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Circus

(4,543 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) | Hönle, Augusta (Rottweil)
I. Architektur [English version] A. Definition Der C. war die größte aller röm. Freizeitstätten und wurde zuerst und hauptsächlich für Rennen mit vier- oder zweispännigen Wagen ( quadrigae oder bigae) benutzt. Der kanonische C. bestand aus einer langen, vergleichsweise schmalen Rennbahn (ca. 450 × 80 m; arena, von harena, “Sand”), an deren beiden Enden je drei Kegel ( metae) auf einem Podest als Wendemarken dienten. Die Bahn führte um eine Barriere, die die Zentralachse ( euripus, griech. εὔριπος, “Wasserrinne”; später auch spina, “Rückgrat, Wirbelsäule”) markierte und die…

Palast

(3,499 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[English version] I. Terminologie und Definition Der mod. Begriff “Palast” leitet sich ab vom Palatin (Mons Palatinus), dem Hügel Roms, auf dem die Residenzen der röm. Kaiser standen. Als P. werden Bauanlagen bezeichnet, die einem Herrscher als Wohn- und Repräsentationssitz dienten. Je nach weiteren, dazukommenden Funktionen konnte er im Alt. verschiedene, von der jeweiligen Funktion abhängige Bezeichnungen haben. Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) II. Alter Orient [English version] A. Baugeschichte Im Alten Orient und Äg. war ein P. von den Ursprüngen her ein Wohnhaus mit…

Exedra

(495 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg)
[English version] A. Terminologie und Definition E. ist ein latinisiertes griech. Wort (ἐξέδρα = Sitz im Freien bzw. außerhalb), das in republikan. Zeit in den röm. Sprachgebrauch einging. Auf der Grundlage schriftl. Quellen kann die E. als ein Raum definiert werden, der nach außen hin offen ist und meist (zwei) Säulen in antis aufweist. Eine E. konnte mit Sitzbänken versehen sein und war z.T. mit Statuen ausgestattet, u.a. von Göttern oder verdienstvollen Bürgern. Sie hatten entweder einen rechteckigen oder einen halbkreisförmigen Grundriß, wobe…

Nymphäum

(675 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg)
[English version] A. Etymologie und Definition Das Wort νυμφαῖον/ nymphaíon ist erstmals für das 4. Jh.v.Chr. belegt, und zwar auf Delos (IG XI,2,144, A Z. 91); es bezeichnete ursprünglich ein Heiligtum für die Nymphen. Ein N. ist zuerst in Itanos auf Kreta im 3. Jh.v.Chr. zusammen mit einem Wasserreservoir bezeugt (ILS 9458). Die latinisierte Form nymphaeum findet sich erstmalig bei Pomponius Mela (1. H. des 1. Jh. n.Chr., Mela 2,3), und zwar für ein Nymphenheiligtum in Chersonessos. Dagegen verwendete Plinius (nat. 35,151) das Wort n., um einen Springbrunnen mit einer St…

Macellum

(609 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg)
[English version] A. Terminologie, Definition und Typologie Der Begriff M. ist zum erstenmal bei Plautus nachzuweisen; es ist anzunehmen, daß es sich um die latinisierte Version des griech. Wortes μάκελλος/ mákellos (“Markt”) handelt, das allerdings vor der röm. Eroberung Griechenlands für diese Institution nicht und auch danach nur selten verwendet wurde. Ein M. war ein öffentlicher Baukomplex, der hofartig von einer Mauer umschlossen war. An die Mauer gebaut fanden sich, meist hinter einer Portikus, kleine Geschäfte oder L…

Bäder

(848 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg)
[English version] A. Terminologie und Definition Im Griech. wurden B. βαλανεῖον ( balaneíon) oder λουτρόν ( lutrón) genannt, im Lat. lavatrina, balneum, balnea, balnae. In griech.-röm. Zeit gab es private B. in Wohnhäusern, aber auch öffentliche B., während im Alten Orient nur private B. bekannt waren. Die öffentlichen B. waren meist in Privatbesitz und von eher bescheidener Größe; zu den staatlichen, monumentalen B. s. Thermen. Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) [English version] B. Griechenland Private B. gab es in Griechenland seit min.-myk. Zeit; sie bestanden normalerwe…

