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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…

Peucetian pottery

(186 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Type of indigenous pottery, named after ancient Peucetia, the region of the eastern Apennines between Bari and Egnazia (Peucetii). PP emerges in the 7th cent. BC. Initially its decoration is influenced by geometric patterns (swastikas, lozenges, horizontal and vertical lines), which form a narrow ornamental grid pattern, particularly in the late Geometric phase (before 600 BC). Leading forms of PP are kraters, amphorae, kantharoi and stamnoi; bowls are less common. The second phas…

Fasciae

(238 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Bandages, bindings, straps of different kinds were made of various materials (felt, leather, linen, wool), and could be white or coloured. Fasciae as a category includes the straps of the bed ( lectus,   kline ) on which the mattress was laid,  swaddling cloths (σπάργανα, spárgana) and fasciae crurales, bindings designed to protect the lower legs ( fasciae tibiales) or thighs (  feminalia) against the cold. The use of fasciae was regarded as unmanly, and for men was restricted to invalids, but even Augustus (Suet. Aug. 82,1) and Pompey (Cic. Att. 2…

Tropaion

(462 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Originally, the tropaion (τρόπαιον/ trópaion; Lat. tropaeum) was a sign erected by the victorious army at the place on the battlefield where the adversary turned to flee (from Greek τρέπειν/ trépein, 'to turn around'). In the language use of later Antiquity, it referred to victory monuments in general, such as the Tropaea Augusti (cf. e.g. Tac. Ann. 15,18). The term tropaion has been common since the 5th cent. BC (Batr. 159; Aesch. Sept. 277). The tropaion consisted of a tree stump or post, sometimes with crosspieces (cf. Diod. Sic. 13,24,5) on which the…

Arca

(216 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (λάρναξ; lárnax). Box, case, chest, then especially the treasure chest of wood or metal-jointed wood in the atrium (Juv. 11,26; 14,259 and passim), of which there are known examples or remains of examples in Pompeii. Arca was the term used for a large number of sacred, state and private treasures, e.g. the one of the virgines vestales. The arca could be large enough for a person to hide inside (App. B Civ. 4,44). Small arcae are preserved from late antiquity which were given to one's wife as a present with congratulatory messages and their metal fitting…

Barber

(282 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κουρεύς/ koureús; tonsor). It is unknown when the occupation of the barber and hairdresser first became an autonomous profession in Greece. In myth the barber is only rarely mentioned ( Midas); early representation of a barber: Boeotian terracotta in Berlin [1]. The barber is considered to be talkative and curious (Plut. Mor. 2,177a; 508) and knows the latest gossip. The barber's room (κουρεῖον/ koureîon) is the place where people get together (Lys. 24,3,20; Plut. Timoleon 14; Plut. Mor. 716ff.), and where you can also contract business dea…

Oscillum

(181 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Group of round or pelta-shaped (i.e. based on the shape of the shield of an Amazon) ornamental marble discs, executed in relief, and dating from the period between the 1st cent. BC and the middle of the 2nd cent. AD. Oscilla for the most part come from the Vesuvian cities and have been found in villas and townhouses with gardens, in which they were used as decoration, hanging from chains between the columns of garden peristyles. Others could be found as ornamental elements in thea…

Ephedrismos

(156 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ἐφεδρισμός; ephedrismós). A game where a target (δίορος; díoros) on the ground is to be hit with a rock or a ball; the loser had to carry the winner, who covered the loser's eyes, on his back until he touched the target with his foot. Boys and girls participated in ephedrismos, which according to the evidence of monuments became popular in the 5th cent. BC and is depicted in various stages. The representations also show satyrs and Erotes playing ephedrismos. The piggyback motif is very widespread in the Greek and Roman art (intaglios, sculpture; group in Ro…

Perirrhanterion

(215 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (περιρ(ρ)αντήριον; perir(r)hantḗrion). Large basin of clay, marble or limestone on a tall stand with a cylindrical shaft and base of quite considerable proportions, the basin being either firmly attached to the stand or separable. Similar in form and appearance to louteria (Labrum), perirrhanteria were used for ritual purification by sprinkling with water and stood in front of temples, at the entrances to sanctuaries and at cult places in gymnasiums or at herms (whereas louteria were used for everyday bodily cleaning). In Athens there were also perirrhanteria at t…

Lomentum

(133 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] [1] Cosmetic Cosmetic ( Cosmetics) created from bean flour (Plin. HN 18,117), used by Roman women to cover up and reduce wrinkles (Mart. 3,42; 14,60), with the addition of sun-dried, crushed snails (Plin. HN 30,127), lomentum rendered the skin soft and white. It further served as a remedy for ulcers, burns or tumours (Plin. HN 20,127; 22,141). Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] [2] Two types of blue pigment Two types of blue pigment gained from ‘sky blue’ ( caeruleum, cf. [1]) (Plin. HN 33,162f.), one representing the more expensive (10 denarii per…

Klismos

(111 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κλισμός; klismós, Latin cathedra). The klismos is a high chair without armrests and with a broad, curved backrest, attested as early as in Homer (e.g. Il. 8,436; Od. 4,136) as a seat for nobility, gods, and heroes. Greek and Roman art confirms this, but the klismos is often seen in representations of domestic rooms, schools, and other everyday scenes as well. At times, the seated persons laid an arm on the backrest for comfort and relaxation, and often the relaxed way of sitting is supported by footrests and cushions. Diphros; Furniture Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliogr…

Monopodium

(145 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Greek trápeza monópous, Poll. 10,69). Round or rectangular tables with only one central support, whose foot could be carved into floral or mythical motifs. In Greece such tables had been used since the Archaic period but only became more common in Hellenistic times; in Rome, monopodia were very popular ever since their first introduction to the public, being carried along in the triumph of 187 BC (Liv. 39,6,7; Plin. HN. 34,14). Most of those that survive come from the towns around Vesuvius. Varro, (Ling. 5,125) mentions the cartibulum which stood in the compluvium

Sicilian vases

(267 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Just before the end of the 5th cent. BC, production of red-figured vases began in Himera and Syracuse in Sicily. In style, ornamentation, vase shape and themes they reveal considerable influence from Attic vase painting (Meidias Painter). In the second quarter of the 4th century BC a number of Sicilian vase painters emigrated, in order to lay the foundation on the Italian mainland of Campanian and Paestan vase painting  (Campanian vases; Paestan ware). To a limited extent vase pro…

Ceremonial dress

(491 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Wearing the ceremonial dress (CD) distinguished persons in society and identified them in their official roles. This holds true particularly for priestesses, state officials, but also for delegates (herald's staff) and others. In Greece, priests wore a white robe (Pl. Leg. 12,965a), the ungirded  chiton, which could also be red, or, less often, dyed with saffron or purple. Another characteristic was the  wreath ( stephanophóroi, ‘wearers of the wreath’, was thus the name of priests in e.g. Miletus); less commonly, priests displayed the attribu…
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