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Altar

(1,994 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen)
[German version] A. Definition and function The Graeco-Roman altar (ἐσχάρα, βωμός; eschára, bōmós; Lat. ara, ‘fireplace’) is defined by its function and not as an object of a certain type. An altar can be an ephemeral natural or artificial elevation, hearth or building for sacrifices involving fire, drink or other elements (in contrast to the sacrificial pit dug into the ground, the βόθρος [ bóthros], Hom. Od. 10, 517; Lucian Char. 22) and marks the centre of a sacrificial act. There are sanctuaries without a  temple, but never without an altar ([23. 150]; a…

Spina

(237 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Uggeri, Giovanni (Florence)
[German version] [1] Barrier in a Roman circus Term for the massive elongated barrier that divided a Roman circus into two tracks running in opposite directions. A spina was usually walled and variously decorated (e.g. with statues); at its ends stood the metae (Meta [2]) that marked the turning point of the running track. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) Bibliography J. Humphrey, Roman Circuses, 1986, Index s. v. S. [German version] [2] City at the mouth of the Spines This item can be found on the following maps: Venetic | Etrusci, Etruria | Colonization Etruscan city at the mouth of th…

Gymnasium

(3,037 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Hadot, Pierre (Limours)
(γυμνάσιον; gymnásion). [German version] I. Building style Public facility for sporting and musical leisure activities in the Greek polis; the term is derived from γυμνός/ gymnós (naked) and refers to the  nakedness at sports practices and competitions. Synonymous with gymnasium for the period from the 4th cent. BC in ancient written sources as well as in modern specialized literature is the concept of the  palaistra (cf. Vitruvius 5,11). This as the ‘Wrestler school’ originally referred only to a functionally determine…

Pythium

(243 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Kramolisch, Herwig (Eppelheim)
(Πύθιον/ Pýthion). [German version] [1] Term for Attic sanctuaries to Apollo A term rarely used in modern archaeology but common in Antiquity for various Athenian and Attic sanctuaries to Apollo: 1. in southeast Athens on the right bank of the Ilissus (inscriptions, tripod bases extant); 2. cave sanctuary in the cliff on the northwest side of the Acropolis (numerous finds; however, often denoted in ancient literature with the cult name of Apóllōn Hypakraîos); 3. near the Daphni monastery on the sacred way to Eleusis (of undetermined location but presumably the sourc…

Paeonius

(269 words)

Author(s): Neudecker, Richard (Rome) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
(Παιώνιος; Paiṓnios). [German version] [1] Greek sculptor from Mende, 5th cent. BC Sculptor from Mende. The only known surviving original work by P. is a statue of Nike on a triangular pillar in front of the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, which according to its inscription and a statement by Pausanias (5,26,1) was dedicated by the Messenians. Pausanias suggests that the occasion of the dedication was a victory in 455 BC, whereas the inscription points to the victory of Sphacteria (425 BC); on stylistic grounds …

Kommos

(404 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
[German version] [1] Cretan port This item can be found on the following maps: Dark Ages | Colonization | Aegean Koine (Κόμμος; Kómmos). Port on the southern coast of Crete, situated near Matala and Phaestus. In the Minoan period K., which was founded around 2000 BC, probably served as the harbour for the palace of Phaestus, until its destruction around 1200 BC. After being deserted for c. 200 years, it was resettled around 1000 BC, presumably the result of Phoenician stimuli, and was increasingly Hellenized until the 4th cent. BC. Archaeological excavations (…

Halicarnassus

(1,697 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Kaletsch, Hans (Regensburg)
This item can be found on the following maps: Theatre | | Dark Ages | Alexander | Ionic | Peloponnesian War | Pergamum | Pompeius | Delian League | Education / Culture (Ἁλικαρνασσός; Halikarnassós). [German version] I. Location Coastal city in the south of  Caria on the Gulf of Ceramus, modern Bodrum. The plan of the city (Str. 14,2,16; Steph. Byz. s.v. Ἁ.; Vitr. De arch. 2,8,10-14) resembled the seating arrangement of a theatre: a circular harbour bay, the ‘enclosed harbour’ (λιμὴν κλειστός, Ps.-Scyl. 98a), framed on both sides by …

Mausoleum

(600 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Kaletsch, Hans (Regensburg)
[German version] (Μαυσ(σ)ωλεῖον; Maus(s)ōleîon; Lat. mausoleum). Monumental tomb for the satrap Maussollus of Caria (died 353 BC) and his wife Artemisia [2] (died 351 BC) near the city of Halicarnassus in Lycia, probably only completed during the time of Alexander. It was counted as one of the Wonders of the World and became eponymous for a standard type of representative funerary architecture. Modern archaeology has focused much on the monument, which was frequently discussed and described in ancient literature (Str. 14,656 ff.; Diod. Sic. 16,45; Plin. HN 36, 30-31 and passim). Scan…

House

(3,655 words)

Author(s): Sievertsen, Uwe (Tübingen) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] I. Near East and Egypt In the Near East, the residential ground plan was usually of a rectangular shape containing multiple cells. Clay bricks were the most important building material in Mesopotamia, while stone was more frequently used in Iran, Syria and Asia Minor. The typical Babylonian residential house consists of rooms around a central courtyard. It usually has only one entrance and a main hall located to the south, directed away from the midday sun. The Neo-Assyrian residence, …

Orthostats

(230 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt Ancient Near East and Egypt In Near Eastern archaeology, orthostats are standing stone slabs, which in the Anatolian region originally protected the base of walls from backsplash. From the 9th cent. onwards, especially in the Neo-Assyrian palaces, they were used as mounts for static and narrative reliefs. The narrative cycles in the palaces of the rulers Assurnaṣirpal II. in Kalḫu, Sennacherib and Assurbanipal in Nineveh (Ninos [2]) are famous. In the contemporar…

