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Sasychis

(80 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Σάσυχις; Sásychis). According to Diod. Sic. 1,94,3 one of the great legislators of Egypt. The name has been variously connected with Egyptian proper names. It is most likely a variant of Asychis, who is recorded in Hdt. 2,136 as a follower of Mycerinus and whose name corresponds to Egyptian š-ḫ.t. Interpretations as Shoshenq (Sesonchosis) are phonetically problematic. Quack, Joachim (Berlin) Bibliography 1 A. Burton, Diodorus Siculus, Book I. A Commentary, 1972, 273 2 A. B. Lloyd, Herodotus Book II. Commentary 99-182, 1988, 88-90.

Serapeum

(129 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
(Σαραπεῖον/ Sarapeîon, Σαράπιον/ Sarápion). [German version] [1] Burial and cult sites of dead Apis bulls in Memphis Term for the burial and cult sites of dead Apis bulls in Memphis (Apis [1]), and generally for cult buildings of the god Serapis derived from it in the Graeco-Roman world. Quack, Joachim (Berlin) [German version] [2] Name of various places As a reflexion of presumably Egyptian terms such as pr-wsjr-ḥp a place name in Greek and Latin sources (see also [1]). According to the Tabula Peutingeriana there were three such places in the Nile Delta; one w…

Sesonchosis

(202 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
(Σεσόγχοσις, Σεσόγχωσις/ Sesónchosis, Sesónchōsis). Greek form of Shoshenq, Egyptian šš( n) q, name of probably five rulers of the 22nd/23rd dynasties. [German version] [1] Shoshenq I, Egyptian ruler, second half of the 10th cent. BC The best known is Shoshenq I ( c. 945-924 BC) [1. 287-302], who according to 1 Kg 14,25 f. (there called Shishak) laid waste to parts of Judaea and was prevented from conquering Jerusalem by being paid large amounts of gold. A list preserved on the Bubastite Gate in Karnak names places in Judah and Israel allegedly conquered by him. Quack, Joachim (Berlin) …

Userkare

(65 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Egyptian Wsr-k-R.w). Egyptian king, according to the evidence of the Kings' lists in the Sixth Dynasty (c. 2300-2250 BC), after Teti I and before Pepi I (Phiops [1]); scarcely any contemporary record. He is sometimes regarded as a usurper or anti-king before or during the reign of Pepi I. Quack, Joachim (Berlin) Bibliography J. Vercoutter, L'Égypte et la vallée du Nil, vol. 1, 1992, 322.

Sesostris

(282 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Σεσῶστρις; Sesôstris). Greek form of the name of three Egyptian rulers of the 12th Dynasty, Egyptian z (j)-n-Wsrt: S. I (1956-1911/10 BC), S. II (1882-1872 BC) and S. III (1872-1853/52 BC). In Hdt. 2,102-110 and Diod. Sic. 1,53-58, S. appears as the greatest general of Egypt, who conquered large parts of Asia and Europe. An alleged settlement of Egyptians in Colchis is reported to go back to his campaigns. He is supposed to have been brought up together with all other Egyptian men who were born o…

Nemanus

(117 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Νεμανούς/ Nemanoús). According to Plutarch (Plut. De Is. et Os. 15,357 B) one of the names of the Queen of Byblos [1], wife of Malcathrus. She received Isis during her search for Osiris and made her the wet nurse of her children. She is also called Astarte and Saosis and is said to have been called Ἀθηναΐς/ Athēnaís by the Greeks. Her name is derived from nḥm( .t)- n, a frequent variation on the goddess's name nḥm( .t)- wy in the late period. She is the companion of Thot. In the late period (1st millennium BC), she was considered to be an aspect of Hathor. Quack, Joachim (Berlin) B…

Leukos Limen

(78 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Egypt | Commerce (Λευκὸς λιμήν; Leukòs limḗn; only in Ptol. 4,5,8). Harbour on the Red Sea at the eastern mouth of Wadi Hammamat opposite Coptus, modern Marsa Koseir el-qadim. Leukos Limen (LL) was the starting-point for trips to Punt (coast of Eritrea). From the Ptolemaic period the harbours Myos Hormos and Berenice [9] supplanted LL. Hardly any ancient remains are extant. Quack, Joachim (Berlin)

