετραορία/ tetraoría, τέθριππον/ téthrippon; Lat. usually plur. quadrigae). Carriage-and-four, a two-wheeled carriage drawn by four horses side by side, steered from a standing position; invented, by ancient tradition, by Trochilus or Erichthonius [1] (Verg. G. 3,113, cf. Plin. HN 7,202). The carriage-and-four is very seldom mentioned in the Homeric epics (e.g. Hom. Il. 8,185; 11,699). Occuring more often later in the literary tradition, e.g., in mythical contests (Oenomaus and Pelops, …

Kemai

(153 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Campanian type of vase in the late 4th and early 3rd cents. BC, named after the inscription on a vase in London (BM, Inv. F 507, [1. 674 no. 4]). The prevailing shape of the vessel resembles a stamnus ( Vessels, fig. C 6) but it has vertical handles, sharply drawn-in shoulders and a lip that juts out widely; in many cases the lid has also been preserved, so that archaeological research also refers to the vessel as a pyxis. The painting is ornamental and consists of small palmette…

Probolion

(118 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (προβόλιον/ probólion). Short spear (Hdt. 7,76), or rather hunting spear (Hesych. s. v. προβόλιον), especially for hunting boar (Xen. Cyn. 10; Philostr. Imag. 1,28,5) or lions; hardly ever used as a term in modern archaeological research, even if there have been attempts to identify probólia in Minoan-Mycenaean and Geometric hunting scenes (on the attribute of the komos described in Philostr. Imag. 1,2,2 as a probólion see [1]). Furthermore, probólion was also the term for a fortified place, a fortress (Xen. Mem. 3,5,7; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 10,16,4). Hunting Hurschm…

Naiskos vases

(278 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] With representations of a naïskos (diminutive of naós, ‘temple’) on Lower Italian vases, a new form of depicting funerary monuments emerged in the 2nd quarter of the 4th cent. BC. It can probably be traced back to the Iliupersis Painter. In Apulian vase painting (Apulian vases) NV are unusually common after the middle of the 4th cent. BC, while they are exceptions in other Lower Italian artistic regions. NV are vases that are specially produced for the cult of the dead; they not only po…

Skaphe

(290 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (σκάφη, σκαφίς, σκάφιον, σκάφος/ skáphē, skaphís, skáphion; Latin scapha, scaphium). Frequently used term for a basin, tank, vat, trough (or a small boat) or a wood or metal tub, a receptacle used agriculturally (Hom. Od. 9,223; cf. Theoc. 5,59) and domestically (Aristoph. Eccl. 738-739, cf. Anth. Pal. 6,306). A woman's chamber pot could also be called a scapha. According to Hdt. 4,73,2 the Scythae threw hot stones into a skáphē to make a cleansing 'steam bath'. Romulus and Remus are supposed to have been exposed in a skáphē (Plut. Romulus 3; in Soph. Fr. 574 N a cr…

Lighting

(723 words)

Author(s): Sievertsen, Uwe (Tübingen) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Near East and Egypt Near East: the lighting in the rooms was generally dim; exterior walls usually only contained windows high up, as documented primarily by architectural drawings, rarely by the original building. Light coming in through the doors probably sufficed for rooms adjacent to courtyards. Interior rooms, in particular larger architectural complexes, required special lighting by means of different roof levels and wall openings close to the ceiling, or by closable skylights…

Mirror

(1,020 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum)
(κάτοπτρον/ kátoptron; Lat. speculum). [German version] I. Greek Circular hand mirrors made of bronze with decorated ivory handles were already known in the Mycenaean period. Then mirrors are again evident from the second half of the 8th cent. BC. Greek mirrors can be divided into hand mirrors, standing mirrors and folding mirrors. Silver mirrors from the Mycenaean period have not survived, those from later periods only in exceptional circumstances. Round hand mirrors were developed as a direct imitatio…