Krepis

(395 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] [1] Architectural term (κρηπίς/ krēpís, κρηπίδωμα/ krēpídōma). Ancient term, documented frequently in building inscriptions, for the stepped base which served as the foundation for various edifices, but particularly for Greek colonnade construction (sources: Ebert 7-9). The krepis rests on the euthynteria (the top layer of the foundation, the first to be precisely planed) and ends in the stylobate, the surface on which the columns stand. The shaping of the initially one- or two-stepped krepis in the early 6th cent. BC is an important result of the comi…

Cistern

(334 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg)
[German version] I. General Cisterns as storage for rain water or as reservoirs for spring and well water were customary and necessary for a regulated and sufficient  water supply in the climatically unfavourable regions of the southern and eastern Mediterranean, both as small systems for individual houses and farms and as communal systems for settlements. Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) [German version] II. Ancient Orient s.  Water supply I. D. Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) [German version] III. Phoenician-Punic region Systems for securing the water supply by collecting …

Vaults and arches, construction of

(1,257 words)

Author(s): Sievertsen, Uwe (Tübingen) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt There is evidence of vaults and arches in western Asia, chiefly in crypts and on canals. There are only few surviving examples of the vaulting of above ground spaces. Both true and corbelled vaults are documented, over quite small or passage-like rooms, posterns, staircase substructures and doorway, gateway and bridge arches. Barrel vaults and domes were comparatively common, primarily on storage spaces and furnaces. For the most part techniques were used in…

Coroebus

(410 words)

Author(s): Ambühl, Annemarie (Groningen) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
(Κόροιβος; Kóroibos). [German version] [1] Hero founder of Tripodiscus in the Megaris Hero founder of Tripodiscus in the Megaris. The legend is told in Callim. Fr. 26-31 in connection with an Argive aition according to the local historians Agias and Dercylus (FGrH 305 F 8 to) [1]:  Linus, the son of Apollo and  Psamathe, is torn apart by dogs, and Psamathe is killed by her father  Crotopus. As a punishment Apollo sends a child-murdering demon, the Poineḗ or   Ker , to Argus. When the brave C. kills the monster, the god sends a further plague, whereupon…

Daphnis

(540 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard (Constance) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
(Δάφνις; Dáphnis). [German version] [1] Mythical cowherd Mythical cowherd of Sicilian tradition, son of  Hermes (Stesich. fr. 102 PMG = Ael. VH 10.18; Timaeus, FGrH 566 F 83; Diod. Sic. 4,84,2). He died still a youth because of an unfortunate love affair with a  nymph and was honoured with ritual mourning songs typical of those for Adonis (Theoc. 1,64ff.; 7,73ff.). In bucolic poetry he served as the ideal for the adolescent shepherd and was seen as the originator of the shepherd's song (e.g. Diod. 4,84,3). Despite the Greek name (from   dáphnē : ‘laurel’), the fig…

Dolphin

(513 words)

Author(s): Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
(δελφίς/ delphís and δελφίν/ delphín, Lat. delphinus and delphin). [German version] [1] Representative of the small viviparous whale A frequent representative in the Mediterranean of the small viviparous  whale, with a spout (αὐλός; aulós), articulation of sounds, and pulmonary respiration (Aristot. Hist. an. 1,5,489a 35-b 5; 4,9,535b 32-536a 4; 8,2,589a 31-b 11 with a discussion of its role as an aquatic animal, ἔνυδρος; énydros), was admired chiefly by the Greeks as ‘king of marine animals’ (or of fishes; Ael. NA 15,17; Opp. Hal. 1,643 and 5,421 or 441). …

Intarsia

(538 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In Middle Eastern archaeology intarsia is the term for the laying of decorative elements of different materials onto or into a substratum. To achieve better colour contrasts, combinations of different materials, especially coloured stones, shells, bones, ivory, metals, ceramics, glass and silicate were used; the most common substrata were stone, metal, wood and clay/ceramics. The binder was usually bitumen. The oldest examples of intarsia were found in the preceramic Neolithic of Palestine ( c. 8000 BC; e.g. gypsum-coated human skulls wi…

Ala

(332 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Le Bohec, Yann (Lyon)
[German version] [1] Part of the Roman atrium house Part of the Roman atrium house ( House;  Atrium). The term ala designates two opposing rooms, open in their full width and height, that form the cross axis in front of the tablinum or main room of the house. Alae were very common in Roman home construction; Vitruvius lists the correct proportions for design (6,3,4). The origin of the design type is unclear. The conjecture that, in Vitruvius' description of the Tuscan temple (4,7,1), the term for the two outer cellae of the Etruscan temple ( Temple) is alae (instead of aliae, as the text has…

Column

(3,015 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] I. Egypt and the Ancient Orient As a statically significant building element, whether in wood or modelled from stone or brick, the column played different roles in Egypt and the Ancient Orient. In Egypt columns were a component of almost every form of architecture, from roof-bearing wooden posts in family residences to extravagantly shaped stone columns in temples and palaces. Having bases and capitals, the latter, too, betrayed the evolution from wooden columns. Columns frequently took on the shape of plants; they were probably always painted. Columns were used sp…

Building trade

(3,561 words)

Author(s): Sievertsen, Uwe (Tübingen) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] I. Near East and Egypt Near East: the lack of preliminary studies makes a comprehensive account of the Old Oriental building world across several periods impossible; investigations exist for only a few selective periods. It is the Neo-Assyrian period (1st half of the 1st millennium BC), which to date provides the clearest insight because of the availability of extensive source material in respect of the architecture of palaces, temples and fortifications. Royal inscriptions prove the i…
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