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Table

(447 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Latin mensa, also cartibum, cartibulum; Greek τράπεζα/ trápeza, τρίπους/ trípous or τετράπους/ tetrápous). Three forms of table are known from Greek and Roman Antiquity: rectangular with three or four legs, round with a central support or three legs, and oblong with one supports at each end; the last variant was primarily employed in gardens and was of marble, with the outer sides of the supports often decorated with reliefs. The other forms of table were usually made of wood, but the feet c…

Centuripe vases

(160 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Brightly painted ceramics of the 3rd/2nd cents. BC, named after the place of their discovery in Sicily. Vessel forms ( Pottery, shapes and types of ) are pyxis, lekanis and lebes, and infrequently other types such as lekythos. The painting, in tempera colours (white, pink, black, yellow, red, gold, with isolated instances of green and blue) on a ground of orange-coloured clay (friezes of acanthus, tendrils and architectonic forms, heads, busts) is executed only on one side of the vessel. The vessels are of considera…

Scissors

(168 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ψαλίς/ psalís; Latin forfex, forpex, forficula). Scissors, made of iron or bronze, were used in sheep and goat shearing, for cutting cloth and metal, hair and beards, in cobbling and in agriculture, for chopping plants and fruits and separating grapes from the vine. Scissors seem to have come into use from the early 5th cent. BC in Greece, and in Italy (according to written sources) from around 300 BC (Varro, Rust. 2,11,9), though the plucking of fleeces was still common in sheep-shea…

Karbatine

(60 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (καρβατίνη/ karbatínē, cf. Lat. pero). Shoe made from rough leather, mostly worn by shepherds and farmers, later also shoe for soldiers (Xen. An. 4,5,14), apparently laced up (cf. Lucian. Alexander 39). In Aristot. Hist. an. 499a 29 also a camel shoe. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography O. Lau, Schuster und Schusterhandwerk in der griech.-röm. Lit. und Kunst, 1967, 119-121.

Games

(1,734 words)

Author(s): Nissen | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Egypt and Ancient Orient The boundaries between games and  sport are fluid; here only relaxation games ( Board games) are treated that are very well known e.g. for Egypt as originals from tomb contexts and pictorial representations e.g. the Senet board game ( znt) was popular. The position regarding the sources for the Ancient Orient is very limited for climatic reasons (wood barely preserved). We can make only assumptions about the rules of games. In addition to the game boards there are game stones, astragaloi ( Astragalos [2]), dice and little dice rods tha…

Sagum

(150 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Male garment of a rectangular cloth (felt or loden) with a triangular or circular section cut out, sometimes also with hood. Worn as a shawl or cape and fixed at the right shoulder with a buckle or fibula (Pins), thus leaving the right side of the body uncovered. The sagum originally came from Gaul (Diod. Sic. 5,30,1: σάγος/ ságos; Varro, Ling. 5,167; Caes. B Gall. 5,42,3: sagulum) but was also worn by Germans and Iberians and in Italy and North Africa. It belonged to the garb of slaves and workers and to the battle dress of Roman navy and infan…

Brattea

(258 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (πέταλον; pétalon). Ancient term uncommon in archaeological terminology; in Greek originally the ‘leaf or foliage of a tree’ (Hom. Il. 2,312; Od. 19,520), in Bacchyl. 5,186 the Olympian wreath of the wild olive, in the 2nd cent. BC at the latest considered to be the artificial metal leaves of a golden  wreath. In Roman sources brattea is used to describe a thin metal foil, mostly silver or gold for gilding objects, also veneers of precious wood (Plin. HN 16,232) or tortoiseshell (Mart. 9,59,9), but mostly gold leaf or gold foil is mea…

Swaddling Clothes

(139 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (σπάργανον/ spárganon; Latin incunabula). SC in their modern form were not known in Antiquity; instead, a baby would be wrapped entirely - apart from the head - with narrow strips of wool. Wrapping was supposed to ensure the striaght growth of the body and the limbs (Sen. Ben. 6,24,1,  cf. Plin. HN 7,3). In Thessaly only the lower half of the body was wrapped, in Sparta SC were dispensed with entirely (Plut. Lycurgus 16,3). Depictions of babies survive from the Bronze Age onwards (e.…

Pluteus

(223 words)

Author(s): Groß, Walter Hatto (Hamburg) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
(also pluteum). The root meaning of 'enclosure, screen or shelter made of boards or latticework' extends to several objects: [German version] [1] Breastwork As a military t.t, a special breastwork or screen used by the testudo (Vitr. De arch. 10,15,1; cf. Siegecraft). Groß, Walter Hatto (Hamburg) [German version] [2] Wooden fence A wooden fence (Liv. 10,38,5) or even a small wooden temple (Anth. Lat. 139, 158). Groß, Walter Hatto (Hamburg) [German version] [3] Balustrade As an architectural t.t., a railing or balustrade of wood or stone (Vitr. De arch. 4,4,1; 5,1,5 et passim). Groß, Wal…

Stola

(181 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The stola was the garment worn in public by Roman matrons ( Matrona [1]), i.e. free-born women (Plin. HN 33,40), over a fairly close-fitting tunica or a looser calasis and under a palla, so that their bodies were entirely  enveloped (cf. Hor. Sat. 1,2,99). It reached to the ankles and was capacious, pleated and cinctured at bust or waist level (Mart. 3,93,4). The stola consisted of a tube of material which the wearer slipped into; it was held on the shoulders by means of twisted ribbons or strings. It had trimming ( instita) on the lower selvage, presumably a purple rib…