Bibliothek

(5,009 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) | Burkard, Günther (München) | Maul, Stefan (Heidelberg) | Vössing, Konrad (Aachen)
I. Bibliotheksgebäude [English version] A. Definition B. ist Aufbewahrungsort oder Gebäude für Bücher aller Art. B. konnten Teil von Privathäusern, königlichen Palästen, öffentlichen und sakralen Gebäuden (Gymnasien, Fora, Thermen), Heiligtümern oder auch freistehende Gebäude sein. Nur wenige B. sind gesichert oder erh., da die meisten ihrer funktionsbestimmenden Elemente, einschließlich der Bücherschränke ( armaria) und des Mobiliars, aus Holz bestanden. Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) [English version] B. Griechenland Büchersammlungen sind im griech. Kulturraum se…

Amphitheatre

(1,954 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg)
[German version] A. Terminological and typological definition Amphitheatrum is a latinized Greek word (ἀμφιθέατρον; amphithéatron) and literally means ‘double  theatre’ or ‘theatre with two halves’; it is first mentioned in Augustan times (Vitr. De arch. 1,7,1; Str. 14,1,43; R. Gest. div. Aug. 22). In Republican times, the term spectacula, which refers to the function rather than the type of building, was used for the earliest preserved amphitheatre (Pompeii; CIL X 852) as well as for the rows of wooden benches on the Forum Romanum (Fest. 120…

Piscina

(489 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Christina (Kassel) | Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg)
(from Latin piscis, 'fish'). [German version] [1] Fish-farm In Greece, fish-farming was practiced in natural bodies of water, more rarely in artificially constructed ponds (Aristot. Hist. an. 592a). Piscinae are known in Rome from the 3rd/2nd cents. BC on (Gell. NA 2,20,6f.), where fish-farming was part of pastio villatica (Varro, Rust. 3,3,1; 3,17,1; Breeding, of small domestic animals); the growing popularity of sea fish lead to the construction of saltwater piscinae (Columella 8,17,1ff.), extremely costly to maintain due to their need for a  continuous supply of…

Basilica

(1,856 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg)
[German version] A. Terminology and definition The term basilica goes back to the Greek word βασιλική ( basilikḗ), which means ‘majestic, royal, princely, magnificent, grand’ (Lat. regalis). When referring to a building, the adjective must be supplemented by a noun such as στοά ( stoá), since basilica in Greek texts was often translated as στοά. In Christian times, the meaning of basilica is identical to church. Architecturally, a basilica consists of a long hall, which could be open or closed to the outside and which was divided into a nave and side aisles. …

Meta

(562 words)

Author(s): Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) | Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg)
[German version] [1] First wife of Aegeus (Μήτα; Mḗta, = Melite: Schol. Eur. Med. 673), first wife of Aegeus (Apollod. 3,207). Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) [2] General [German version] A. Definition The etymology of the Latin term meta is unclear. Basically it describes cone- or pyramid-shaped objects of stone, or sometimes wood, with various functions. In stone as a meta molendaria, the conical lower stone of ancient mills ( mola asinaria, Mill), on top of which the upper stone, the catillus, turned (Dig. 33,7,18,5). Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) [German version] B. Meta in the Roman circus In the Rom…

Narthex

(580 words)

Author(s): Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg) | Willers, Dietrich (Berne) | Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg)
(νάρθηξ; nárth ēx). [German version] [1] Yellow-flowering giant fennel (Latin ferula with uncertain etymology). The umbelliferous plant Ferula communis, the yellow-flowering giant fennel, which Theophrastus (H. plant. 6,2,8f., cf. Plin. HN 13,123) describes [1. 61f. and fig. 95-97]. On the coasts of Greece, on the islands and in Lower Italy this plant grows up to 5 m high. The dried stems were used like a cane for punishment, as the ‘sceptre of paedagogues’ ( sceptrum paedagogorum, Mart. 10,62,10 et passim), but also as a cattle goad and the staff of the Bacchants (Thyrs…

Exedra

(523 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg)
[German version] A. Terminology and definition Exedra is a latinized Greek word (ἐξέδρα = outdoor seat), which started to be used by the Romans in the Republican era. On the basis of written sources, the exedra can be defined as a space open to the elements and generally having (two) columns in antis. An exedra could have benches and was sometimes decorated with statues of deities or commendable citizens. They had either a rectangular or semicircular ground plan, with the rectangular form being more common; in many cases there was a portico in front. Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) [German version] B…

