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Fishing, Fishing trade

(1,052 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Kuhn, Christina (Kassel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Especially in the south of Mesopotamia with its river courses, canals and swamps, fish greatly supplemented the diet; in addition there was fish breeding in ponds for fresh fish. Fishing was mainly done with fish traps and nets and more rarely with spears. The catch was measured by numbers of fish or by volume, but hardly ever according to weight. Preserved fish too (dried, smoked, salted) served as food, and was also suitable for trade with the mountainous countrie…

Inscriptions

(4,367 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Hallof, Klaus (Berlin) | Galsterer, Hartmut (Bonn)
I. Ancient Orient [German version] A. General In the more restricted sense, inscriptions are texts - usually of monumental character - that, because of their function, are intended to last, as well as texts that are written on other-than-usual writing materials, e.g. clay tablets,  papyrus,  ostraka, etc. Inscriptions are closely tied to other texts by commonalities of writing, form and content. Therefore, despite specific research efforts, ancient oriental epigraphy has not developed as an independent…

Purification

(1,558 words)

Author(s): Heinze, Theodor (Geneva) | Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig)
[German version] A. Introduction The cleansing of defilement or impurity (Greek kátharsis, katharmós) can be understood as a strategy for overcoming calamity [5. 149-155]. Purification in this sense was introduced to Greek civilization through contact with the Ancient Orient [6. 55-64]. Heinze, Theodor (Geneva) B. Religious [German version] 1. Ancient Orient and Egypt Although the ancient oriental civilizations had certain widespread features in common, there were differences in which forms of impurity were regarded as particularly significant and how they were removed. In …

Origin myths and theories on the origin of culture

(2,363 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Heckel, Hartwig (Bochum)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt The relatively few ancient Oriental testimonials that can be regarded as OM provide important pointers to the self-image of a culture, but have not yet been discussed from this perspective. Aetiologies primarily with respect to festivals and cult centres are to be found in the Egyptian tradition [7], more rarely in the Mesopotamian [4. 551f., 559f.] and the Hittite tradition [4. 571]; in the OT, they are particularly common in Genesis (e.g. Gn 28: Bethel). Gods were sometimes considered the founders of those areas of culture that…

Myos Hormos

(105 words)

Author(s): Felber, Heinz (Leipzig)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Egypt | Commerce | India, trade with | Egypt (Μυὸς Ὅρμος/ Muòs Hórmos, Egyptian Dww). Port on the Red Sea, modern Quṣar. Only Ptol. 4,5,8 refers to this port as Leukos limen, probably the result of a misidentification [1]. From the 1st cent. AD onwards, its links with the port city of Berenice [9] gained in importance. Remains of mostly sacral buildings in situ date back to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) Bibliography 1 A.Bülow-Jacobsen, H. Cuvigny, J.-L. Fournet, The Identification of Myos Hormo…

Horus

(588 words)

Author(s): Felber, Heinz (Leipzig)
[German version] The most important Egyptian hawk god, whose name (Egyptian Ḥrw, ‘the remote’) and form indicate his function as sky god. Any trace of his origins is lost in the mists of prehistory. The best-known H. god of historical times is H. Behedeti ( Bḥdtj) from  Edfu in Upper Egypt, however, there is evidence of a Lower Egyptian origin. H. soon assimilated other hawk gods and was closely linked with the sun god. H. is also regarded as the morning sun; his name is an appellative in the sense of ‘ruler/highest/sublime’ (e.g. in Harac…

Festivals; Feasts

(4,658 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] I. The Ancient Orient The ancient Mesopotamian calendar was based on the phases of the lunar cycle and was observed in the cult on a monthly basis (1st, 7th, 15th day). Annual feasts were frequently associated with the agrarian cycle (sowing, harvest), whereby regional differences must be drawn into consideration (e.g., irrigation vs. rainfed agriculture). Non-cyclical feasts were generally related to the ruler (crowning, temple and palace construction, war, death). In the family sphe…

Horapollo

(274 words)

