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Social and Economic History

(4,439 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) [German version] A. The Enlightenment's Assessment of Ancient Society (CT) Although ancient society played a prominent role in Enlightenment discourse, clarification of historical fact was not always the primary consideration in the treatment of any particular theme; rather, Greek or Roman society was described and cited in various theoretical contexts as a model or classified historically to justify or refute particular philosophical, political or economic positions. Influenced b…

Castration of animals

(328 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] ( castratio) was a frequent procedure in ancient agriculture, designed to adapt the characteristics of male animals to the requirements of human beings. In horses and cattle, the castration served the purpose of altering the temperament of the animal without impairing its viability (Xen. Cyr. 7,5,62). Aristotle describes the effects of castration in his zoological writings, drawing attention to how the mutilation of a small part of the body affects an ani- mal's entire appearance. …

Pigs

(1,385 words)

Author(s): Nissen | Reeg, Gottfried | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Near East and Egypt The Near East is part of the original range of the wild pig ( Sus scrofa L.), which was evidently used in various places for breeding the domestic pig; the earliest examples date from the 7th millennium BC [6. 73]. The pig (Sumerian šaḫ(a); Akkadian šaḫû [3]) was of some significance during most periods and in most regions of the Near East, probably…

Fiscus

(396 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] In the time of the late Republic the word fiscus on the one hand referred to a container for storing money, on the other hand it already referred to public funds that were placed at the disposal of a promagistrate in the province (Cic. Verr. 2,3,197). Furthermore fiscus also meant the private assets of a Roman citizen. In the Principate period the fis cus was the cashier's office of the princeps; as he alone could dispose of the fiscus, he could also exercise considerable influence over politics by using these finances. This already applies to Augustus who spent large sums of money on distributing land and providing for soldiers and who financially supported the …

Wealth, distribution of

(1,635 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. General The study of the distribution of wealth in a society should offer information about the various types of wealth and their economic significance in a national economy and about the share of individuals or social groups in the overall national wealth. Because quantitative information on the economy and private wealth is only available in an extremely limited scope for Antiquity, the statistical methods of modern economics cannot be applied in the field of ancient…

Gold

(3,476 words)

Author(s): Riederer, Josef (Berlin) | Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
I. General [German version] A. Gold and gold deposits Gold is a soft precious metal that can be shaped well mechanically and so can be worked easily into sheets and wires, but it has a relatively high melting point at 1063°C that makes casting difficult. It is relatively rare in nature where it is present in the form of gold aggregates in solid rock from which it is extracted through mining methods, or it is present in the form of gold particles or grains in sandy deposits of weathered primary rock, from which it can be separat…

Hunting

(1,391 words)

Author(s): Galter, Hannes D. (Graz) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Archaeological finds attest to battues with traps in the Middle East from the 7th millennium BC onwards. On the other hand, there is only a little cuneiform evidence of the occupation of the hunter, e.g. in the  Gilgamesh Epic (TUAT 3. 676, I iii 9ff.). Wild cattle, wild goats, wild donkeys, gazelles, lions,  elephants and many other animals were hunted. As hunting weapons, people used traps, nets and snares as well as bows and arrow…

Materialism

(955 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The concept of materialism does not appear until the first half of the eighteenth century, and is first used polemically in the context of the criticism of materialist thought in Enlightenment philosophy, as antithesis of idealism or spiritualism (Kant). Here, only those teachings wil…

Drainage

(646 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The meagre productivity of ancient agriculture rendered the effective use and cultivation of any suitable land imperative for growing grain, viticulture, and planting olive trees. Hills and mountain slopes in Greece were prepared for cultivation through terracing, and drainage measures were used to gain virgin land or to protect land from flooding after the winter rains. The requirements were different in Greece and Italy: in the Greek interior, there are fairly large plains in which lakes are formed by surface inflow; run-off is often subsurface ( katavothra) and …

Nutrition

(3,630 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Englund, Robert K. (Berlin)
[German version] I. General With respect to human history, nutrition, generally defined as the intake of substances for the sustenance, procreation and growth of living organisms, should not in any way be understood or investigated only as a physiological process, but must be seen in the context of a multiplicity of economic, social, cultural and religious factors. The choice of foodstuffs in a society is made not only with regard to their nutritional value, but also based on social and religious va…