Baths

(969 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg)
[German version] A. Terminology and definition In Greek baths were called βαλανεῖον ( balaneîon) or λουτρόν ( loutrón), in Latin lavatrina, balneum, balnea, balnae. In the Graeco-Roman period there were private baths in dwelling houses as well as public baths, whilst in the ancient Orient only private baths were known. The public baths were mostly privately owned and rather modest in size; for the monumental public baths, see  Thermae [1]. Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) [German version] B. Greece There were private baths in Greece from the Minoan-Mycenaean period onwards; the…

Temple

(5,554 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Hollender, Elisabeth (Cologne) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Et al.
[German version] I. Mesopotamia The Sumerian term é and the Akkadian term bītu, meaning 'temple' or 'house (of the deity)', were not restricted to 'dwellings' of deities of a particular size or importance. They applied to sanctuaries from small neighbourhood shrines in residential areas to large, freestanding, tall buildings, from one-room cult sites to temple complexes with extensive auxiliary buildings, and they could be used for temples where one or many deities were worshipped. Prehistoric structures are often classified as temples only because apparently they nei…

Library

(5,672 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) | Burkard, Günther (Munich) | Maul, Stefan (Heidelberg) | Vössing, Konrad (Aachen)
I. Library buildings [German version] A. Definition A library is a depository or building for books of all kinds. Libraries could be part of private houses, royal palaces, public and religious buildings ( Gymnasium, Forum, Thermae [1]), sanctuaries, or be independent buildings. Only few libraries have been secured or preserved, because most of their constituent elements, including bookcases ( armaria) and furnishings, were made of wood. Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) [German version] B. Greece Book collections have been known in the Greek cultural area since the 6th cent. B…

Thermae

(4,525 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) | Meister, Klaus (Berlin)
[1] Baths [German version] I. Etymology and definition Thermae (fem. pl.) is a Latinization and substantivization of the Greek adjective θερμός/ thermós, 'warm'. The word was used in its Latinized form to describe a bathing establishment, and subsequently passed back into the Greek language in this sense. As in Classical Antiquity, modern scholarship has no precise definition of 'thermal baths' (TB), although it has for the smaller baths ( balnea). TB are normally defined as large, public bathing establishments with a multitude of additional functions. Apart from…

Nymphaeum

(1,502 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) | Olshausen, Eckart (Stuttgart) | Zahrnt, Michael (Kiel) | Strobel, Karl (Klagenfurt) | von Bredow, Iris (Bietigheim-Bissingen) | Et al.
I. Sanctuary [German version] A. Etymology and definition The word νυμφαῖον/ nymphaîon is first attested in the 4th cent. BC, on Delos (IG XI,2,144, A l. 91). It originally designated a sanctuary of the nymphs. A nymphaeum is first attested in Itanus on Crete in the 3rd cent. BC together with a water reservoir (ILS 9458). The Latinised form nymphaeum is first found in Pomponius Mela (first half of the 1st cent. AD, Mela 2,3), for a nymph sanctuary in Chersonessus. Conversely, Plinius (HN 35,151) used the word nymphaeum to describe a well with a statue in it (Corinth). The modern t…

Porticus

(446 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Definition Porticus is Lat. for the Greek stoá , a covered colonnade with rear and often also side walls. The columns could be in antis, prostyle or between side walls. The porticus with one or multiple naves was normally linear and one-storeyed, but could also be round ( porticus absidata) and two-storeyed. In contrast to the Greek stoá the Roman porticus was seldom free-standing. Porticūs lay mostly along a road or an open space in front of a building or on one or more sides of a courtyard. As a peristylion , porticus also denoted an independent building. An exceptio…

Palace

(3,814 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] I. Terminology and Definition The modern term ‘palace’ is derived from the Palatine (Mons Palatinus), one of Rome’s seven hills, on which the residences of the Roman emperors were located. Palaces are buildings that a ruler uses as a residence and for representation. Depending on additional functions, they could have other names in Antiquity, relating to their respective use. Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) II. Ancient Near East [German version] A. Structural History In the Ancient Near East and Egypt, the palace was originally a house with considerably expa…
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