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Money boxes

(209 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ἀργυροθήκη/ argyrothḗkē; Latin arcula, crumena). It seems that MB were unknown in archaic and classical Greece; money was kept in trunks and chests together with jewellery and other objects of value (e.g. Theophr. Char. 10). Probably the oldest surviving MB is from Priene (2nd/1st cent. BC) and has the form of a little temple with a slit in the pediment for inserting money, which can be taken out again through a lockable opening at the rear [1. 190 f. no. 25]. The Romans used small pots for keeping money ( olla or aula, Cic. Fam. 9,18,4, cf. also Plautus's comedy Aulularia).…

Abolla

(209 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Manganaro, Giacomo (Sant' Agata li Battiata)
[German version] [1] Roman cloak Roman cloak of unknown form; known from literary sources but not identifiable with certainty from monuments. In contradistinction to the  toga, the abolla is the costume of the farmer and the soldier (Non. 538,16), and to satirists it is the cloak favoured by philosophers of the Cynic and Stoic schools (Mart. 4,53; Juv. 3,115). The abolla was evidently similar to the   chlamys , both in form and in the way it was worn (Serv. Verg. Aen. 5,421). Abolla is possibly a general term for the shoulder-cloak (cf. Juv. 4,76, mentioned as the cloak of the praefectus urbi). …

Headgear

(427 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] plays only a minor role in myth and history. One case in point is Hades' helmet of invisibility which Athena uses (κυνέη Ἄϊδος/ kynéē Áïdos, Hom. Il. 5,844 f.) and then hands to  Perseus [1].  Midas hides his donkey ears under a turban ( Tiara), Ov. Met. 11,180 f. A hat (  pilleus ) was taken from  Lucumo ( Tarquinius [11] Priscus) by an eagle and then brought back, which was seen as a positive omen for the future, Liv. 1,34; a wind blows  Alexander [4] the Great's   kausia off his head (Arr. Anab. 7,22,2 f.). Greek and Roman men went bareheaded in everyday life, unless …

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…

Sports equipment

(774 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Equipment needed for training and for practising a sport in antiquity. 1) Hoplitodromia (verb ὁπλιτοδρομεῖν/ hoplitodromeȋn) was the last running competition to be included in the programme of the Olympic Games (Olympia IV.) in 520 BC (65th Olympiad). In the beginning it was run in full kit (helmet, greaves, round shield), but the armour was successively reduced until only the shield (ἀσπίς/ aspís) remained ( cf. Paus. 6,10,4). this discipline, which only adult males entered, is represented particularly in vase paintings. 2) The torch race (λαμπαδηδρομία/ lampadēd…

Toga

(520 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The toga, adopted from the Etruscans, was the official garment of Roman citizens which was worn in public and which non-Romans were not allowed to wear (Suet. Claud. 15,3; gens togata: Verg. Aen. 1,282). Originally, the woolen toga was worn over the bare upper body and over the subligaculum that covered the lower body, later over the tunica . The common toga of the simple Roman citizen was white ( toga pura, toga virilis). Furthermore, there was the toga praetexta with a crimson stripe along the edges ( clavi; status symbols) which was worn by curule officials, by the Flamines …

Cera

(217 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κηρός; kērós). According to Plin. HN 11,11, (bees)wax was one of the most widely used materials. Among the properties of cera are conservation of shape, the capacity to seal and adhere (Hom. Od. 12,47-49 and passim), inflammability ( Lighting), lustre; cera also aids the healing process (Dioscorides 2,83,3; Plin. HN 22,116). When warmed, cera is easy to work, but also becomes soft or fluid ( Icarus). Cera was used in  sculpture;  painting; in bronze casting; in magic (for amulets and articulated dolls etc.); in funerary art (  imagines maiorum );…

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,…

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…

Ball games

(585 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (σφαιρίσεις; sphairíseis, pilae lusus). Homeric society already enjoyed ball games (BG) (Hom. Od. 6,110-118; 8,372-380), which have also been practised by people of all social levels (Ath. 1,14e, 15c; 12,548b; Plut. Alexander 39,5; Cic. Tusc. 5,60) and age groups since then. The Romans took many BG over from the Greek. Some were team games, like   harpaston or ἐπίσκυρος, epískyros (Poll. 9,103f.; schol. Pl. Tht. 146 i.a.), during which the opposite party was gradually pushed off the field by long-range shots, perhaps depicted on the relie…

Orarium

(138 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (also called sudarium). The use of a 'face-cloth' ( orarium) or 'sweat-cloth' ( sudarium) is attested from the 1st cent. BC (Quint. Inst. 6,3,60; 11,3,148); it was used to wipe away sweat, cover the mouth (Suet. Nero 25), cover the head (Suet. Nero 45) or dry the hands (Petron. 67). It could also be worn around the neck (Suet. Nero 51; Petron. 67). According to Catull. 12,14 and 25,7, sudaria were made of Spanish linen. The name orarium does not emerge until the 3rd cent. AD; the two were used synonymously, with the orarium now being used for applause in arenas, for cover…