Barber

(282 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κουρεύς/ koureús; tonsor). It is unknown when the occupation of the barber and hairdresser first became an autonomous profession in Greece. In myth the barber is only rarely mentioned ( Midas); early representation of a barber: Boeotian terracotta in Berlin [1]. The barber is considered to be talkative and curious (Plut. Mor. 2,177a; 508) and knows the latest gossip. The barber's room (κουρεῖον/ koureîon) is the place where people get together (Lys. 24,3,20; Plut. Timoleon 14; Plut. Mor. 716ff.), and where you can also contract business dea…

Matta

(97 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ψίαθος/ psíathos). Mat or coarse cover made of rushes and straw, in Egypt also of papyrus (cf. Theophr. Hist. pl. 4,8,4). It served as bedding on the floor for farmers, travellers and the poor; in an Attic inscription it is also listed as part of the furnishings of a house [1]. According to Augustine (Contra Faustum 5,5) he who sleeps on a matta is the follower of a doctrine that preaches a frugal life ( mattarius). A sleeping-mat could also be called χαμεύνη/ chameúnē (Poll. 6,11). Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography 1Hesperia 5, 1936, 382 no. 6 A.

Writing tablets

(384 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The use of wooden tablets (δέλτος/ déltos, cf. Hdt. 8,135, or δελτίον/ deltíon, cf. Hdt. 7,239) coated with wax for the transmission of written messages (therefore in the form of a letter, Pl. Ep. 312d) appears to have been known to the Greeks from the end of the 8th cent. BC (Writing). In this context, the Homeric epic (Hom. Il. 6,168-170) speaks of a πίναξ πτυκτός/ pínax ptyktós (cf. Hdt. 7,239: δελτίον δίπτυχον/ deltíon díptychon). The folding wooden tablet (Diptychon) consisted of two panels connected with a hinge; their inner sides, covered with a…

Torus

(137 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Latin term (Greek τύλη/ týlē; τυλεῖον/ tyleîon) for anything raised or bulge-like, such as the convex circular parts of an Ionic column base (Column [II B 3] with ill.; the term entered mediaeval and modern architectural terminology in the form ( torus) usual in Vitr. De arch. 3,5,2-3), the calloused skin of the neck and shoulders of a load carrier (Aristoph. Ach. 860; 954: týlē) or the bulging of animals' muscles (Plin. HN 18,78: torus ). Týlē was also the word for cushions on klinai and furniture for sitting on (Sappho fr. 46 Lobel/Page; Diod. Sic. 13,84,5…

Acerra

(94 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Incense container,   pyxís (πυξίς, κυλιχνίς, λιβανωτίς; kylichnís, libanōtís). A small box, round on Greek monuments (cf. side panel of the Ludovisi throne [1. fig. 118]) and often rectangular and richly decorated on Roman ones (e.g. on the  Ara Pacis), which served to make the incense available during a sacrificial ceremony; it was regarded as part of the ceremony's essential utensils (Suet. Tib. 44; Galba 8; Plin. HN 35,70).  Turibulum Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography 1 R. Lullies, Gr. Plastik, 1979. F. Fless, Opferdiener und Kultmusiker auf stadtröm.…

Bigae

(584 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Short form from Lat. biiugae (Greek: δίζυξ; dízyx; συνωρίς; synōrís); originally two animals moving under one yoke (horse, cow, mule), especially used for teams of horses. Worthy of mention for the early Greek period are not just the representations already extant from the Minoan-Mycenaean culture on frescos, signet rings and similar objects or the models made of clay or bronze, but also especially the lively description in Homer (Il. 23,392f., funeral games for  Patroclus) of a horse race…

Billienus, C.