Hyginus, C. Iulius

(841 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Life and Work a) A philologist and polymath of the Augustan era from Spain or Alexandria; a freedman of Augustus who served as the prefect of the Palatine library after 28 BC while simultaneously engaging in extensive teaching activities (for biography, cf. Suet. Gram. 20). Nevertheless, he had to be supported his whole life by Clodius [II 6] Licinus and died in poverty. Ov. Tr. 3,14 is addressed to him. His substantial œuvre includes works of philology (comm. to the Propempticon Pollionis of  Helvius [I 3] Cinna; discussion of selected passages of  Vergili…

Rations

(515 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East In the Ancient Near Eastern oikos or palace economy, the majority or (large) parts of the population were integrated into the institutional households of temples and/or palaces as direct dependents (the extent varied according to region and period). They were provided with the rations of natural produce (grain, oil, wool) guaranteeing them the level of subsistence necessary for their reproduction. In Mesopotamia, these rations of produce were in part supplemented, and in certain periods replaced, by the allocation of areas of land (

Lead

(759 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] Metal of low hardness, high specific weight (11.34) and low melting point (327°C); the most important lead-ore to be found in nature is galena (galenite; PbS), due to its silver content of up to 1% of greater economic significance in antiquity, mainly for the extraction of silver. The silver of Laurium, for instance, was extracted by mining and smelting galena. Important deposits outside of Attica were located mainly in Spain, Sardinia and Britain. In antiquity, lead and tin were considered two types of one metal; in Latin, lead was called plumbum nigrum, tin plumbum cand…

Technology, History of

(4,496 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) [German version] A. The Technology of Classical Antiquity as a Research Area (CT) Classical scholarship did not recognize ancient technology as the subject of a special discipline in its own right until late. Up to about 1980, investigations into problems of ancient technology by Classical historians, archaeologists and linguists were relatively rare, and only a few essays and monographs were generally devoted to the field; there were no general treatments of a scholarly standard, no…

Flooding

(1,042 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] ( inundatio: ILS 207; 5797a; Tac. Hist. 1,86,2; diluvia: Plin. Ep. 8,17,1; aquae ingentes: Liv. 35,9,2; 38;28,4; aquarum magnitudo: Liv. 30,26,5; 30,38,10; proluvies: Cic. Ad Q. Fr. 3,5,8). Only exceptionally were natural catastrophes taken as historiographical subjects in Antiquity, and then for instance when earthquakes hit famous cities and substantial emergency measures were undertaken to help the populace. This is true in the case of flooding and flood disasters, too, on which subject we have info…

Onasander

(561 words)

Author(s): Nutton, Vivian (London) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
(Ονάσανδρος; Onásandros). [German version] [1] Physician on Cos, c. 250 BC Public physician of Cos in c. 250 BC. As a resident of Cos without citizens' rights, he apprenticed with a public physician ( archiatrós ) in Halasarna, became his assistant and followed him to Cos when he was chosen public doctor there. There he opened his own practice but continued to treat his old patients from Halasarna, at times for nothing. The inscription documenting his career is one of the most informative ones about physicians to survive from antiquity. Nutton, Vivian (London) Bibliography  R. Herzog, Dec…

Brick­yards

(532 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] ( figlina). Building bricks and roof tiles were produced in brickyards close to clay deposits and then transported to the building sites. Because of their great weight, every effort was generally made to avoid long transport distances; for that reason, brick production was not concentrated in certain centres, but spread across all of Italy. Nonetheless, brickyards close to the coast, whose bricks could be transported by ship, supplied entire coastal regions; bricks of the figlina of Vibius Pansa near Ariminum can be found across the entire northern Adri…

Purple

(582 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] (πορφύρα/ porphýra, Lat. purpur) was a dye (Dyeing) used in Antiquity for the manufacture of costly materials and garments. It was obtained from various species of sea-snails (Snails and slugs) living in the Mediterranean; Aristotle devoted lengthy disquisitions to the purple-snail (Aristot. Hist. an. 546b-547b), but the most important ancient description of the creature and the manufacture of the dye is found in Pliny (Plin. HN 9,124-138). It is likely that the technique of obtaining dye from sea-snails was first developed by the Phoenicians. In…

