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Tabula pontificum

(239 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] From the 4th cent. BC at the latest (going back too far: Cic. De or. 2,52) to the period of P. Mucius [I 5] Scaevola (from 130 BC), the pontifex maximus published notes about current events - the type and length of which are contested - in front of the regia on a white-washed wooden plate ( album: Cic. De or. 2,52; tabula dealbata: Serv. Auct. Aen. 1,373): along with price increases (due to bad harvests) and solar or lunar eclipses (Cato Orig. fr. 77 P.; cf. Cic. Rep. 1,25) probably prodigies, vota, temple consecrations and other items of re…

Rogus

(215 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (Latin rogus, also, esp. poetic, the Greek loan-word pyra, e.g. Verg. Aen. 6,215; Ov. Fast. 2,534). At Rome, term for the funeral pyre for the burning of corpses. It was made of pieces of wood and small items piled up at a specially determined site ( ustrina) close to the place of interment. In shape it resembled a square altar (Serv. Aen. 6,177; therefore poetically referred to as ara: Ov. Tr. 3,13,21 et passim). Originally unadorned (the Tabulae duodecim forbade smoothing the logs with an axe, Cic. Leg. 2,59), the rogus was later made more elaborate according to the …

Silicernium

(186 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] Term for the Roman funeral banquet (< cena fu>nebris, Fest. p. 376 L.; convivium funebre, Non. P. 48,5 M.) which, like the Greek perídeipnon (identified in CGL II 183,58), was celebrated by the next of kin immediately after the interment of the deceased at the grave, according to "ancient custom" (Varro, Sat. Men. 303, cited in Non. P. 48,6-9 M.). The idea behind it (shared by many peoples: [1. 23 f.]) was probably that the deceased took part in the meal (Donat. in Ter. Ad. 587: cena quae infertur dis manibus; implicitly in Tert. Apol. 13,7). The etymology of the w…

Sisenna

(445 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] I. Life L. Cornelius S., from a senatorial family probably of Etruscan origin, born no later than 118 BC, performed military service in the Social Wars (probably under Cornelius [I 90] Sulla). It is unclear whether in the 80s he was in Rome (as [2] believes) or in the East with Sulla [3. 215]. Praetor in 78 [7. 22] and after that probably governor of Sicily (Cic. Verr. 2,2,110: MRR 2, 90); in 70 BC, he was involved in the defence of Verres (Cic. Verr. 2,4,43); as legate of Cn. Pompe…

Quaestor

(1,368 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
(plur. quaestores, from quaerere, ‘to ask’, ‘examine’; the etymological meaning is not related to the official responsibility as a treasury official, cf. mastroí ). Lowest stage of the cursus honorum . [German version] I. Quaestores parricidii Q. parricidii (mentioned in the Twelve Tables/ tabulae duodecim : Pomponius Dig. 1,2,2,23) were concerned with the investigation of capital offences in early Rome (Paul. Fest., s. v. parricidi q., p. 247 L.) and were almost certainly not a permanent institution of criminal prosecution by the state but probably acted as …

Scriba

(604 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
In Rome, scribae (plural) were professional literates with higher qualifications; they were thus not simple copiers ( librarii) but secretaries and accountants, in the early period even authors (Fest. p. 446). Scribae worked in both private and public spheres. [German version] I. Scribae in private households Slaves who assisted their masters in writing tasks were generally called (servi) librarii (Plin. HN 7,91; ILS 7398; 7401) or amanuenses (Suet. Nero 44,1; ILS 7395). The expression s. librarius is only rarely attested (CIL VI 8881). Secretaries entrusted with more …

Pollinctor

(201 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (originally also pollictor: Plaut. Poen. 63; Varro Sat. Men. 222,2) is what in the classical Roman period a slave (Dig. 14,3,5,8) or free employee of an undertaker ( L ibitinarii ) was called; he prepared corpses for the wake and burial (Non. 157,21: “pollinctores sunt qui mortuos curant”; similarly, but with erroneous etymology: Fulg. p. 112 Helm) by washing them (Serv. Aen. 9,485), embalming them with substances that prevented decay (esp. salt, cedar oil, myrrh: [1. 484, esp. note 7]), and…