(118 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The Roman proconsul B. was privately honoured c. 100 BC on  Delos by a marble statue in armour, with a plinth in the form of the bow of a ship (height c. 235 cm), placed in front of the east wall of the Stoa of  Antigonus [2] Gonatas. It was found in situ during the French excavations in 1909, its arms, head and left lower leg missing. Today the name B. is associated with the very first armoured statue to which a name can be ascribed with certainty. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography J. Marcadé, Au Musée de Délos, 1969, 134, 329-333, pl. 75 K. Tuchelt, Frühe Denkmäler Roms i…

Lycurgus Painter

(174 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Apulian vase painter of the ornate style ( Apulian vases) from the middle of the 4th cent. BC, student of the Iliupersis Painter, named after the image of the ‘madness of Lycurgus’ on a calyx crater (London, BM Inv. F 271, [1. 415, no. 5, pl. 147]). The Lycurgus Painter painted mostly vessels with large surfaces (craters, hydrias, situles), which he liked to ornament with mythological themes. He further developed the use of spatial depth and perspective, distributed his mytholo…

Lacerna

(172 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A fringed (schol. Pers. 1,54) open cloak, a special form of the sagum , probably introduced in the 1st cent. BC (first mention Cic. Phil. 2,30,76); used at first as a soldier's coat which in poetry might also be worn by mythical kings and heroes (e.g. Ov. Fast. 2,743-747; Prop. 4,3,18). The lacerna soon became an everyday garment and was popular in the 1st cent. AD. Initially made of coarse wool, light fabrics were also used which were dyed purple or scarlet (Mart. 2,29,3; 4,61,4; 4,8,10; Juv. 1,27). The lacerna was worn over the tunica, instead of the toga, or over…

Cane, club, stick

(402 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] These objects (βάκτρον/ báktron, κηρύκειον/ kerýkeion, ῥάβδος/ rhábdos, σκῆπτρον/ skêptron; Lat. baculum, caduceus, lituus [1], rudis , stimulus) could be straight, with a curvature at the top end, knotty, angled or smooth and could vary in thickness and length. They were carved from hard wood (e.g. olive or myrtle) and might be left plain or decorated with gold embellishments (Ath. 12,543 f.) or reinforced with iron (Theoc. Epigr. 17,31). They were used by old people (old men, teachers) and the …

Pallium

(234 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A Roman cloak, corresponding to the Greek himation, of a rectangular length of material; fabrics used were wool, linen and silk. Pallia could be variously coloured (white, diverse shades of red, yellowish, black) with gold brocade or purple stripes. They are known from the 3rd cent. BC and were initially worn only by friends of Greek culture, e.g. philosophers (Liv. 29,10); but they quite soon enjoyed the greatest popularity because they were comfortable and simple to wear (cf. Suet. Aug. 40) and were…

Oscillum

(181 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Group of round or pelta-shaped (i.e. based on the shape of the shield of an Amazon) ornamental marble discs, executed in relief, and dating from the period between the 1st cent. BC and the middle of the 2nd cent. AD. Oscilla for the most part come from the Vesuvian cities and have been found in villas and townhouses with gardens, in which they were used as decoration, hanging from chains between the columns of garden peristyles. Others could be found as ornamental elements in thea…

Belts

(719 words)

Author(s): Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Celtic-Germanic There has generally been evidence of belts since the end of the Neolithic Age (3rd millennium BC) as part of archaeological discoveries in Central Europe (mostly burial objects). The belts themselves were made of organic materials (leather, etc.) and have not been preserved, but the (metal) fittings, such as clasps (belt hooks/ rings) or decorations (metal plates) have been. Belt hooks made of bone are known from the early phase (end of the 3rd millennium BC). Dur…

Gnathia ware

(441 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Modern archaeological technical term, derived from the place name (ancient  Gnathia) in eastern Apulia, where the first vases of this type were found in the mid-19th cent. Unlike red-figured vases, in Gnathia ware (GN) the decoration was applied in various opaque colours on the fired vessel body. In addition, details on persons and objects depicted could be indicated or entirely represented by grooving. The production of GN began about 370/360 BC in Apulia, probably triggered by t…

Games of dexterity

(530 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] were primarily performed by children. With some of these games  astragaloi (knucklebones), nuts, pebbles, coins, small balls or potsherds were used as toys ( Children's games), with others, sticks, discs, wheels, etc. A favourite was the so-called πεντάλιθα ( pentálitha) (Poll. 9,126), in which five stones (nuts, balls, etc.) were thrown up in the air and caught in the palm of the hand or on the back of the hand. In another, the orca-game, nuts, stones etc. were thrown into a narrow-necked container (Ps.-Ov. Nux 85f.; Pers. 3,50). Similar to this game was the ἐς βόθυνον ( es…

