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Syrian Wars

(1,000 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] In modern scholarship, the term SW refers to a group of six wars fought between the Ptolemies and the Seleucids for possession of southern Syria (between the River Eleutherus, modern Nahr al-Kabīr, north of Byblus and the eastern frontier of Egypt at Rhaphia; cf. map 'The Hellenistic states in the 3rd Cent. BC'; Coele Syria) between 274 and 168 BC. The war between Antiochus [5] III and Rome (192-188, treated in App. Syr. 11), which is often referred to as a 'Syrian War', is not included in them. The precondition for the SW was the state of possessions following the p…

Parties (political)

(229 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] The modern term cannot be applied to antiquity. However, even in ancient polities, there were groupings which formed temporarily for the achievement of political ends ( hetairía [2]; factiones ), though they developed no fixed membership or longer-term political programmes. It did also happen that citizenries divided into separate 'partisan affiliations' reinforcing differing conceptions of political content and methods in a quasi-programmatical way ( oligarchía / dēmokratía ; optimates / populares ), playing out differences concer…

Council meetings

(160 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] of increasing complexity served in ancient society to reduce and regulate conflict for the purpose of enabling collective action. Independently of the respective constitutional form, council meetings (CM), whose members were usually drawn from economically powerful and socially respected circles, supported the  ruler in decision-making (cf.   basileús ,   gerousía ; the Roman senate under the monarchy), formulated a consensus of peers in the aristocracy (  Áreios págos ;   senatus ) and prepared the resolutions of the popular assemb…

Tirocinium fori

(151 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] ('period of recruitment for the forum', in distinction to a military one; Tiro [2]) describes both the public presentation in the forum of a young man from the upper classes after his donning the toga virilis ( deductio in forum: Suet. Aug. 26,2; Suet. Tib. 54,1; Suet. Nero 7,2) and the ensuing approximately one year period of education for famous politicians, orators and lawyers (Cic. Lael. 1,1: cf. Cic. Brut. 89,306). The instruction did not happen systematically, but rather by constant accompaniment and observation …

Census

(641 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] The ancient census had its origins in the effort to establish the military potential of a community, and was thus at first restricted to the part of the population that was capable of and qualified for military service, i.e. adult male citizens. Because the prevailing principle of self-provision of equipment made military service as cavalryman, heavy infantryman ( hoplitai ), light infantryman or military auxiliary dependent on the citizen's economic standing, a classification according to wealth was made by estimation ( census ; cf. time ), int…

Zilath

(206 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] (also zilat, zilach, zilac). Name of an office in Etruscan cities, known from inscriptional evidence from the 4th cent. BC onwards; most of the evidence is from the territory of Tarquinii, more from Vulci, Volsinii, Volaterra and Clusium [1. 246 f.]. The zilath seems (to some extent with other officials also described as zilath but charged with other duties) to have been at the apex of the city administration which evolved after the dissolution of the kingdom and the decline of aristocratic power in Etruria (Etrusci). Zilath also appears in connection with mechl rasnal…

Attila

(394 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] Son of Mundzuk, from AD 434 together with his brother Bleda king of the Huns as successor to his uncle Rua. After the murder of Bleda in 445, A. is until 453 sole ruler of a Hun empire reaching from the Rhine to the Caucasus, which also includes Iranian and Germanic tribes. The strict central organization of the Hunnish tribes, begun already by Rua, increasingly replaces the earlier, looser federation. Probably after the model of the Roman Empire but not with the goal of its destr…

Civil War

(927 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
(Already in Hdt. Greek ἔμφυλος στάσις/ émphylos stásis; πόλεμος/ pólemos; Latin bellum civile). Fight between armed citizens of the same state on its territory, which could be particularly fierce in Graeco-Roman antiquity given that ‘citizens’ and ‘soldiers’ were identical and therefore battle-experienced troops encountered each other. The causes lay in social conflicts, political differences or the power aspirations of individuals. Because the boundaries of civil wars are undefined, differentiation from ‘revolts’ and ‘uprisings’ is difficult. [German version] I. Greece Th…

Acropolis

(374 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] (ἀκρόπολις/ akrópolis, 'upper city'), the highest part ( ákros = 'located at the top') of a Greek settlement, in Greece and in the Aegean area often with fortification walls, rarely so in the colonies of Sicily and Lower Italy (Fortifications). The original reference to these elevated settlements as pólis (on the Mycenaean roots of the word s. Polis I) was preserved in the designation of the Acropolis of Athens as pólis up into the 5th cent. BC (Thuc. 2,15,6; cf. Aristoph. Nub. 69; Paus. 1,26,6). When settlements began to extend down the slopes begi…

Sacrosanctus

(301 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] According to Festus (318, s. v. s.) s. described objects or persons who were protected by oath ( Sacramentum ) in such a way that by harming them the culprit came under the threat of the death penalty. As examples Festus gives the tribune of the plebs ( Tribunus plebis ) and, incorrectly, also the plebeian aediles. From their inception (in 494 BC; Struggle of the orders), the people's tribunes were protected by the lex sacrata (Liv. 2,33,1 and 3;  Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 6,89,2-4; Cic. Rep. 2,58), i.e. by an oath of the plebs to have every injury to a tribu…