Author(s): Felber, Heinz (Leipzig)
[German version] The Egyptian H., author of the Hieroglyphiká, possibly identical to H., the son of Asclepiades, came from a family of grammarians and philosophers from Phenebythis in Panopolites; was active in Alexandria around AD 500. H. is known, among other things, from the vita of the pupil of Proclus,  Isidorus [4], written by the Neoplatonist  Damascius, and from a Greek petition to an official of Phenebythis between 491 and 493 (pap. Cairo 67295). The Greek text of the Hieroglyphiká is recorded in MSS of the 14th cent. and, according to its title, has been translat…

Weights

(2,896 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Hitzl, Konrad (Tübingen)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In Mesopotamia and its neighbouring regions, weights were made of stone (primarily haematite [Haematite], or else limestone and others) or metal (bronze, copper), often in the form of a barleycorn or a loaf, or figuratively as a duck (3rd to 1st millennia), and in Assyria from the 1st millennium also as a lion. Weights could be inscribed with a numerical value with or without indicating the unit, as well as with an inscription of a ruler, an institution, or an offic…

World, creation of the

(4,741 words)

Author(s): Merkt, Andreas (Mainz) | Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Heimgartner, Martin (Halle) | Hollender, Elisabeth (Cologne) | Et al.
[German version] I. Definition The term 'creation of the world' ('CW') (κτίσις/ ktísis, Lat. creatio) in the narrower sense should be distinguished from two similar concepts. Unlike 'cosmogony', 'CW' refers to a personal act. Secondly, unlike 'fashioning of the world' in the sense of the craft of a demiourgos [3] (cf. [1]), 'CW' does not mean the mere modelling of existing material in analogy to the creative intervention of an artist, but the absolute bringing-into-being of everything (the universe, i.e. 'the whole', τὰ πάντα/ tà pánta) out of the void. The concept of a creation…

Hospitality

(1,855 words)

Author(s): Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Wagner-Hasel, Beate (Darmstadt)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt In Egypt and Mesopotamia, hospitality was not regarded as a value in itself, but generosity to the needy was seen in both cultures as an obligatory norm, in the sense of a communicative and vertical solidarity [1; 2]. According to Egyptian sources, strangers were treated with reserve, and late teachings (Ankh-Sheshonqi 21,24f.) speak of the loneliness of a person in a strange city where (s)he has no relatives. Rarely, letters contain admonitions to treat an announced guest with proper attention…

Banquet

(3,705 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Schmitt-Pantel, Pauline (Paris) | Binder, Gerhard (Bochum)
[German version] I. Egypt and the ancient Orient The central Egyptian sources of information regarding banquets are the depictions of the funerary banquet in the tombs of Theban officials dating from the 18th dynasty (15th -14th cents. BC). The early pictures show the tomb's occupant with his spouse as the host in front of a table loaded with dishes of food and faced by their guests in several rows. Servants adorn them with flowers and bring wine and food, pleasant-smelling ointments and utensils for ha…

Canopus

(234 words)

Author(s): Felber, Heinz (Leipzig)
[German version] Town at the mouth of the then westernmost branch of the Nile, Egyptian P(r)-gwtj, near what is now Abū Qīr west of Alexandria; as a seaport C. was the gate of Egypt (road to  Naucratis) from the 8th cent. BC onwards, until Alexandria, to which C. was linked via a canal, took on this role. C. was an important religious centre with  Sarapis as its principal god (famous temple as the place of healing sleep and of oracles [1; 2]). Isis and Harpocrates were worshipped here. An  Ibis cemetery from t…

Square measures

(917 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Chantraine, Heinrich (Mannheim)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East Various concepts of square measures (SM) are found (even simultaneously) in Mesopotamia. The oldest, attested from the late 4th millennium BC, was based on the length measurements of squares or rectangles, and was thus suited to the needs of surveying fields: 1 rod × 1 rod (with 1 rod = 6 m) = 1 rod square ('bed') (36 m2). The fundamental unit for fields was 1 'field' or 'dyke' (0.36 ha). In the 1st millennium, the Babylonian system (for smaller areas) was based on a rectangle with one  fixed side of 1 'reed' (= 7 cubits) and a…