Ostrakon

(261 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ὄστρακον; óstrakon). Sherd of pottery, sometimes of (lime)stone, which was used as writing material for short  messages, smaller documents, receipts, etc.; they were rarely used for literary texts (Sappho fr. 2 Lobel-Page). Ostraca are attested from pre-Ptolemaic Egypt and then up to the end of Graeco-Roman antiquity. The respective texts were written in ink or scratched into the ostrakon; examples have survived in the Hieratic, Demotic, Greek, Coptic and Arabic scripts. In contrast to expensive papyrus, óstraka were waste products of a household, and th…

Barbaron Hyphasmata

(142 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (βαρβάρων ὑφάσματα; barbárōn hyphásmata). The Greeks called the valuable Median-Persian robes, materials, blankets i.a., with colourful  ornaments, detailed figurative decorations, hybrid and fable creatures barbaron hyphasmata (BH ). The BH arrived in Greece through commerce (Aristoph. Vesp. 1132ff.), as loot (Hdt. 9,80) or gifts (Ath. 2,48d). BH were donated as  votive offerings to sanctuaries (Paus. 5,12,4) or they were worn as luxury robes as a demonstration of wealth and power. The BH led to changes in…

Running and catching games

(453 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Running and catching games tended to be played in open areas and streets (e.g., Callim. Epigr. 1,9; Verg. Aen. 7,379) where children could chase one another (Hor. Ars P 455f.; cf. Hor. Ars P 412-415 perhaps races) or engage in the popular pastime of hoop rolling (τροχός/ trochós, trochus), often depicted on Greek vases in particular (also in Ganymedes [1]) (Poll. 10,64). From indications in Roman sources this game was frequently played in the street (Mart. 14,168; 14,169; cf. ibidem 12,168; 14,157) and even on frozen rivers (Ma…

Comb

(385 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ὁ κτείς; ho kteís, Lat. pecten). Combs for wool and for the hair were known already in prehistorical Europe, Egypt and the Near East. They were made from a range of different materials (olive wood, boxwood, ivory, bone, later also from bronze and iron) and could also vary in shape (trapezoid or oblong). In the post-Mycenaean period they had two rows of teeth, with those on one side being more narrowly set teeth. Semi-circular combs appeared in the archaic period. The Classical period …

Pins

(3,978 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Giesen, Katharina (Tübingen) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen) | Steimle, Christopher (Erfurt) | Et al.
[German version] I. General Pins and needles (βελόνη/ belónē, περόνη/ perónē, ῥαφίς/ rhaphís, Latin acus) were put to a variety of uses in the ancient household: they were used for hair, garments and sewing. They were also a utensil, for example, in the work of doctors (Surgical instruments), sailmakers etc. Tattoos were also done using special needles. The shape of the pin, long and thin with one sharp end, has not changed since prehistoric times. In sewing needles, the head is generally unadorned and flat; …

Bustum

(106 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The term already defined in the  Tabulae duodecim (Cic. Leg. 2, 64) as ‘tomb’ was, according to Paul. Fest. 6, 78; 25,3; 27,11 and Serv. Aen. 11,201, the place where the corpse was cremated and the remains buried, whilst the place where dead bodies were actually burnt was generally known as   ustrinum . There is a lot of archaeological evidence of this type of funeral.  Burial Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography T. Bechert, Röm. Germanien zwischen Rhein und Maas, 1982, 244-246 M. Struck (ed.), Römerzeitliche Gräber als Quellen zu Rel., Bevölkerungsstruktu…

Ring

(802 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (δακτύλιος/ daktýlios, ἀκαρές/ akarés; Latin anulus). In the following, ring refers exclusively to finger rings (for earrings, see Ear ornaments). The rings in the Aegina and Thyreatis treasures from the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC already display outstanding technical command and high artistic quality. From the early Mycenaean period, gold wire and silver rings deserve note, along with the so-called shield rings, which developed into a leading form of Mycenaean jewellery. They …