Re

(650 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] ( R), the most important god in the Egyptian pantheon. Essentially merely the word for 'sun' and as appellative still used as such in Coptic, translated into Greek as Helios. Re is the god who originated in himself, yet the primeval ocean Nun is considered to be his father. In Heliopolis he is linked with the god Atum, and his children are Shu and Tefnut (Tefnut, legend of). Often the epithet 'Horus of the horizon' (Harachte), is bestowed on him. The phases of the sun during the day are classified by the Egyptians as Chepre (morning), Re (midday) and Atum (e…

Lisht

(134 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] ( al-Lišt). Modern Arabic name for the town that under the name iṯi-t.wi (‘who seizes the two lands’) was the capital city of Egypt (C.) in the Middle Kingdom [3. 53-59]. The pyramids of Amenemhet I and Sesostris I were situated there, the latter surrounded by smaller pyramids of the royal family [1]. An officials' cemetery continued to be used until the 17th dynasty. As an archetypal residence the place name was later used as a cryptographic symbol for the word ‘internal’, ‘residence’. Quack, Joachim (Berlin) Bibliography 1 D. Arnold, The Pyramid Complex of Senwosre…

Mut

(229 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Μούθ/ Moúth; Egyptian mw.t). Egyptian goddess. Her name is written like the Egyptian word for ‘mother’, but is vocalized differently. Beginning in the 18th dynasty in Thebes (Thebes), M., Amun and Chons formed the Theban triad. Other cultic sites of M. can be found in Megeb (near Antaeopolis) as well as at various locations at the tip of the Nile Delta. The Heliopolitan ‘M. who is carrying her brother’ is associated with a fire altar used for punishing criminals. M. is one of the go…

Selkis

(128 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] Egyptian goddess ( srq.t); her emblem is an animal interpreted as a scorpion or a water scorpion. Her putative origin is in the western Delta. Together with Isis, Nephthys and Neith she protects the viscera of a dead person in a canopic chest (Canope). Her symbol is found among those in the relief depiction of a ruler's jubilee. In medicine and magic her priest, the 'Exorciser of S'., primarily provides help for snake bites and scorpion stings, against miscellaneous dangerous animals…

Rhampsinitus

(216 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Ῥαμψίνιτος; Rhampsínitos). According to Hdt. 2,121 f., R. was an Egyptian ruler. In scholarship, he is mostly (however, without conclusive arguments) equated with Ramesses [3] III. He is said to have been the successor of Proteus and the predecessor of Cheops. R. may be identified with a Remphis, who is mentioned in Diod. Sic. 1,62,5. The latter part of the name could contain the element s Njt, 'son of Neith', and possibly it should be corrected to Psammsinit, i.e. Psammetichus, son of Neith. R. is said to have constructed the western gateways of the Temple…

Min

(389 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Μίν/ Mín; Egyptian Mnw). Egyptian god, chief deity of Coptus and Achmīm, was responsible for the desert regions accessible from Coptus. Colossi of M. are preserved from Coptus from early times (3rd cent) [6], demonstrating the classical iconography - they are anthropomorphic, with relatively unstructured bodies, ithyphallic, with a tall plume on the head. One arm is raised and bears a scourge. This figure became the model for the ithyphallic form of Amun. The written character for M…

Onuris

(231 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Ὀνουρις; Ónouris). Egyptian god ( Jnj-ḥrt, *ianiy ḥarat, 'the one who fetches the distant one'), attested in cuneiform as anḫara and in Coptic ( a) nhoure. O. is depicted with four feathers on his head, carrying a lance, and wearing a robe. His main cult centres were Thinis (8th Upper Egyptian district) and Sebennytus. O. was often syncretically associated with other gods, especially Haroeris, Shu and Arensnuphis and partly also with Thot (of Pnubs); the Greeks equated him with Ares (dream of Nectanebus…