Perideipnon

(205 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (περίδειπνον; perídeipnon) was the name given in Greece (until the 4th cent. BC at the latest: Dem. Or. 18,288; Men. Aspis 233 Sandbach; Men. Fr. 309) to the funeral banquet which was probably originally celebrated at the graveside (wrongly dismissed in [1. 175]), but from as early as the Archaic Period had usually taken place in the home of the next-of-kin of the deceased (Dem. Or. 18,288). As at other banquets, the garland (Wreath, garland) (Cic. Leg. 2,63) was worn at the perideipnon, which took place immediately after the burial ( ekphorá ) (cf. e…

Proconsul

(527 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
(originally pro consule, 'instead of the consul(es) ': attested in inscriptions from ILS 5945, i.e. 135 BC, on; in literature, e.g., Cic. Phil. 10,26; Liv. 8,23,12; for linguistic use cf. [1]; Greek ἀνθύπατος/ anthýpatos) was a state official in Rome who in the sphere of his office outside the city exercised full consular authority ( imperium ), but was not authorized to consult the auspicia (see  augures ) (Cic. Div. 2,76). [German version] I. Republican Period When there were insufficient magistrates with imperium, the Senate and the people extended imperium beyond the regular per…

Funus publicum

(317 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
(in the Imperial period also called funus censorium, Tac. Ann. 4,15,2 and passim) refers to a  burial whose costs and organization was covered by the state or the community, to honour the deceased. [German version] 1. Rome In early times, foreign delegates (Plut. Quaest. Rom. 43) as well as royalty imprisoned by Rome ( Syphax;  Perseus, cf. Val. Max. 5,1,1) were buried publice (‘at public expense’). The funus publicum (FP) which became typical of prominent citizens probably did not emerge until the late Republic (certain documentation exists for L.  Sulla…

Laudatio Turiae

(306 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] is the term (since [1]) given to the extensive remains (CIL VI 1527; VI 37053; AE 1951, 2) of a municipal Roman epitaph from the Augustan period (at the latest 9 BC: [2. 42]); it presents the text of the funerary oration for a woman of the Roman upper class who - because of similarities to Val. Max. 6,7,2 - was hypothetically identified with Turia, the wife of Q. Lucretius Vespillo (cos. in 19 BC). The eulogizer, who masters at least the basics of rhetoric [2. 124; 3], praises (c…

Annales maximi

(268 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] Synonymous with annalespontificum maximorum (Cic. Leg. 1,6). Annales maximi is what the Romans called a chronicle-like work of history, which is based on the records of the pontifex maximus (Paul. Fest. p. 113 L; Macrob. Sat. 3,2,17; Serv. Aen. 1,373; implicitly already in Cic. De or. 2,52). The content was apparently identical to that of the tabula apud pontificem maximum (Cato orig. fr. 77 HRR), which in addition to details about dearths and eclipses surely also contained reports about prodigies ( pace [3]), temple dedications, additions to the priestly coll…

Fenestella

(270 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] Roman historian of the early Imperial period. The exact dates of his life are uncertain: according to Jerome he died at the age of 70 in AD 19 (Chron. p. 172 Helm), according to Pliny only ‘late in the reign of Tiberius’ ( novissimo Tiberii Caesaris principatu; HN 33,146). F. wrote an annalistic history in more than 22 books (Fr. 21 Peter from book 22 [= HRR 2, 85f.] relates to 57 BC) that extended from the early Roman period to the late Republic and perhaps even included the Augustan period (Fr. 24 Peter [= HRR 2, 86]). The …

Prothesis

(231 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (πρόθεσις/ próthesis, first [1. 22B], 6th century BC; first in literature Pl. Leg. 947b 3; 959e 5). Term for the laying out of a corpse, which was an indispensable part of every burial in Greece from the earliest times. The dead person was laid on a klínē , usually covered by a pall (φᾶρος/ phâros), and was lamented and mourned both by family members and unrelated mourners. Prothesis scenes are described in the Homeric epics (esp. Hom. Il. 18,352-355; 24,719-776). Ritual gestures of grief are often depicted, particularly on Attic pottery (cf. [6…