Squeeze

(125 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] 'Squeeze' (German abklatsch, French estampage) is the term for a negative impression of an inscription on paper or a latex sheet. After the inscribed surface has been cleaned, soft paper is pressed with a firm brush, or a thin film of liquid latex is poured, on to the inscription. After drying the squeeze can be detached and transported at will; under suitable lighting it can often be read better than the original. Large collections of squeezes can be found in the Akademie der Wissens…

Bouleuterion

(45 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] Building where the  boule met. Attestable from the archaic period, from the 4th cent. BC the bouleuterion was regularly one of the public buildings at or in the vicinity of the  agora. On function and construction  assembly buildings. Eder, Walter (Berlin)

Prytaneion

(140 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] (πρυτανεῖον/ prytaneîon). Official building of the prytáneis , usually near the bouleuterion in the centre of a Greek polis (Agora; cf., e.g., Athens; Messene; Priene) and ostensibly of great age (cf. Thuc. 2,15,2). As the location of the state hearth, often with a constantly burning flame, the prytaneîon was the sacred centre of the polis and at the middle of numerous cult activities (Hestia). After the Persian Wars the 'contaminated' fires had to be extinguished and rekindled by Delphi in the prytaneîon (Plut. Aristides 20,4 f.). Participation in meals in the prytaneî…

S.

(125 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] Abbreviation of the Roman forenames Sextus and Spurius (also Sp.). S stands also for senatus in the formula SPQR, as S.S. for the Senate's resolution ( S[enatus] S[ententia]) and as S.C. on coins that were minted on behalf of the Senate ( [ex] S[enatus] C[onsulto]; s enatus consultum ). Very often to be found on inscriptions instead of the possessive pronouns of the 3rd person suus, sua, suum (in all the oblique cases), such as S(ua)P(ecunia)P(osuit) ('built with one's own money'). On coins, frequently used within imperial propaganda for s alus ('health'), s ecuritas

Coriolanus

(168 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] Marcius C., Cn, received the epithet C. for his deeds of heroism in the capture of Corioli in 493 BC (Liv. 2,33,5). The unyielding patrician's proposal to exploit a famine in order to render the plebs submissive led to his banishment in 491, and to his attempt to return home at the head of the Volsci enemy. According to tradition (Liv. 2,39-41; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 8,14-36), his mother Veturia and wife Volumnia persuaded him to turn back before the gates of Rome, and this cost him…

Catualda

(75 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] Marcomannian noble who had fled from  Marbod to the Gothic Gutones. At the instigation of Drusus he invaded the kingdom of Marbod in c. AD 18 with the help of the Gutones who wanted to free themselves from Marcomanni subjugation and drove him into exile in Ravenna. Shortly afterwards he himself was driven out by the Hermundurian Vibilius and fled to Forum Iulii (Fréjus) (Tac. Ann. 2, 62-63). Eder, Walter (Berlin)

Teispes

(136 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] (Τείσπης; Teíspēs). According to the testimony of a cylinder inscription of Cyrus [2] II (TUAT I 409,21) an ancestor of his grandfather Cyrus [1] I and hence probably, like him, of Persian descent and a ruler in Fars (Persis) in the 7th cent. BC. The genealogical connection with the Achaemenids [2] in Hdt. 7,11, who puts into the mouth of Xerxes I a family tree with a T. as the son of Achaemenes [1] and another T. as great-great-grandson, can presumably be traced to Darius [1]. The…

Balthi

(226 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] The B. (‘the Bold’) are the royal line of the Visigoths, which is held in lesser esteem than the  Amali line of the Ostrogoths. Although the B. are also considered to be a line of ‘kings and heroes’, in contrast with the Amali, the memory of divine descent was lost. The historical descent of the royal family also remains obscure, because the relationship of the first identifiable Balthi prince, Alaric I ( Alaricus [2], died AD 410), to the three Terwingian judges of the 4th cent. …

Tullianum

(217 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] Part of the Roman state prison ( carcer ) for prisoners sentenced to death by strangulation, including the fellow conspirators of Catilina and the leaders of subjugated people paraded in triumphs (Triumph/Triumphal procession, with map). The name Tullianum led ancient authors to suppose that it was built by Tull(i)us Hostilius[4] or Servius Tullius [I 4] (Varro, Ling. 5,151; Fest. 490), but modern scholars think that it may have originally been a spring house (cp. Fest. 492: tullios = 'wellsprings'). Liv. 1,33,8 ascribed the construction of the carcer itself to An…

Timoxena

(68 words)

Author(s): Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] (Τιμοξένα; Timoxéna). Wife of Plutarchus [2], daughter of Alexion (Plut. Mor. 701d), probably herself an author (a writing on obsessive cleanliness is mentioned by Plutarch Mor. 145a). The marriage produced a daughter of the same name, but she died at the age of two (writing of condolence to T.: Plut. Mor. 608a-612b), and four sons; two of these also died young. Eder, Walter (Berlin)
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