Pheron

(185 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Φερῶν; Pherôn). Greek rendering of the Egyptian pr-, Pharaoh, therefore not a personal name, but the Egyptian royal title. According to Hdt. 2,111 (similarly also Diod. Sic. 159), the son and successor of Sesostris I (1971-1928 BC). He is said to have thrown his spear into the flooding Nile and to have been blinded as a punishment, until he could wash his eyes with the urine of a woman who had always been faithful to her husband. After recovering his sight, he had all unfaithful wives …

Tefnut, legend of

(186 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] Group of myths about the Egyptian goddess Tefnut (Greek Τφηνις; Tphēnis), the daughter of Atum, who parted with her father in anger and is brought back from Nubia to Egypt by her brother Onuris with the aid of Thoth (Thot). Attestations of the legend can be found in temple inscriptions (mostly in the form of short epithets and allusions) mainly in Nubia and southern Upper Egypt, and in the Demotic Myth of the Eye of the Sun, which was also translated into Greek. This Greek translation (P. Lit. Lond. 192, ed. [4]) has been discussed by scholars as indicati…

Xeine

(84 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (ξείνη/ xeínē, 'stranger'). According to Hdt. 2,112 term for a  manifestation of Aphrodite, with a temple in Memphis. Presumably it was a cult of the Syrian goddess Astarte, i.e. 'the Stranger', who had been worshipped there since the Eighteenth Dynasty [1. 45]. It is uncertain whether it can be identified with a temple of Aphrodite or Selene mentioned in Str. 17,1,31 [2. 136]. Quack, Joachim (Berlin) Bibliography 1 A. B. Lloyd, Herodotus, Book II, Commentary 99-182, 1988 2 J. Yoyotte, P. Charvet, Strabon, Le voyage en Égypte (transl. with comm.), 1997.

Coptus

(218 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Commerce | India, trade with | Egypt Main city of the 5th upper Egyptian district (besides Ombos and Qūṣ), Egyptian gbtw, which became Greek κοπτός ( koptós), Copt. kebt and Arab. qifṭ. Important starting-point for expeditions into the Wadi Hamāmat and the Red Sea. Located in C. were temples for  Min (main god),  Isis (also referred to as ‘Widow of Coptus’) and  Horus; records also indicate a cult of Geb. Colossal stone statues of Min stem from the early 1st dynasty. Protect…

Peteesis

(173 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Greek Πετεησις/ Peteēsis; Egyptian p′č̣i̯-s.t, 'the one given by Isis'). According to PRylands 63 [4], Egyptian priest in Heliopolis [1] who teaches Plato about melothesia (allocation of parts of the body to astral magnitudes) [2. 81]. Presumably the same traditional figure of a sage as the P. who is mentioned in several variants in Dioscorides, De materia medica 5,98 as an author, possibly also the Petasius of the alchemistic corpus (CAAG vol. 3, 15,3; 26,1; 95,15; 97,17; 261,9; 2…

Uchoreus

(95 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Οὐχορεύς; Ouchoreús). According to Diod. Sic. 1,50 the eighth child of Osymandias (Ramses [2] II) and the founder of Memphis, which he is supposed to have made into a strong fortress with an embankment and a large lake. Scholars like to identify it with the Ὀχυράς/ Ochyrás mentioned in the Book of Sothis in Syncellus (FGrH III F 28,110,9). The name is customarily explained as a corruption of ὀχρεύς ('the permanent') and considered to be a translation of the Egyptian mn (Menes [1]). Quack, Joachim (Berlin) Bibliography K. Sethe, Beiträge zur ältesten Geschichte Äg…

Punt

(357 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] Egyptian pwn.t, construed from the New Kingdom on, by means of linguistic reanalysis, as p-wn.t. Omission of the apparent article creates a new name wn.t; this appears in some sources from the Graeco-Roman Period. According to Egyptian sources, a country in the far southeast; today usually sought in the region of Būr Sūdān (Port Sudan) [6] or around Eritrea and the Horn of Africa [1; 2]. In the Old Kingdom, trade goods from P. could reach Egypt by way of staging posts along the Nile; direct trading voya…