Pigmentarius

(105 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] Derived from  pigmentum ('pigment'; cf. Plin. HN 33,111; 33,115; 33,158; 35,29; 37,81), the Latin word pigmentarius is the term for producers of and traders in pigments, ointments and perfumes ( unguenta). Representatives of this group are mentioned in Cicero and in inscriptions (Cic. Fam. 15,17,2; ILS 7604; 7605; CIL VI 9795). The workshop and store of a pigmentarius may be depicted in the house of the Vettii in Pompeii  [2. pl. XV 1]. The selling of poisons or love potions by a pigmentarius was punishable (Dig. 48,8,3,3; cf. Pharmakeía ). Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) Bi…

Slave revolts

(1,378 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The great slave revolts in Roman Antiquity occurred within a comparatively narrow time span, in the 2nd and early 1st cents. BC; geographically, they centred around Sicily and southern Italy. The extent of these great revolts remains unique; bands formed by fugitive slaves never reached the same level either before or later, nor were they comparable with these revolts (Chios: Ath. 6,265d-266e; Bulla Felix in Italy: Cass. Dio. 77,10). Even though these rebellious movements of the u…

Marble

(4,101 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Schneider, Rolf Michael (Cambridge)
[German version] I. Terminology, properties, identification Geologically speaking, marble is a metamorphic rock of crystalline structure (average crystal size 0.3 to 1.0 mm) and variable translucency, derived by mediumor high-level metamorphosis from limestone and dolomite [21. 17-20]. The ancient terms μάρμαρον/ mármaron (originally masc. μάρμαρος/ mármaros = ‘gleaming stone’; later attested in all three genders) and Latin marmor, however, mean all white and coloured rocks capable of being polished, including hard rocks such as granite, greywacke and…

Storage economy

(2,351 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Corbier, Mireille (Paris)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East The creation of stores, esp. of less perishable foodstuffs (esp. grain), is essential to the existence of societies whose agriculture is strongly exposed to environmental and political risks. The paradigm for such experiences is found in the OT story, referring to ancient Egypt, of the seven 'fat' and seven 'lean' years (Gn 41:25-36). The economy (I.) of Mesopotamia, centralized from the 4th millennium BC, also had a central SE, but it is known only from texts. In…

Agriculture

(7,403 words)

Author(s): Hruška, Blahoslav (Prague) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Osborne, Robin (Oxford) | Schreiner, Peter (Cologne) | Et al.
I. Near East and Egypt [German version] A. Introduction In the Near Orient (particularly the southern Levant and Syria) and Egypt, a fundamental change in the history of mankind occurred 12,000 years ago: the transition from the hunter-gatherer life of paleolithic times to neolithic agrarian society. In the so-called ‘fertile crescent’ and in Egypt, agriculture almost always included livestock farming. Agriculture also encompassed the planting of fruit trees, viticulture and horticulture. The methods of food production led to increasing freedom from dependency on e…

Steel

(153 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] Modern term for alloys of iron with a carbon content of up to two per cent. In the blast-furnace process, however, the iron extracted has a much higher carbon content, which has to be reduced by means of a technical procedure (refining). In Antiquity there was an entirely different technical problem: Crude iron, the product of the smelting process, had only an extremely limited carbon content and was therefore relatively soft. The iron was therefore tempered by further forging in …

Tactics

(952 words)

Author(s): Burckhardt, Leonhard (Basle) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Greece Tactics are understood as the planning and execution of military operations, such as marching and battles. Before the emergence of the phalanx , no tactical organization of the army is discernible. The battle formation of the phalanx, however, required the army to be divided into subunits, with a marching order, an ordered array in file and a clear system of orders. Ancient historians and military writers document various marching orders and possible transitions (often probably rather remote from reality) fr…

Water lifting devices

(1,820 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. General points Water was needed for various purposes in ancient civilizations: in the household as drinking water, for preparing food, and for hygiene (Hygiene, personal); in crafts (Crafts, Trade) for metalwork (Metallurgy) and for fulling (Fulling, Fuller); in public life for bathhouses and thermae; and finally in agriculture for the irrigation of gardens and fields. However, in the Mediterranean region, it was not available in sufficient quantity and quality in the form of surf…

