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Pyxis

(244 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ἡ πυξίς; hē pyxís). Box, round container with a lid; the Hellenistic name is derived from πύξος/ pýxos (‘box tree wood’), from which pyxides were often fashioned; the older Attic name is probably κυλιχνίς/ kylichnís. Pyxides are predominantly preserved as ceramics, more rarely made of wood, alabaster, metal or ivory. Among other things, pyxides were used for storing cosmetics and jewellery, so they were part of the life of women, the preferred motive in the red-figured style being portrayals of women's rooms; the…

Kylix

(303 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ἡ κύλιξ; hē kýlix). General ancient term for a wine goblet; mentioned in inscriptions are both goblets and skyphoi as well as flat drinking bowls. As a technical term, kylix is today only used for the latter. As a bowl, made of clay, with high foot and two horizontal handles, the kylix originated in the 6th cent. BC, probably derived from Laconian examples. It could be handled particularly well when lying down; it is no coincidence that it follows Oriental banquet customs. Early forms from the 8th and 7th cents., with a low foot,…

Kernos

(255 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ὁ or τὸ κέρνος; ho or tò kérnos). According to Ath. 11,476f; 478d, a cult vessel with added kotyliskoi (drinking cups), which contained poppy seed, wheat, lentils, honey, oil, etc. (similar to panspermia). Kernoi were carried around in processions and their contents finally eaten by the bearers ( mystai). Kernoi with attached lights are also mentioned (sch. Nic. Alex. 217). Kernoi were used in cults of fertility and mother goddesses, especially in that of Rhea Cybele. Larger quantities of clay pots with wreaths of kotylai ( Vessels fig. E 15), which are assumed to be kerno…

Choes pitchers [CP]

(153 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] Type three wine pitchers ( Pottery, shapes and types of;  Chuos), used in Athens in drinking competitions on the day of Choes during the  Anthesteria. Not firmly identified with clay pitchers of similar size painted with freely chosen motifs. More easily differentiated are the small CP (5-15 cm high) produced in great numbers c. 400 BC. These bore images of children, pointing to sources that suggest the Choes as marking an important transition point in children's lives (IG II/III2 13139, 1368 l. 127-131). Some feast scenes, moreover, point to rites involv…

Astragalos

(257 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
(ἀστράγαλος; astrágalos). [German version] [1] see Ornaments see  Ornaments Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] [2] Playing-piece Playing-piece ( talus). Knucklebones from calves and sheep/goats, also those made of gold, glass, marble, clay, metals and ivory, mentioned already in Hom. Il. 23,85-88 as playing-pieces. Astragaloi were used as counters for games of chance,  dice and throwing games, including the games ‘odd or even’ (Pl. Ly. 206e) or πεντάλιθα ( pentálitha,  Games of dexterity). In the astragalos game the individual sides had varying values: the co…

Pottery, production of

(2,347 words)

Author(s): Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] I. Celtic-Germanic civilizations The manufacture of pottery in the Celtic and Germanic world is characterized by two shaping processes: 1) freehand moulding without any technical aids and 2) shaping on the potter’s wheel. Until the early Celts adopted the high-speed wheel from the Mediterranean world, coiling pots by hand and other freehand shaping methods were the sole methods and remained in practice into the Middle Ages to varying degrees. In central Europe, pottery thrown on potters’ wheels in local shops from the early Celtic 'princely seats' …

Everyday crockery

(340 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] Modern archaeological term for the coarser ceramics in everyday use, a definition blurred by the fact that black glaze ceramics,  terra sigillata, and sometimes even painted fine ceramics were put to everyday use. However, as a pottery product, everyday crockery is clearly distinguishable from the latter three. The handle, rim, and foot profiles are less clearly defined; the outside of vessels is mostly unslipped or only thinly glazed and perfunctorily decorated. In contrast with …

Kalos inscriptions

(715 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] The Greek custom of publicly praising someone's beauty using the epithet kalós (καλός, masc. = ‘beautiful’), less commonly kalḗ (καλή, fem.) is particularly evident in Attic vase inscriptions - made before the firing of the vessels - from the 6th and 5th cents. [1; 5]. Spontaneous graffiti [3] on vases can also be found, as well as other public kalos inscriptions (KI) [4. 22, 46-65] (schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 98). They stem from an interest in beautiful youths, also expressed in early Greek lyric poetry, and in the pederastic conventions of the time, but also in the ideal of kalo…

Loutrophoros

(398 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ἡ λουτροφόρος; hē loutrophóros). Container for, or carrier of, bathing water. Mentioned by Dem. Or. 44,18 as a structure on top of a tomb showing the unmarried status of the deceased. Only late ancient and Medieval authors go into details about the loutrophoros as a wedding vessel and about the antique custom of erecting a monument ( mnḗma) in the form of a loutrophoros for the unmarried deceased ( ágamoi). This was apparently intended as a symbolic reconstruction of the bridal bath and wedding ( Wedding customs and rituals). The loutrophoros is d…

Stamnos

(163 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (στάμνος/ stámnos). Storage jar for wine, oil, etc.; mercantile inscriptions point to the pelike (Pottery, shapes and types of, fig. A 8); today an archaeological term for a bulbous lidded vessel with a recessed neck and handles on the shoulders (Pottery, shapes and types of, fig. C 6). First instances in Laconia and Etruria in the Archaic Period, adopted in Athens around 530 BC, in the 5th cent. almost exclusively exported from there to Etruria. Depictions on red-figured stámnoi show it as a central wine vessel in a Dionysian women's festival, though th…

Pottery

(5,885 words)