Thonis

(120 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Θώνις/ Thṓnis). City on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt (Egyptian t ḥn.t), in the area of the Canopian mouth of the Nile, according to Str. 17,1,16 and  Sic. 1,19 once an important trading post. The recent find of a duplicate of the Naucratis stele has made identification with Heracleum likely. The place name T. is probably the origin of the figure of a homonymous hero who plays a part in the tradition of Helena [I]  in Egypt. Hdt. 2,113-115 tells of T. as a guardian of the mouth of the Nile, who notifies King Proteus of the arrival of Paris and Helen. Quack, Joachim (Berlin) Bibl…

Leukos Limen

(70 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[English version] Dieser Ort ist auf folgenden Karten verzeichnet: Ägypten | Handel (Λευκὸς λιμήν; nur bei Ptol. 4,5,8). Hafen am Roten Meer am Ost-Ausgang des Wadi Hammamat in der Höhe von Koptos, h. Marsa Koseir el-qadim. L.L. war Ausgangspunkt der Fahrten nach Punt (Küste von Erythraea). Seit der Ptolemäerzeit haben die Häfen Myos Hormos und Berenike [9] L.L. überflügelt. Ant. Reste sind kaum erhalten. Quack, Joachim (Berlin)

Nemanus

(100 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[English version] (Νεμανούς). Nach Plutarch (Plut. Is. 15,357 B) einer der Namen der Königin von Byblos [1], Gemahlin des Malkathros, die Isis auf der Suche nach Osiris aufnimmt und zur Amme ihrer Kinder macht. Sie wird auch als Astarte und Saosis bezeichnet und soll von den Griechen Athenais (Ἀθηναΐς) genannt worden sein. Der Name geht auf nḥm( .t)- n zurück, eine in der Spätzeit häufige Variante des Göttinnennamens nḥm( .t)- wy. Diese ist Gefährtin des Thot und wird in der Spätzeit (1. Jt.v.Chr.) als Aspekt der Hathor aufgefaßt. Quack, Joachim (Berlin) Bibliography 1 H.J. Thissen,…

Onuris

(196 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[English version] (Ὀνουρις). Äg. Gott ( Jnj-ḥrt, *ianiy ḥarat, “der die Ferne holt”), keilschriftl. als anḫara, koptisch ( a) nhoure belegt. O. ist ikonographisch durch vier Federn am Kopf und eine Lanze gekennzeichnet und trägt ein langes Gewand; Hauptkultorte waren Thinis (8. oberäg. Gau) und Sebennytos. O. wurde oft mit anderen Göttern, bes. Haroeris, Schu und Arensnuphis, teilweise auch Thot (von Pnubs) synkretistisch verbunden; von den Griechen mit Ares gleichgesetzt (Traum des Nektanebos). O. könnte ursprün…

Pheron

(164 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[English version] (Φερῶν). Griech. Wiedergabe des äg. pr-, “Pharao”, also kein Eigenname, sondern der äg. Königstitel. Nach Hdt. 2,111 (ähnl. auch Diod. 159) Sohn und Nachfolger des Sesostris I. (1971-1928 v.Chr.). Er soll seine Lanze in die Nilüberschwemmung geworfen haben und als Strafe dafür erblindet sein, bis er seine Augen mit dem Urin einer Frau waschen konnte, die ihrem Mann stets treu war. Nach Wiedererlangung der Sehfähigkeit ließ er alle untreuen Frauen verbrennen sowie in Heliopolis [1] zw…

Mut

(209 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[English version] (Μούθ; äg. mw.t). Äg. Göttin. Ihr Name wird wie das Wort “Mutter” geschrieben, aber die Vokalisation weicht ab. In Theben (Thebai) bildet M. ab der 18. Dyn. gemeinsam mit Amun und Chons die thebanische Triade. Weitere Kultorte der M. finden sich in Megeb (bei Antaiopolis) sowie an verschiedenen Orten an der Spitze des Nildeltas. Die heliopolitanische “M., die ihren Bruder trägt” ist mit einem Brandaltar verbunden, der zur Bestrafung von Verbrechern dient. M. gehört zu den Göttinnen…