Ivory

(218 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] (ἐλέφας/ eléphas, Latin ebur) was obtained from the tusks of African and Indian elephants, and like silk, amber, incense and pepper is one of those precious goods that had to be imported from areas outside the Roman empire; according to Pliny, ivory was the most valuable material supplied by land animals (Plin. HN 37,204). The price for ivory was extraordinarily high in the 1st cent. AD; nevertheless there was a shortage of ivory so that people began also to process the ordinary bone…

Metallurgy

(2,957 words)

Author(s): Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin) | Giesen, Katharina (Tübingen) | Kohler, Christoph (Bad Krozingen) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
I. Ancient Near East [German version] A. Metal extraction Metals are extracted from ores (smelting). Precious metals: gold, silver, elektron; base metals: copper, tin, lead, iron. The beginnings of metallurgy can be found in mineralogically favourable regions, particularly near the (copper-)ore deposits of Anatolia. Elements of pyrotechnology have been identified in aceramic neolithic settlements of the early 7th millennium BC, in particular products of metallurgy based on the smelting of copper ore. The…

Military technology and engineering

(1,756 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Gniers, Andrea Maria (Los Angeles) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient For Mesopotamia, as for the Near East in general, we are poorly informed by both written and archaeological sources about military organization, techniques, and engineering. The isolated case of the ‘Vulture Stele’ (about 2500 BC, from Tello, southern Babylonia; [1. pl. 91]) points to differences between heavily and lightly armed soldiers. The war chariots depicted there and on the ‘Ur Standard’ (somewhat older, from Ur; [1. pl. VIII]) were probably static symbols, …

Technology

(2,746 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin)
[German version] I. Definition of technology Technology describes the ensemble of tools, devices and procedures used for the acquisition and transformation of materials, the production and transportation of foodstuffs and consumables, the erection of structures, the provision of infrastructure, and the storage of information. The devices and procedures employed in different areas of technology are not independent of one another; rather, they constitute a technological complex with many interdependenci…

Simon

(1,722 words)

Author(s): Neudecker, Richard (Rome) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Döring, Klaus (Bamberg) | Peter, Ulrike (Berlin) | Wandrey, Irina (Berlin) | Et al.
(Σίμων/ Símōn). [German version] [1] Sculptor in bronze from Aegina, c. 480-460 BC Sculptor in bronze from Aegina. S. participated with a horse and a charioteer in the votive offerings dedicated by Phormis at Olympia; accordingly, his period of artistic activity is around 480-460 BC. The base which belonged to it has been identified. A dog and an archer by S. (Plin. HN 34,90) probably formed a further group. Neudecker, Richard (Rome) Bibliography Overbeck, nos. 402, 437  M. Zuppa, s.v. S. 2, EAA 7, 1966, 315  F. Eckstein, Anathemata, 1969, 43-49  E. Walter-Karydi, Die äginetische Bi…

Univira

(219 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The idea that in a woman's life she should be married to only one man was considered a traditional ideal of Roman society; correspondingly only women who had been married just once were admitted to the cult of Pudicitia (Val. Max. 2,1,3; Liv. 10,23,3-10). Although in the late Republic and the early Principate the number of divorces increased and remarriages of divorced women and widows was normal, this ideal retained its validity (Catull. 111,1 f.). Propertius emphasizes in his el…

Traffic

(1,288 words)

Author(s): Nissen | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
The overcoming of distances by people and goods, using means of transport on transport routes. [German version] I. The Ancient Orient The oldest means of transport are people, beasts of burden and boats. They were used for short- and long-distance traffic alike, for individual items and for bulk transport. It was not only in the nomadic context (Nomads) that donkeys and later camels were employed unharnessed for their stamina as beasts of burden, and their ability to travel long distances with little food. In Egypt,…

Vexillatio

(223 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] From the late 1st cent. onwards, rather than entire legions (Legio) being sent to reinforce Roman troops in a theatre of war, smaller units were usually dispatched to the scene; these were formed for the specific occasion, and their members drawn from individual legions or auxiliary units (Auxilia). Thus, for the siege of Jerusalem during the Jewish War, the legions stationed in Egypt provided 2,000 soldiers and the frontier troops on the Euphrates 3,000 (Jos. BI 5,43 f.). Such units, called vexillationes, normally comprised 1,000 (ILS 2726) or 2,000 men. They…