Author(s): Hausleiter | Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld) | Maaß-Lindemann, Gerta | Docter, Roald Fritjof (Amsterdam)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Soon after clay appeared as a working material in the Near East at the end of the Pre-pottery Neolithic (PPNB, c. 7th millennium BC), pottery production began in the Pottery Neolithic (6th millennium BC). Previously, vessels had been made exclusively from organic materials (e.g., wood, leather) or stone. So-called 'white ware', of a naturally occurring lime and marl mixture that hardens by itself, can be considered a precursor of pottery. Pottery, at first exclusively and later also pa…

Lekythos

(391 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ἡ λήκυθος; hē lḗkythos). Greek generic term for ointment and oil vessels of various shapes and sizes with a narrow opening, also comprising the alabastron and aryballos ; based on schol. Pl. Hp. mi. 368C, today in particular a term for Attic funerary vessels from the 6th and 5th cents. BC that contained aromatic oil donations and were a popular gift for the dead ( Vessel, shapes and types of fig. E 3). As the white-ground lekythoi grew bigger, small insets for saving oil became common in the 5th cent. Around 400 BC, a group of Attic monumental clay lekythoi obviously formed th…

Vase painters

(697 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] The collective term 'vases' for Greek painted pottery (II. A.) as a special sub-genre of ceramics characterized by its often rich decoration emerged in the 18th cent. when the first vasi antichi were discovered in Campania and Etruria. Since their decoration was the task of the potter, no ancient word exists for the profession of vase painters (VP), although they could mark their work with the signature ἔγραψεν/ égrapsen ('has painted'). The first signatures of VP appear on early archaic, Cycladic and Corinthian pottery. In Athens, the earliest example is Sophil…

Askos

(157 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
(ἀσκός; askós). [German version] [1] Wineskin Leather wineskin. Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld) [German version] [2] Vessel type Collective archaeological term for closed vessels with stirrup handle and spout ( Vessel forms). Larger ‘sack pots’ as early as the Bronze Age; askoi in the form of birds and ducks mainly in the 8th cent. BC, also present in Etruria. Loops handles suggest flasks, pictorial representations, drinking vessels. The small, black-varnished or red-figured askoi of the 5th-4th cents. BC in the form of skins, or lenticular or ring-shaped, probably…

Figurine vases

(418 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] Vases worked three-dimensionally using a combination of techniques; figurine vases made by coroplasts, often originating from the same moulds as the statuettes (terracottas). Precursors in Anatolia, Egypt and the Ancient Orient. Greek figurine vases of clay (birds, cattle, horses) in greater numbers from the 14th cent. BC. [1]. Vast production of ointment vessels with glazed clay painting in the 7th-6th cents. BC e.g. in Corinth [2], Rhodes [3] and Boeotia: complete figures, busts…

Krater

(388 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ὁ κρατήρ/ ho kratḗr from κεράννυμι, keránnymi, ‘to mix’; Linear B: acc. ka-ra-te-ra). Wide-mouthed vessel for mixing water and wine, used at banquets (Hom. Od. 1,110), as well as in sacrificial rites (Hom. Il. 3,269) and religious festivals (Hdt. 1,51). Gyges, Alyattes and Croesus are supposed to have donated splendid large kraters of precious metal to Delphi. Their capacity was given in amphorae (Hdt. 1,51; 70; cf. Hom. Il. 23,741; Amphora [2]), their value measured according to weight (Hdt. 1,14; cf. Plin. HN 33,15). Supports for kraters ( hypokratērídia, hypóstata…

Psykter

(150 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ὁ ψυκτήρ; ho psyktḗr). Vessel made of clay or bronze for keeping wine cool. Occasionally double-walled craters and amphoras served this purpose in the 6th cent. BC. In about 530 BC a mushroom-shaped psykter was invented in Athens (Pottery, shapes and types of, ill. C 8) and was subsequently manufactured in numerous red-figure workshops (Oltus, Euphronius [2], Euthymides). Its earlier forms are considered to be black-figured jugs and amphoras with cylindrical hollow feet. The style continued until c. 470 BC (Pan painter). Pictorial representations most com…

Amphora

(308 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld) | Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] [1] Storage and transport vessel (ἀμφορεύς; amphoreús). Two-handled, bulbous storage and transport vessel with a narrow neck. The predominant form of storage vessels in antiquity, these have survived mainly in clay, rarely in bronze, precious metals, glass or onyx. Among  household equipment regarded as undecorated ceramics for everyday use ( Clay vessels II). Painted amphoras served ritual purposes as ornamental items on graves, urns for storing ashes, food storage vessels for the dead…

Alabastron

(106 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ἀλάβαστρον, ἀλάβαστος; alábastron, alábastos). Slender perfume bottle without a base whose contents were accessed with small sticks ( Pottery). Examples of clay, precious metal, glass and lead have been found. Egyptian precursors, made of alabaster, imported into Greece in early times. Greek clay alabastra already around 600 BC in east Ionia; deviating from that the proto-Corinthian pouch version. Rich production of painted clay alabastra in Attica around 550-450 BC. In late classical times, larger stone alabastra served as grave decoration. Scheibler, Inge…

Epinetron

(114 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ἐπίνητρον; epínētron). A curved cover, wrongly referred to as ónos (ὄνος), for the protection of thighs and knees during the cleaning and combing of wool; according to Hesychius s.v., the epinetron was used to card the fibres, but more likely to prepare the rovings (see illustr.). Epinetra were generally made from clay or wood; some painted clay epinetra from the 5th cent. BC are extant.  Eretria Painter Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld) Bibliography A. Lezzi-Hafter, Der Eretria-Maler, 1988, 253-262 A. Pekridou-Gorecki, Mode im antiken Griechenland, 1989, 16-20. Re…
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