Rhampsinitos

(188 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[English version] (Ῥαμψίνιτος). Nach Hdt. 2,121 f. äg. Herrscher; wird in der Forsch. meist, aber ohne zwingende Argumente, mit Ramses [3] III. gleichgesetzt. Er soll Nachfolger des Proteus und Vorgänger des Cheops gewesen sein. Evtl. ist er zu identifizieren mit einem Remphis, der bei Diod. 1,62,5 genannt wird. Der Name könnte im hinteren Bereich das Element s Njt, “Sohn der Neith”, enthalten, evtl. ist er zu Psammsinit, d. h. Psammetichos, “Sohn der Neith”, zu verbessern. Rh. soll die westl. Torbauten des Hephaistos-Tempels (wohl in Memphis) erbaut und davor zwei…

Koptos

(192 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[English version] Dieser Ort ist auf folgenden Karten verzeichnet: Ägypten | Handel | Indienhandel Hauptort des 5. oberäg. Gaues (neben Ombos und Qūṣ), äg. gbtw, daraus griech. κοπτός, kopt. kebt und arab. qifṭ. Wichtiger Ausgangspunkt für Expeditionen ins Wadi Hamāmat und zum Roten Meer. In K. befanden sich Tempelbauten für Min (Haup…

Min

(338 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[English version] (Μίν; äg. Mnw). Ägypt. Gott, Hauptgott von Koptos und Achmīm, war für die von Koptos erreichbaren Wüstengebiete zuständig. Bereits aus der Frühzeit (3. Jt.) sind Kolossalstatuen des M. aus Koptos aus erhalten [6], welche die klass. Ikonographie zeigen - anthropomorph, mit relativ ungegliedertem Körper, ithyphallisch, hohe Federn auf dem Kopf. Ein Arm ist aufgerichtet und trägt die Geißel. Diese Gestalt wurde zum Vorbild für die ithyphallische Form des Amun. Das Schriftzeichen des M…

Peteesis

(155 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[English version] (griech. Πετεησις; äg. p′č̣i̯-s.t, “der, den Isis gegeben hat”). Nach PRylands 63 [4] äg. Priester in Heliopolis [1], der Platon über die Melothesie (Zuordnung der Körperglieder zu astralen Größen) belehrt [2. 81]. Verm. dieselbe Traditionsfigur eines Weisen wie der P., der in einigen Varianten zu Dioskurides, De materia medica 5,98 als Autor genannt wird, evtl. auch der Petasios des alchemistischen Corpus (CAAG Bd. 3, 15,3; 26,1; 95,15; 97,17; 261,9; 282,9; 416,15; [1. 68f., 205f.]). Ein tatsächlicher äg. Priester in Heliopolis namens

Re

(565 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[English version] ( R), wichtigster Gott des äg. Pantheons. Eigentlich nur Wort für “Sonne” und als Appellativum so noch im Koptischen gebräuchlich, im Griech. als Helios wiedergegeben. Re ist teilweise der von selbst entstandene Gott, teilw…

Oxyrhynchus

(551 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
This item can be found on the following maps: Egypt | Pilgrimage | Egypt [German version] A. The city City in Middle Egypt, modern Al-Bahnasā; in Pharaonic times the capital of the 19th nome of Upper Egypt, Egyptian pr-mḏd, 'meeting house (?)'. Originally O. was one of the main cult centres of Seth as well as of Thoeris. Because Seth had killed Osiris, it was mentioned in traditional lists of nomes as a banned place. There are hardly any archaeological finds from the pre-Ptolemaic period; the ancient centre of the nome was presumably located in spr-mrw. During the Graeco-Roman period, the…

Oxyrhynchos

(481 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Eleuteri, Paolo (Venedig)
Dieser Ort ist auf folgenden Karten verzeichnet: Ägypten | Ägypten | Pilgerschaft [English version] A. Die Stadt Stadt in Mittelägypten, h. Al-Bahnasā; in pharaonischer Zeit Hauptort des 19. oberäg. Gaus, äg. pr-mḏd, “Haus des Treffens(?)”. Urspr. war O. einer der Hauptkultorte des Seth sowie der Thoeris, und wurde, weil Seth den Osiris getötet hatte, in traditionellen Gaulisten als verfemter Ort genannt. Kaum arch. Funde aus vorptolem. Zeit; das ältere Gauzentrum lag verm. in spr-mrw. In griech.-röm. Zeit existierte in O. ein Kult des Sarapis und der Thoeris, ebenfa…