Fowling

(509 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] (ὀρνιθευτική/ ornitheutikḗ, ἰξευτικά/ ixeutiká; Latin aucupium). As is shown by the large number of casual references, fowling was probably very widespread in Antiquity, and in rural regions was esp. common. In literary texts, fowling regularly appears in connection with hunting and fishing, as in Sophocles [1], who introduces fowling to illustrate the supremacy of humans over animals (Soph. Ant. 342-347). Plato [1] deals with fowling among the regulations for hunting, but rejects it a…

Artes liberales

(2,330 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Schneider, Jakob Hans Josef (Tübingen RWG)
Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) [German version] Artes liberales (CT) The Artes Liberales (AL) describe a group of usually seven of study, ‘worthy of a free man’ (Seneca epist. 88; i.e.: grammar, logic/dialectics, rhetoric and arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy). They originate from the Greek educational programme of the enkyklios paideia, which were passed on to the Latin Middle Ages through the encyclopaedias of Martianus Capella, Cassiodorus, and Isidor of Seville. They are usually divided up into groups of three and four; since Boethius the group of four is ( De arithmetica

Bücher-Meyer controversy

(2,128 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) [German version] A. Introduction (CT) The debate that went on between 1893 and 1902 over the basic features of the economy in Classical Antiquity is referred to in more recent scholarly historical literature, both in Ancient History as well as the history of the discipline, as the Bücher-Meyer Controversy (BMC). The origin of this discussion was the publication in 1893 of a book entitled Die Entstehung der Volkswirtschaft  (‘Industrial Evolution, 1907) by the economist Karl Bücher promulgating the view that a dominance of a home economy…

Barrels (wooden)

(229 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] While in the Mediterranean, liquids such as wine and oil were generally stored in large clay jars (ίθος, dolium) and transported in animal skins or amphorae, we find the increasing use of wooden barrels for the storing and transporting of wine in the western provinces and northern Italy from the early Principate onwards (Upper Italy: Str. 5,1,8; 5,1,12; Alps: Plin. HN 14,132). Numerous reliefs and funerary sculptures show wine barrels being transported on heavy, horse-drawn wagons (funerary reliefs in Langres and Augsburg), or oar-driven shi…

Gynaecocracy

(553 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] (γυναικοκρατία; gynaikokratía). The term gynaecocracy (‘Rule of women’, from Greek γυνή/ gynḗ, ‘woman’ and κρατεῖν/ krateín, ‘to rule’; cf. gynaikokrateísthai, ‘to be ruled by women’) is first attested in philosophical texts from the 4th cent. BC. The use is almost always polemical. In Aristotle the gynaecocracy becomes a theme in the context of criticism of the politeía (constitution) of the Spartans and was considered as the prerequisite for greed and an extremely unequal distribution of land (Aristot. Pol. 1269b 12-1270a 31; cf. als…

Oils for cooking

(2,001 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt In the Ancient Orient and Egypt, oil was not only part of human nutrition (e.g. the daily rations for the population dependent on central institutions), but was also used as body oil, for making scent, for embalming (in Egypt), for medicinal purposes, in craft production, as lamp oil and in the cultic and ritual sphere (e.g. unction for rulers in Israel: 1 Sam 10,1; 16,3; not in Mesopotamia). Depending on the regionally varying agronomic and climatic conditions, oil was obtained from a number of plants: whereas numerous olei…

Screw

(531 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The screw appears among the five simple mechanical instruments listed in the Mechanics of Hero I of Alexandria (1st cent. AD), next to the rotating axle, lever, pulley and wedge (Hero, Mēchaniká 2,5). It is not mentioned either in the description of surgical instruments in Hippocrates (Hippoc. Perì agmôn 31) or in Aristotelian mechanics. Since there is no indication of the use of the screw before Archimedes [1], it can be considered one of the most significant technical inventions of the Hellenistic period. It appears that the principle of the screw was first us…

