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Mourning

(981 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Literary sources In Greece and Rome, deaths and accidents, financial and business losses and military defeats were occasions for mourning (πένθος/ pénthos; Lat. luctus). Aside from the characteristic mourning dress, women displayed their mourning by renouncing gold jewellery (Dion. Hal. Ant. 5,48,4; Liv. 34,7,10), by beating, and sometimes baring, their chests (Prop. 2,13,27; Petron. 111,2), by loosening and tearing their hair (Catull. 64,348-351; Tib. 1,1,67 f.; Liv. 1,26,2), by crying and wailing (P…

Strophium

(208 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
(στρόφιον/ stróphion). A band wound round something or twisted together. [German version] [1] Breast band A breast band worn by women in Greece and Rome (Aristoph. Thesm. 139; 251; 255; 638; Aristoph. Lys. 931; Catull. 64,65), also called μίτρα/ mítra (Anth. Pal. 5,13,4; Apoll. Rhod. 3,867), μηλοῦχος/ mēloûchos (Anth. Pal. 6,211), στηθόδεσμος/ stēthódesmos (Poll. 7,66), mamillare (Mart. 14,66 lem.), fascia pectoralis (Mart. 14,134 Lem., cf. Ov. Ars am. 3,274; Prop. 4,9,49). Women are variously portrayed in art wearing strophia or putting on strophia. Straps across the shoulde…

Triga

(337 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Latin from triiuga; Greek τρίπωλος/ trípōlos; 'team of three'). Its significance as a racing, hunting or war vehicle was far less than that of bigae and of the quadriga. In Homer only extra horses for a team of two are mentioned (cf. Hom. Il. 8,80-86; 16,152-154 and 467-476) and on one occasion a gift of three horses (Hom. Od. 4,590); otherwise the literary sources on trigae are rather rare (e.g. Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 7,73). The same is true for representations in art; first and foremost are 9th-cent. BC Assyrian reliefs with battle and  huntin…

Writing tablets

(384 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The use of wooden tablets (δέλτος/ déltos, cf. Hdt. 8,135, or δελτίον/ deltíon, cf. Hdt. 7,239) coated with wax for the transmission of written messages (therefore in the form of a letter, Pl. Ep. 312d) appears to have been known to the Greeks from the end of the 8th cent. BC (Writing). In this context, the Homeric epic (Hom. Il. 6,168-170) speaks of a πίναξ πτυκτός/ pínax ptyktós (cf. Hdt. 7,239: δελτίον δίπτυχον/ deltíon díptychon). The folding wooden tablet (Diptychon) consisted of two panels connected with a hinge; their inner sides, covered with a…

Xenon group

(245 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A special group of South Italian vases, named after a label on a pot in Frankfurt with the charioteer Xenon preparing to start [1]. The decoration of XG vases was applied with red slip to a pot covered with dark glaze (Gnathia ware). The pots (Pottery) used are quite small in scale. Decoration is chiefly limited to ornamentation (Ornaments) such as ivy and laurel branches, rod ornaments, wavy lines, meanders etc.; in contrast, representations of animals or people are distinctly ra…

Paenula

(233 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Roman cape of different lengths, produced from a semi-circular cut. It was sewn together at the front, had an opening for the head to slip in and a sewn-on hood. If required, the seam at the front could be unpicked from the bottom end in order to give the arms more room to move. The paenula was made of leather, linen or (sheep's) wool and was worn by men and women of all classes, slaves and soldiers, in particular as a travelling and bad-weather coat for protection against the cold and rain; it was white or gray, or dyed in various sh…

Cushion

(255 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ἡ τύλη, τὸ κνέφαλλον, Lat. cervical, pulvinus). Cushions were used to assure comfort when sitting or lying on chairs, klines (Petron. Sat. 32), in litters (Juv. 6,353) or when lying directly on the ground. Floor cushions were also offered for comfort at the circus (Mart. 14,160). The materials used for cushions included linen, wool or leather, which were often beautifully decorated. Straw, hay, reeds, eelgrass or bulrushes (Ov. Met. 8,655) as well as flocks of wool were used as filling…

Mazonomon

(78 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (μαζονόμον/ mazonómon, μαζονόμιον/ mazonómion, Latin mazonomus), from μάζα/ máza (‘barley bread’) and νέμω/ némō (‘to issue’). Originally, a wooden plate, to pass barley bread (cf. Ath. 5,202c); a carrying bowl made of bronze and gold is also mentioned (Ath. 4,149a; 5,197f). Later a serving plate for poultry (Hor. Sat. 2,8,86; Varro, Rust. 3,4,3), which the scholiasts equated with the Roman lanx (Porph. Hor. Sat. 2,8,86). The mazonomon has not been identified in art with certainty. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)

Comb

(385 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ὁ κτείς; ho kteís, Lat. pecten). Combs for wool and for the hair were known already in prehistorical Europe, Egypt and the Near East. They were made from a range of different materials (olive wood, boxwood, ivory, bone, later also from bronze and iron) and could also vary in shape (trapezoid or oblong). In the post-Mycenaean period they had two rows of teeth, with those on one side being more narrowly set teeth. Semi-circular combs appeared in the archaic period. The Classical period …

Mastic

(264 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (μαστίχη; mastíchē, Lat. mastiche, mastix). Aromatic resin of the mastic tree ( schínos; pistacia lentiscus L.) and the oil from its berries. The name is presumably derived from masásthai, ‘to chew’, since the resin was popular for chewing, because of its pleasant taste and hardness, for dental care and against bad breath, just as small pieces of mastic wood were used as toothpicks. The small, evergreen mastic tree (and bush) was planted and cultivated all over the Mediterranean, although its resin was not o…