Punt

(437 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[English version] [1] Land in Afrika Äg. pwn.t, ab dem NR durch sprachliche Neuanalyse als p-wn.t aufgefaßt, woraus unter Weglassung des scheinbaren Artikels ein neuer Name wn.t kreiert wird, der in einigen Quellen aus griech.-röm. Zeit erscheint. Nach äg. Quellen ein Land im fernen SO; h. meist im Bereich von Būr Sūdān (Port Sudan) [6] oder um Eritrea und das Horn von Afrika [1; 2] gesucht. Im AR könnten Handelsgüter aus P. über Zwischenstationen entlang des Nils nach Äg. gelangt sein, auch direkte Handelsfahrten sind …

Serapis

(1,264 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Takacs, Sarolta A. (Cambridge, MA)
(Σάραπις/ Sárapis, also Σέραπις/ Sérapis, Latin Serapis), original Egyptian bull god whose main cult was in Memphis; from the Hellenistic period, it was widespread throughout the Mediterranean region. [German version] I. Egypt The Greek form Sarapis (Σάραπις; Sárapis), and in later sources Serapis (Σέραπις; Sérapis), derives from the combination Wsjr-Ḥp (Osiris - Apis [1]), which is rendered as οσεραπις ( oserapis) in the oldest sources from Memphis, e.g. in the Curse of Artemisia (UPZ 1; 4th cent. BC). Because the initial sound was understood as the article (ὁ; ho) it became detached, resulting in the creation of the later form of the name. The Egyptian component of the god is based on the mortuary aspect of the sacred bull of Memphis, in which Osiris, the god of the dead, is of greater theological significance. Within Egyptian sources, S. is documented in the Ptolemaic royal oath thro…

Purity

(1,297 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck)
[German version] I. Mesopotamia In Sumerian the adjective kug and in Akkadian the corresponding adjective ellu express the principle of (cultic) purity. Both words also contain the nuance of 'bright', 'shining'. Sumerian kug and Akkadian ellu (when in textual dependence upon kug) mark characteristics of deities, localities (e.g., temples), (cult) objects, rites and periods of time as belonging to the sphere of the divine. This, however, does not necessarily mean that they must be in an uncontaminated state. In this respect kug is most often rendered as 'holy/sacred'. Akkadian ellu, by contrast, has the primary meaning of 'free of material and immaterial contamination or interference' and can refer to both cultic purity and the legal status of persons and objects (i.e., free of claims) or the contamination of materials. Pure materials have a purifying power. Purificatory rites can remove impurity caused by  demons or by the breaking of rules and taboos (Purification).…

Moon

(1,588 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Hübner, Wolfgang (Münster)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The rotation of the moon and the phases of the moon served as significant structural elements of the calendar from early times in all ancient Oriental cultures. People discussed not only the phases of the moon but also, from earliest times, the eclipses of the moon, regarding them as ominous signs (Astrology; Divination). Like the sun, the moon, which was represented as a deity, was the protagonist of numerous myths in Egypt, Asia Minor [1. 373-375] and Mesopotamia (Moon deities). In Babylonia, as early as toward the end of the 3rd millennium,…

Science

(3,548 words)

Author(s): Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | R.NE.
[German version] I. Mesopotamia The framework for the emergence of science, i.e. of a socially organized, systematic search for discoveries and their transmission, existed in Mesopotamia from the early 3rd millennium BC. It included social differentiation and the development of a script (Cuneiform script) which was soon applied outside administrative and economic contexts. The potential of numeracy and literacy, sustained by the professional group of scribes, was developed beyond concrete, practical…

Reinheit

(1,187 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck)
[English version] I. Mesopotamien Das Prinzip (kultischer) R. wird im Sumerischen durch das Adj. kug, im Akkadischen durch das korrespondierende Adj. ellu ausgedrückt. I…

Nimbus

(1,534 words)