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.…

Kulturentstehungstheorien

(2,017 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Heckel, Hartwig (Bochum)
[English version] I. Alter Orient und Ägypten Die recht wenigen altoriental. Zeugnisse, die als K. aufgefaßt werden können, bieten wichtige Hinweise zur Selbstsicht einer Kultur, sind aber noch nicht unter diesem Aspekt behandelt worden. Aitiologien v.a. zu Festen und Kultorten finden sich in der äg. [7], seltener der mesopot. [4. 551f., 559f.] und der hethit. Trad. [4. 571], im AT besonders häufig in Gn (z.B. Gn 28: Bethel). Götter können die ihnen unterstellten Kulturbereiche begründet haben: In Äg. wird dem Gott Thot die Erfindung von Schreiben und Rechnen …

Gastmahl

(3,219 words)

Author(s): Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Schmitt-Pantel, Pauline (Paris) | Binder, Gerhard (Bochum)
[English version] I. Ägypten und Alter Orient Zentrale ägypt. Quellen für G. sind Darstellungen des Totenmahles in thebanischen Beamtengräbern der 18. Dyn. (15.-14. Jh. v.Chr.). Die frühen Abb. zeigen den Grabherrn mit Gemahlin als Gastgeber vor einem Tisch mit Speisen, gegenüber in mehreren Registern ihre Gäste. Bedienstete schmücken sie mit Blumen und reichen Wein und Speisen, wohlriechende Salben und Handwaschgerät. Im Laufe der Zeit verliert die Szene ihre rituelle Strenge durch künstlerische Verfe…

Gastfreundschaft

(1,759 words)

Author(s): Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Wagner-Hasel, Beate (Darmstadt)
[English version] I. Alter Orient und Ägypten In Äg. und in Mesopotamien wird G. nicht als eigener Wert behandelt, doch wird Freigebigkeit gegen Bedürftige im Sinne einer kommunikativen und vertikalen Solidarität [1; 2] in beiden Kulturen als verpflichtende Norm gesehen. Nach ägypt. Quellen verhält man sich Fremden gegenüber zurückhaltend, und späte Lehren (Anch-Scheschonqi 21,24f.) sprechen von der Einsamkeit des Menschen in der fremden Stadt, in der er keine Verwandten hat. Selten enthalten Briefe Ermahnungen, einen angekündigten Ga…

Fest, Festkultur

(4,368 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] I. Alter Orient Der altmesopot. Kalender beruht auf dem Mondlauf mit seinen Phasen, die dementsprechend monatlich kultisch begangen werden (1., 7., 15. Tag). Jährliche F. sind häufig mit dem agrarischen Zyklus (Aussaat, Ernte) verbunden, wobei regionale Unterschiede (z.B. Bewässerungs- oder Regenfeldbau) zu beachten sind. Nicht-zyklische F. betreffen in der Regel den Herrscher (Krönung, Tempel- oder Palastbau, Krieg, Tod). Im Bereich der Familie werden Einschnitte im Lebenslauf (Hoc…

Gewichte

(2,595 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Hitzl, Konrad (Tübingen)
[English version] I. Alter Orient In Mesopot. und seinen Nachbargebieten bestehen G. aus Stein (meist Hämatit [Haimatites], sonst Kalkstein u.a.) oder Metall (Bronze, Kupfer), häufig in Korn- oder Laibform bzw. figürlich als Enten (3. bis 1. Jt.), ab dem 1. Jt. in Assyrien auch als Löwen. G. können mit einer Maßzahl mit oder ohne Einheitsangabe sowie einer Inschr. des Herrschers, der Institution oder eines Beamten beschrieben sein. G. gehören in erster Linie in den Kontext institutioneller Haushalte oder zu Berufen wie Händlern oder Goldschmieden. Das Basissystem ist vom 3. b…
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