Conclamatio

(176 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] An old element in Roman mortuary customs: when the eyes of the deceased were closed the attending relatives repeatedly called his name (Serv. Aen. 6,218; Luc. 2,23; Sen. Dial. 9,11,7; with the same meaning Ov. Tr. 3,3,43 clamor supremus ; Ps.-Quint. Decl. mai. 8,10 conclamata suprema). Since this word also describes the ordinary death lament (e.g., Tac. Ann. 3,2,2; Oratio imperatoris Hadriani in CIL 14, 3579, 19; Sen. Ep. 52,13 and passim), a lot of evidence cannot be clearly attributed. This custom, which was obviously no longer understood in the hi…

Tanusius Geminus

(126 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (the cognomen only in Suet. Iul. 9,2). Roman historian of the Late Republic of whose life nothing is known. It is also unclear whether his work, which (because of Plut. Caesar 22,3) was not finished until after 55 BC and contained accounts hostile to Caesar (especially fr. 1 P. = HRR 2, p. 50: on the 'conspiracy' of 66 BC), was an account of contemporary events only [1. 327] or whether it was organised as an annalistic comprehensive history (as in [2. 265]; annales in Sen. Ep. 93,11). According to Seneca, the work was voluminous and 'ponderous' ( ponderosi); he may have been…

Libitinarii

(196 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] was the name the Romans gave to undertakers because of their seat in the sacred grove of Libitina ( qui libitinam faciunt, ILS 6085,94). On behalf of the affected families (or the state: Sen. Dial. 9,11,10), they organized the burials and supplied the necessary implements as well as the personnel (partly slaves: Ulp. Dig. 14,3,5,8), e.g. pollinctores , bearers, musicians (cf. Petron. Sat. 78,6), specialists for burning the corpses ( ustores). The funeral practices in the Roman cities of Italy were apparently similarly organized (ILS 6726 attests a bu…

Laudatio funebris

(1,002 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] A. General According to Roman linguistic usage, laudatio funebris (LF; Quint. Inst. 3,7,2; Gell. NA 13,20,17; mostly just laudatio: Cic. Mil. 33; Liv. 27,27,13; Tac. Ann. 13,3,1; explanatory laudatio pro rostris: Tac. Ann. 3,76,2 et passim) means the eulogy for the deceased, held in connection with the burial ( funus). At upper class funerals, the funeral procession stopped (probably from the end of the 4th cent. BC) at the forum, where a son or other close relative gave the speech from the rostrum ( pro rostris: Sen. Dial. 6,15,3; Tac. Ann. 3,5,1 et passim), which along …

Praerogativa centuria

(218 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (also briefly praerogativa: e.g. Cic. Ad Q. Fr. 2,14,4; Cic. Phil. 2,82; Liv. 24,7,12) was the name in Rome of the centuria , determined by lot from the centuries of the first wealth class, which probably since the reform of the comitia centuriata (between 241 and 218 BC) had advance voting in elections (uncertain whether this also applied to legislative decisions). Since the result of the PCwas announced immediately (Liv. 24,7,12; Cic. Phil. 2,82), it had a considerable impact on further voting. This effect had probably been intended when creating the PC, to avoid a sp…

Funus imaginarium

(194 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] Funus imaginarium (FI) was the name given in Rome (ILS 7212 II 4-5, dated AD 136; SHA Pert. 15,1) to a special type of  burial: since the dead body was usually visible on the bier during the funeral procession, a replacement body made of  wax ( imago or effigies) was used when the body was not available, for instance in cases of death at sea or after cremation at war or in foreign countries. Tac. Ann. 3,5,2 correctly regards this custom as one of the ‘customs of old time’ ( veterum instituta; taken for granted already in the Lex XII tab. 10,5: [1. 80]).The FI received s…
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