Lifting devices

(629 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] Ever since large temples were built of stone in Greece (early 6th cent. BC), architects have been faced with the problem of lifting heavy blocks of stone, for the walls or the architrave, and column drums as far as the building plan demanded. In doing so, loads of significant weight often had to be dealt with, because stone, after all, weighs approximately 2.25 t/m3, and marble c. 2.75 t/m3. In the Archaic age, blocks for the architrave weighed between 10 and 40 t. At first, the stones were put into place via a ramp, as is recorded for the constru…

Mineral Resources

(1,831 words)

Author(s): Tichy, Franz (Erlangen) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] I. Geography Compared with Europe as a whole and other continents, the mainlands and islands of the Mediterranean are poor in valuable mineral resources; furthermore, deposits of precious metals and marble are limited to only a few regions. Many of the deposits were exploited in antiquity or during the Middle Ages, especially wherever they were easily accessible along the coasts. The Phoenicians traveled to obtain tin ore from Iberia as early as the Bronze Age, and the Greeks transp…

Social structure

(4,590 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Müller-Wollermann, Renate | Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Kuchenbuch, Ludolf (Hagen)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East Social structure in the ancient Orient was determined by who controlled the fundamental means of production in an agrarian society, the arable land. The usual form of government in such societies was a patrimonial monarchy. Palaces and temples were the institutional centres dominating the economic and social structures and developments, especially in Egypt and Mesopotamia; all parts of society were directly or indirectly incorporated into this system. The existenc…

Opera

(253 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The Latin term opera was used to describe the output of work demanded of a worker in one day. This says nothing about that worker's legal status; he could be a freeman, freedman or a slave (Cic. Off. 1,41; cf. also the definition in Paulus, Dig. 38,1,1: “operae sunt diurnum officium”). The Roman agrarian writers use opera to determine precisely at what time certain work had to be done; in this way, it was possible to specify the speed of the work above and beyond the working hours and to calculate the number of slaves needed for a rural…

Social politics

(938 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] In modern industrial societies, the function of SP is to set up systems to prevent the occurrence of cases of hardship, and to protect individual citizens and groups of citizens from defined risks. A vital instrument of SP is social insurance, of the kind created in the German Empire between 1883 and 1889 (health insurance, accident insurance, old-age insurance); unemployment insurance followed during the Weimar Republic. Since that time, the actual concern in SP has been, on the …

Trireme

(850 words)

Author(s): Tilley, Alec F. | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
(τριήρης/ triḗrēs; Lat. trieris, triremis;from tri- 'three' and Gr. eretmón, Lat. remus 'oar'). [German version] I. History of the Trireme From the battle off Salamis [1] (480 BC) to the Hellenistic age, the trireme of the Classical period was the most battle-worthy warship of the eastern Mediterranean region. It was developed from the elongated boats of the archaic period, which possessed one or two banks of oars on both sides and were used in Naval warfare. The tactical goal in naval battles was to sink enemy shi…

Lime

(576 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] The technique used by the Greeks, of binding the individual blocks in quarried-stone walls by means of variously formed metal clamps, was adopted by the Romans for their monumental architecture. Besides that, they early on used mortar made of lime and sand as a bounding agent in house building. Thus, lime, which in Greece had been used primarily for the roughcast of buildings, acquired greater importance as a building material in the Roman period. Lime is obtained from limestone by burning at temperatures of some 1000° C; the calcium carbonate (CO3Ca) turns into calciu…

Veterans

(1,638 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | O.S.
(Latin veterani). [German version] I. Republic The Roman army in the Republican Period was a militia; all citizens with means exceeding the defined level (cf. Census) were obliged to provide combat service in the military; the term of service depended on military requirements, and was not precisely defined. It was the custom for soldiers released from the army after military service to return to their farms, and to be available again for recruitment upon the outbreak of another war (Pol. 6,19-26; Liv.…

Biton

(285 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel)
[German version] (Bíτων; Bítōn). Author of a short work on catapults and siege equipment; named in Athenaeus (14,634); the work is dedicated to a King Attalus and was therefore composed between about 230 BC (when Attalus I assumed the title of king) and 133 BC (death of Attalus III). As B. mentions older types of catapults but not the torsion catapult that was otherwise well attested from the end of the 4th cent. BC, the work probably belongs to the early years of the reign of Attalus I. B. describes two catapults that could hurl stones weighing from c. 2 kg to 18 kg, a mobile siege tower ( helépol…
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