Plaga

(227 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] [1] Roman hunting net Roman hunting net, esp. for entrapment, into which game (stags, boars) was flushed from cover by dogs (Hor. Epod. 2,31-32; Hor. Epist. 1,6,58; 1,18,45), and so contrasts with the retia ('strike nets') and casses ('drop or purse nets'); of plagae plaited from rope, those from Cumae were the most highly valued (Plin. HN 19,11). The battue with the plaga, depicted in ancient art from early times (Vaphio Cup), later became primarily a theme of Roman mosaic and sarcophagus art. The term plaga is no longer used in modern archaeological scholarship, …

Pilos

(175 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (πῖλος/ pîlos). Originally the term for the felt lining of helmets (Hom. Il. 10,265), shoes and caps (Hes. Op. 542-546) and the protective part of the armour (Thuc. 4,34,4), later for felt blankets (Hdt. 4,73 and 75) and shoes of felt (Cratinus 100 CAF), but esp. for a conical headdress (Hes. Op. 546, Anth. Pal. 6,90 and 199, cf. Hdt. 3,12; 7,61; 62; 92 on the felt mitres and tiaras of eastern peoples). The last resembles half an egg (Lycoph. 506), at times with a loop on the point for hanging up or carrying by the finger. The pîlos was worn by craftsmen (in pictorial represen…

Neck ornaments

(655 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A. Greece Neck ornaments famously play a role in the myth of Eriphyle, as they do in that of Scylla (Aesch. Choe. 613-622). The comedy Plókion by Menander also deserves mention (cf. Plut. Mor. 2,141d; Gell. 2,23,6). In Aristaen. 1,1 the stones of the necklace are organised in such a way that they give the name of Lais. Neck ornaments (ἁλύσιον/ halúsion, κάθημα/ káthēma, μάννος/ mánnos, μανιάκης/ maniákēs, ὅρμος/ hormos, πλόκιον/ plókoin) as a chain or a rope, with and without pendants, have survived in great numbers throughout the Mediterranean since…

Kekryphalos

(246 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κεκρύφαλος, -άλιον; kekrýphalos, -álion, Lat. reticulum), hair net, hair cloth. Mentioned already in Hom. Il. 22,469 as part of the female costume, the kekryphalos was used to cover the hair or parts thereof. Greek (cf. e.g. Aristoph. Thesm. 257) and Roman women wore a kekryphalos not only at night to keep their carefully arranged hairstyle together, but also during the day (Varro, Ling. 130; Non. 14,32 et al.). Men who occasionally were seen to wear a kekryphalos were criticized (Ath. 15,681c; Juv. 2,96) and perceived as effeminate. As a cloth, the kekryphalos could b…

Paludamentum

(262 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Rectangularly cut, mostly purple but also red or white, Roman cloak of linen or wool, corresponding to the Greek chlamys; Agrippina's gold-braided paludamentum is, however, unusual (Plin. HN. 33,63). Initially paludamenta were worn only by Roman generals and other high-ranking officers; they advanced in the imperial period to insignia of Imperial ruling power. Paludamenta were part of the battle dress of generals and emperors (cf. Varro Ling. 7,37) and were not to be worn within the limits of the city of Rome (Tac. Hist. 2,89); thu…

Fimbriae

(153 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κροσσοί/ krossoí; θύσανοι/ thýsanoi). These were actually the thread ends left at the edge of the cloth that ─ with several knotted together or hanging individually ─ decorated materials of all kinds such as cloths, blankets and clothes. They could also be worked separately and sewed on. Thus, for example, the ταραντῖνον ( tarantînon), a luxury garment, or the rica, a Roman head scarf, are explicitly defined as trimmed with fimbriae (Fest. 288,10; Non. 549,9). The Oriental and Egyptian garments already show evidence of fimbriae; they are also documented in Greek…

Trigon

(122 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Roman ball game, recorded for the Imperial period; it was played on the Field of Mars  (Hor. Sat. 1,6,126) and in baths (Petron. 27,1-3). Three players (Mart. 7,72,9) were needed for trigon; they positioned themselves in a triangle and played one or more small balls between themselves, either catching them (Mart. 12,82,4) or hitting them with both hands so that they were passed back to the thrower or to the third player (Mart. 14,46,1), sometimes with such violence that the palms …

Applause

(607 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κρότος, ἐπικροτεῖν [ krótos, epikroteîn], plausus, plaudere). The impulsive and impromptu expression of praise and approval, also of rejection, cursing and reprimand communicated through words, sounds, gestures and actions; these forms of expressing approval are so closely related to   acclamatio that it is often difficult to distinguish between them [1]. In the ancient world, the most frequent gesture used to express approval was the clapping of hands, for example, in the theatre, during music, danc…

Kalathos

(323 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ὁ κάλαθος/ ho kálathos; diminutive τὸ καλάθιον/ tò kaláthion and ὁ/τὸ καλαθίσκος, -ν/ ho/tó kalathiskos, -n; Lat. calathus). A basket which opens like a blossom, made from a variety of materials such as clay, wood, precious metals (Hom. Od. 4,125). It can also be woven from rods [1]. It was used as a working basket by female wool spinners (e.g. Juv. 2,54; Ov. Ars am. 1,693 and 2,219) - and as such is a requisite of scenes of the women's quarters (e.g. Rhyton London, BM E 773 [2]) - or as a household receptacle for cheese, milk, or oil, which made the kalathos a common wedding pre…
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