Running and catching games

(453 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Running and catching games tended to be played in open areas and streets (e.g., Callim. Epigr. 1,9; Verg. Aen. 7,379) where children could chase one another (Hor. Ars P 455f.; cf. Hor. Ars P 412-415 perhaps races) or engage in the popular pastime of hoop rolling (τροχός/ trochós, trochus), often depicted on Greek vases in particular (also in Ganymedes [1]) (Poll. 10,64). From indications in Roman sources this game was frequently played in the street (Mart. 14,168; 14,169; cf. ibidem 12,168; 14,157) and even on frozen rivers (Ma…

Mantica

(79 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A Roman sack made of leather for transporting goods of all kinds including food (Apul. Met. 1,18). The mantica was carried on the shoulder so that it lay over the back and chest (Pers. 4,24; Hor. Sat. 1,6,106), or when travelling on horseback over its hindquarters. A manticula, a small leather sack, was carried by poorer people. manticulari also means ‘steal’ or ‘cheat’, and the thief (‘cutpurse’) was called a manticulator ( -arius). Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)

Sportula

(118 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] ( sporta, sportella). Roman basket (Isid. Orig. 20,9,10; Petron. Sat. 40) used for shopping (Apul. Met. 1,24 and 25), the term is also used for a  basket which held money or food for clients (Petron. 40;  Juv. 1,95 f.; Salutatio ). Hence sportula denoted a feeding of the public (cf. Suet. Claudius 21,4) or a fee due to the magistrates for their official activities. In the 4th and 5th cents. AD, the fees that were charged by court magistrates for their services were also called sportula (Cod. Iust. 3,2). Donativum Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography H. A. Cahn et al., …

Guessing games

(331 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Only a small number of these are known from antiquity ( Riddles). In order to determine who should start, people liked to choose the game capita aut navia. It is named after the ancient Roman coins with the head of  Ianus ( capita) and a ship's prow ( navia, probably a plural paralleling capita). People threw a coin up into the air: one had to guess (as in the modern game ‘heads or tails’) which image came to lay on top. A guessing game for two players was par-impar (ἀρτιάζειν/ artiázein or ποσίνδα/ posínda): the first person holds in his right hand a number of relativel…

Laena

(144 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A coat-like cloak made of thick wool (Greek: (χ)λαῖνα/ (ch)laîna). Cited in Rome as an article of clothing of the Augures and Flamines when offering sacrifice, as well as of the mythical kings, and found on monuments; in the Imperial period it was part of men's and women's costume. The laena was a special form of the toga and was made by doubling the semicircular-shaped cut of the toga praetexta to an almost circular cloth. By laying together the two circular segments, a toga-like garment was formed that was laid around the shoulders and covered both arms. The laena was worn o…

Zeira

(99 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ζειρά/z eirá). A loose colourful cloak, reaching to the feet and belted in the middle, worn by Arabs (Hdt. 7,69) and Thracians (Hdt. 7,75), which gave protection from the cold and, unlike the chlamýs , was long enough to keep the feet warm when on horseback (Xen. An. 7,4,4). In depictions of Thracians in Attic vase painting it can be identified from its length and ornamental decorations. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography W. Raeck, Zum Barbarenbild in der Kunst Athens, 1981, 69-72 I. Mader, Thrakische Reiter auf dem Fries des Parthenon?, in: F. Blakolmer (ed.), …

Paragaudes

(150 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (παραγαύδης; paragaúdēs). Descriptive term first recorded only in the 3rd cent. AD for a gold or purple border in the form of the Greek letter gamma (Γ), which was woven into garments (SHA Claud. 17,6). Later also transferred to a particular garment ( paragaúdion) made from fine silk material, similar in style to a sleeved chiton, which Roman emperors gave as an award of honour, decorated with at least one and up to five of these borders depending on distinction and service (SHA Aurelian. 15,4,46; SHA Probus 4,5). For that…

Dalmatica

(143 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Long-sleeved  tunica reaching down to the knees, named after its country of origin Dalmatia; mentioned in literature for the first time at the turn of the 2nd cent. AD. According to evidence from written sources and statues, the dalmatica was white with a purple   clavus that went vertically from the shoulders to the hem; the materials from which it was made were wool, silk, a half-silk and linen. The dalmatica was worn by men (with a cingulum militiae when on duty) and women. As early as the 3rd cent. AD it was adopted as liturgical church dress and became…

Acclamatio

(339 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Rhythmic acclamations, sometimes spoken in unison, expressing congratulations, praise, applause, joy or the contrary. Besides the initially prevalent, spontaneous acclamatio, during the course of time a stereotyped acclamatio, which was always repeated on certain occasions, gained currency. There is an early mention of acclamatio in Hom. Il. 1,22, and acclamatio is also known to have marked decisions in Greek popular assemblies [1] and cult gatherings. In Rome, at wedding processions the acclamatio took the form of Talasse and Hymen, Hymenaee io (Catull. 61-6…

Spoons

(284 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Spoons were initially used as stirring or wooden spoons (Greek τορύνη/ torýnē, Aristoph. Equ. 984, cf. Anth. Pal. 6,305; 306, Latin trua or trulla) for preparing food. For scooping liquid foods or wine, a κύαθος/ kýathos was used. Although spoons were known at an early stage, they were little used for eating since people mainly used hollowed-out pieces of bread (μυστίλη/ mystílē, μύστρον/ mýstron) to eat pulse soups, broth or soups etc. (Aristoph. Equ. 1168-1174). The Romans distinguished a spoon with oval bowls ( ligula) for soup, flour soup, pulse etc. from a spoon w…
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