Kausia

(195 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (καυσία; kausía). Primarily Macedonian head cover with a wide brim to protect the wearer from the rays of the sun ( kaûsis), but it could also serve as a helmet (Anth. Pal. 6,335). The kausia was made from leather or felt and sometimes had a chin strap. Depictions on coins of the 5th cent. BC already document the kausia as part of the attire of Macedonian kings. From Alexander [4] the Great (Ath. 12,537e), the kausia, by then scarlet, has become one of the main features of the Macedonian royal costume (Plut. Antonius 54; cf. Arr. Anab. 7,22,2) and is worn with a tiara ( diádēma

Dolls

(293 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κόρη/ kórē, νύμφη/ nýmphē; Lat. pup[ p] a) were made in antiquity from wood, bone, wax, cloth, clay, precious metals and the like and have been preserved in very large quantities from the early Bronze Age until the end of antiquity. We know of dolls in human as well as animal shape (Gell. NA 10,12,9) and of toys like e.g. items of furniture (beds, tables, chairs) and household objects (crockery, combs, lamps, mirrors, thymiaterion etc.). Human dolls were fitted out with great care. The …

Coae Vestes

(160 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Luxury  clothing from the island of Cos, with a transparent effect. They were known as early as Aristotle (Hist. an. 5,19; cf. Plin. HN 4,62) and received special mention during the Roman Imperial period.They were regarded as luxury clothing for demi-mondaines (e.g. Hor. Sat. 1,2,101; Tib. 2,3,57) but were also worn by men as light summer clothing. The sheen, purple colouring and decoration in gold thread, i.a. were highly esteemed. The fabric was woven from the raw silk of the bombyx ( Silk,  Butterfly), whose cocoons produced only short thread…

Parchment

(379 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Cleaned, depilated and tanned leather was one of the writing materials of Antiquity (Hdt. 5,58,3). Parchment emerged from a refined treatment of animal skin (donkey, calf, sheep, goat), which did not include tanning. Instead, the skin was soaked in a solution of slaked lime (calcium carbonate) for several days, then any remains of flesh, hair and epidermis were scraped off, and the skin was again soaked in a vat of lime for cleansing (calcination). The skin was then stretched over…

Ostrakinda

(162 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ὀστρακίνδα/ ostrakínda). The 'shard game' or 'day and night game', a running and catching game played by Greek boys: of two groups with an equal number of players, one group stands facing east (day) and the other west (night) on a line over which a player throws a shard (ὄστρακον, óstrakon) that is painted white on one side = day (ἡμέρα, hēméra) and black on the other = night (νύξ, nýx); as he does so, the thrower calls 'day or night'. If the disc falls on the black side, the members of the west team attempt to catch the east team who are running a…

Ceremonial dress

(491 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Wearing the ceremonial dress (CD) distinguished persons in society and identified them in their official roles. This holds true particularly for priestesses, state officials, but also for delegates (herald's staff) and others. In Greece, priests wore a white robe (Pl. Leg. 12,965a), the ungirded  chiton, which could also be red, or, less often, dyed with saffron or purple. Another characteristic was the  wreath ( stephanophóroi, ‘wearers of the wreath’, was thus the name of priests in e.g. Miletus); less commonly, priests displayed the attribu…

Loculi

(185 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (also lucellus). Loculi refer to boxes of different size that are divided into several compartments, such as caskets, cabinets, coffers etc. The loculi were used to hold the counting stones ( calculi) of students for class as well as to store jewellery or money (Hor. Sat. 1,3,17; 2,3,146; Frontin. Aq. 118); for the latter use, one could even carry them around as a purse (Juv. 11,38; Mart. 14,12f., cf. Petron. Sat. 140); holding spaces for any kind of animal in agriculture could also be referred to as loculi, as could the urns for voting. In the funerary practices, loculus desi…
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