Author(s): Willers, Dietrich (Berne) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Nimbus vitreus Nimbus vitreus (‘glass clouds’), a pun by Martial (14,112), which has been misunderstood mostly since Friedländer's annotations [1. 322] and into the most recent commentary [2. 174] has been misunderstood and is translated as a ‘glass vessel for sprinkling liquids with numerous openings’. What is meant is the effect of such an instrument when wine is sprayed.…

Multilingualism

(2,975 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen) | Schwemer, Daniel (Würzburg) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Rieken, Elisabeth (Berlin)
[German version] I. General ‘Multilingualism’ refers to two different things: on the one hand the ability of an individual to use several languages, on the other hand a situation where, within a social group, several languages are used (linguistic contact). As a result, research into multilingualism can look at multilingual individuals or a multilingual society; accordingly, points of contact arise to psycho- and neurolinguistics on the one hand or to sociolinguistics and historical linguistics (des…

Chronography

(3,691 words)

Author(s): Rüpke | Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Hollender, Elisabeth (Cologne) | Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
I. General [German version] A. Notions of measuring time Most cultures have some method of measuring time, frequently based on periodical changes within nature or the stars. The oldest of these is the pars-pro-toto method, in which it is not a certain period of time as a whole that is connected, but a regularly recurring phenomenon within that time [1. 9 f.] (e.g. lunar phases). Metaphors of time or the measuring thereof play no great role in antiquity, with the exception of the field of  metrics. Usually, the focus was not on …

Myth

(8,403 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Zgoll, Annette (Leipzig) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Hazenbos, Joost (Leipzig) | Niehr, Herbert (Tübingen)
I. Theory of myth [German version] A. Definition Despite many attempts, it has proven impossible to arrive at a definition of myth (Gr. μῦθος/ mýthos; Lat. mythos

Wisdom literature

(3,886 words)

Author(s): Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | S.SC. | Hollender, Elisabeth (Cologne) | Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
I. Ancient Near East [German version] A. Definition When applying the term wisdom literature (WL) to ancient Mesopotamian literature we need to distinguish between the idea of wisdom (Akkadian nēmequ, Sumerian nam.kù.zu, 'precious knowledge') [10; 11] as 'wealth of general human experience' and the concept of wisdom as expertise in a cult. On the one hand, there are a number of non-homogenous, formally different literary genres in which knowledge, procedures, advice and behavioural guidelines are passed on; on the other han…

Papyrus

(2,017 words)

Author(s): Dorandi, Tiziano (Paris) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
I. Material [German version] A. Term and manufacture The term papyrus was adopted into the European languages via the Greek πάπυρος/ pápyros, lat. papyrus, and ultimately is the source of the modern terms for paper, Papier, papier, etc.  Papyrus is hypothetically derived from an (unattested) Egyptian * pa-prro ('that of the king'). Papyrus, an aquatic plant with a long stem and a triangular cross-section ( Cyperus papyrus L.), was in its processed form a widespread writing material ('paper') in the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean. Papyrus is produced by p…

Ceremony

(3,932 words)

Author(s): Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Winterling, Aloys (Bielefeld) | Tinnefeld, Franz (Munich)
[German version] I. Mesopotamia In contrast with cultic  rituals, the secular ceremonies of Mesopotamia have up to now rarely been the subject of academic research. On the whole, it has to be assumed that individual and communal life in the societies of the Ancient Orient in general and that of the  ruler in particular were dominated by numerous rules, resulting in more or less standardized patterns of behaviour. The reconstruction of such non-cultic ceremonies is largely dependent on secondary refe…

Mehrsprachigkeit

(2,534 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen) | Schwemer, Daniel (Würzburg) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Rieken, Elisabeth (Berlin)
[English version] I. Begriff “M.” bezeichnet zwei verschiedene Dinge: zum einen die Fähigkeit des Individuums, sich mehrerer Sprachen zu bedienen, zum anderen eine Situation, in der innerhalb einer gesellschaftl. Gruppe mehrere Sprachen verwendet werden (Sprachkontakt). Dementsprechend kann sich M.-Forsch. mit dem mehrsprachigen Individuum oder der mehrsprachigen Ges. befassen; je nach Sichtweise ergeben sich Berührungspunkte zur Psycho- und Neurolinguistik einerseits oder zur Soziolinguistik und hi…
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