Canistrum

(110 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Greek κανοῦν; kanoûn). Flat wicker basket; it served as a fruit basket (Ov. Met. 8,675) and was used in agriculture (Verg. G. 4,280). Canistra of sturdy materials (clay, silver, gold) were used as receptacles for liquid substances, e.g. honey and oil. The canistrum was also a device for sacrifices (Tib. 1,10,27; Ov. Met. 2,713 and more); often represented in Roman art in this role, the canistrum contained incense, fruits and offering-cakes. The silver saucers for drinking vessels were called canistra siccaria (Serv. Aen. 1,706).  Kanoun Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bi…

Acerra

(94 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Incense container,   pyxís (πυξίς, κυλιχνίς, λιβανωτίς; kylichnís, libanōtís). A small box, round on Greek monuments (cf. side panel of the Ludovisi throne [1. fig. 118]) and often rectangular and richly decorated on Roman ones (e.g. on the  Ara Pacis), which served to make the incense available during a sacrificial ceremony; it was regarded as part of the ceremony's essential utensils (Suet. Tib. 44; Galba 8; Plin. HN 35,70).  Turibulum Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography 1 R. Lullies, Gr. Plastik, 1979. F. Fless, Opferdiener und Kultmusiker auf stadtröm.…

Kausia

(195 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (καυσία; kausía). Primarily Macedonian head cover with a wide brim to protect the wearer from the rays of the sun ( kaûsis), but it could also serve as a helmet (Anth. Pal. 6,335). The kausia was made from leather or felt and sometimes had a chin strap. Depictions on coins of the 5th cent. BC already document the kausia as part of the attire of Macedonian kings. From Alexander [4] the Great (Ath. 12,537e), the kausia, by then scarlet, has become one of the main features of the Macedonian royal costume (Plut. Antonius 54; cf. Arr. Anab. 7,22,2) and is worn with a tiara ( diádēma

Duodecim scripta

(172 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Board game in which a player attempted to remove his own 15 counters by reaching the end of the other side of the board. Moves were determined by throwing two or three dice; if two or three of the opponent's counters occupied a line, the first player's own counter could not be placed on that line; if only one counter was there, it could be removed. According to Isid. Orig. 18,60, duodecim scripta was played with a dice shaker or ‘tower’, dice and counters. The board consisted of 36 squares decorated with geometrical figures such as circles or squares,…

Gnathia ware

(441 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Modern archaeological technical term, derived from the place name (ancient  Gnathia) in eastern Apulia, where the first vases of this type were found in the mid-19th cent. Unlike red-figured vases, in Gnathia ware (GN) the decoration was applied in various opaque colours on the fired vessel body. In addition, details on persons and objects depicted could be indicated or entirely represented by grooving. The production of GN began about 370/360 BC in Apulia, probably triggered by t…

Chiton

(507 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (χιτών; chitón). Greek undergarment, originally of linen, then wool; probably of Semitic origin ( Clothing). Frequent occurrences in Homer (e.g. Il. 2,42; 262; 416; 3,359; Od. 14,72; 19,242), show that the chiton was already a part of Greek costume in early times, and a favoured garment for men. The chiton came into fashion for women during the 1st half of the 6th cent. BC, and later replaced the  peplos (vase paintings, sculptures). The chiton consists of two rectangular lengths of material ( ptéryges, wings), 150-180 cm wide and of varying length, sewn toget…

Beard

(709 words)

Author(s): Colbow, Gudrun (Liege) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Adult men in the ancient Orient are mostly represented wearing beards, but they can also be depicted like gods and demons as beardless without having any different meaning. Beards consisted of a long or short full beard with or without a shaved lip part. The short beard finishes half-rounded or pointed below, the long beard is straight or half-rounded; the wavy strands of hair falling onto the chest mostly end in curls that form decorative rows in the layered types.…

Barbaron Hyphasmata

(142 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (βαρβάρων ὑφάσματα; barbárōn hyphásmata). The Greeks called the valuable Median-Persian robes, materials, blankets i.a., with colourful  ornaments, detailed figurative decorations, hybrid and fable creatures barbaron hyphasmata (BH ). The BH arrived in Greece through commerce (Aristoph. Vesp. 1132ff.), as loot (Hdt. 9,80) or gifts (Ath. 2,48d). BH were donated as  votive offerings to sanctuaries (Paus. 5,12,4) or they were worn as luxury robes as a demonstration of wealth and power. The BH led to changes in…

Chests

(267 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ζύγαστρον/ zýgastron, κιβωτός/ kibōtós, κιβώτιον/ kibṓtion, λάρναχ/ lárnax, χηλός/ chēlós; Latin arca, cista). Chests made of wood, bronze or other materials were used in the household for storing and transporting clothes, household goods, book rolls (  scrinium), equipment, provisions, etc. Chests could be simple and undecorated, or decorated with ornamental or figurative reliefs on their sides ( Praenestine cistae). Wooden chests often had metal fittings, which were also decorated, for reinforcing edges and corne…

Ostrakon

(261 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ὄστρακον; óstrakon). Sherd of pottery, sometimes of (lime)stone, which was used as writing material for short  messages, smaller documents, receipts, etc.; they were rarely used for literary texts (Sappho fr. 2 Lobel-Page). Ostraca are attested from pre-Ptolemaic Egypt and then up to the end of Graeco-Roman antiquity. The respective texts were written in ink or scratched into the ostrakon; examples have survived in the Hieratic, Demotic, Greek, Coptic and Arabic scripts. In contrast to expensive papyrus, óstraka were waste products of a household, and th…
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