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Mensor

(294 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] was the Latin term for technical experts who carried out measurements in the broadest sense of the word. Mensores agrarii ( agrimensores, geometrae, gromatici, surveyor) were responsible in both civil and military domains for marking out surfaces, laying out roads, aqueducts, and building camps. This activity gained great importance during the 1st cent. BC, as a consequence of the allocation of land to veterans. According to the representation on the gravestone of L. Aebutius Faustus (CIL V 6786 = ILS 7736), their main instrument was the groma. Mensores aedificiorum

Sicilicus

(154 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (also quartuncia = 1/4 uncia ; Greek σικελικός/ sikelikós). Roman unit of 1/48 of a larger whole. As a weight the sicilicus corresponds to 1/48 of a libra [1] = 6,82 g and hence 11/2 sextulae , as a length 1/48 of a pes = c. 6 mm, as an area 1/48 of a iugerum = 52,5 m2, as a time unit 1/48 of an hora (hour) = 11/4 minutes (Plin. HN 18,324). In the imperial monetary system of the Greek East the sicilicus was synonymous with the assárion . In the late Roman and Byzantine systems of weights the sicilicus was equivalent to 6 scripula (value mark VI or Ε; scripulum ) or 11/2 solidi (Solidus). I…

Quincunx

(173 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] The quincunx ( quinque unciae; Greek πεντόγκιον/ pentónkion) was a Roman measure equalling 5/12 of a larger unit, also in the sense of 5% in interest or an inheritance. As a measure of weight it corresponds to 5/12 libra = 136,4 g, as one of area to 5/12 iugerum = 1051 m2, as one of volume 5/12 sextarius = 0·23 l. Because of its exceptional position within the usual duodecimal system, weights of this value are extraordinarily rare. Examples from the Roman period bear the value mark IIIII (CIL XIII 10030,36) or V, pieces from the Byzantine period Γ-Ε. The quincunx as a bronze…

Cardo, kardo

(377 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] The point around which something rotates; technical term in Roman land-surveying ( limitatio); within the rectangular grid of the survey, it refers to the horizontal lines ( limites). Originally, it was a cosmological term, referring to the pivotal point of the uni- verse; later, it was used to describe the north-south axis -- in contrast with the east-west axis of the   decumanus , which divided the world into two halves, one of sunrise and one of sunset, or one of day and one of night [1. 147]. In gromatic theory ( Surve…

Spithame

(112 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (σπιθαμή/ spithamḗ, handspan). Greek unit of length taken from the proportions of the human body, extending between the tips of the thumb and little finger, equal to 1/2 pchys , i.e. 3 palaistaí ( palaist ) or 12 dáktyloi dáktylos [1]. Depending on the underlying foot size ( pous ), its length was c. 20-26 cm. According to a metrological relief from the island Salamis [1], the Attic spithame was 24,3 cm long. There was no unit of length corresponding to spithame in the Roman measurement system. Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliography 1 K. W. Beinhauer (ed.),…

Sextarius

(163 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (later Greek ξέστης/ xéstēs, 'a sixth'). Roman unit of fluid and dry capacity equalling 1/48 of an amphora [2], 1/6 of a congius, 2 heminae , 4 quartarii and 12 cyathi (Cyathus [2]; see table); a sextarius corresponds to approximately 0,546 l. As a measure of volume sextarius also occurs on ancient measuring vessels. Colloquially sextarius was also used for 1/6 of anything. The sextarius was the largest measure of both fluid and dry capacity; higher units had distinct names. Roman units of fluid and dry capacity and their relationships: sextarius      Unit:     cyathus  …

Kypros

(2,178 words)

Author(s): Briese, Christoph (Randers) | Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
(Cyprus) [German version] [1] [German version] I. Neolithic I (Khirokitia culture, c. 7000-6000 BC) and II (Sotira culture, 4500-3900 BC) The settlement of K. (for the history see also Cyprus II) began relatively late and differed significantly from that of the neighbouring regions Anatolia, Syria, and Palestine. While small groups of hunter-gatherers there gradually became settled farmers around 9000/8000 BC, the earliest inhabitants of the island of K. were, from the beginning, farmers, herders, hunters, and fis…

Measure of volume

(1,573 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Measures of volume were used to measure liquids and especially grain and other bulk solids (dates, etc.). Therefore, they were employed in the administration of grain, including the issuing of rations. According to cuneiform sources, ordinary measuring vessels (especially the sea) were made of wood. Special measures for liquids can only be identified locally with a standard ‘vessel’ usually containing 20 or 30 litres. Despite all temporal and local differences, a relatively constant absolute size of the small unit (Sumerian sìla, Akkadian = c.…

Stadion

(1,137 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) | Decker, Wolfgang (Cologne) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
(στάδιον; stádion). [German version] [1] Unit of length (Doric σπάδιον/ spádion). Greek unit of length equal to 6 pléthra ( pléthron ; cf. Hdt. 2,149,3) or 600 pous (foot). Depending on the underlying standard of the foot ( pous), this corresponds to a length of c. 162-210 m; the Attic stadion is equal to 186 m. The stadion for the race at Olympia had a length of 192.3 m, at Delphi 177.3 m, at Epidaurus 181.3 m, and at Athens 184.3 m. 8  stadia correspond approximately to 1 Roman mile ( mille passus) of 1500 m. In Greek literature, larger distances are generally indicated in stádia; if other…

Modius

(595 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) | Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
Roman surname. [German version] [1] M., Q. Horse breeder Cited by Varro (Rust. 2,7,1) as a distinguished horse breeder. His (probably invented) cognomen Equicolus, which indicates this activity, may have been interpreted by Varro as Aequicolus, so that a later period reveals a Septimus M. as the first king of the Aequiculi (Lib. de praenominibus 1). Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) [German version] [2] M. Fabidius Founder of the city of Cures Son of a virgin of the Aborigines who comes to dance in the sanctuary of Quirinus in the territory of Reate, but is then seized…

Measures

(1,991 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Although the different basic measurement systems (length, measures of volume and weights) were created and defined independently of each other, at least in Mesopotamia relationships between them were established. In the Ancient Orient as elsewhere, the terms for measures of length were based on body parts (cubit, palm and finger widths), however, the foot was not used as a basic measure of length. Regional and temporal differences must be considered. The Babylonian ‘cubit’ (Sumerian kùš, Akkadian ammatu, normally c. 50 cm; in the 1st millenni…
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