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Underworld, vases featuring the

(163 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Pots (primarily volute kraters) of Apulian Red Figure vase painting with representations of the Underworld; the divine couple Hades and Persephone are found, sometimes enthroned within palace architecture, often with Hermes. The following can also be present: Hecate, Dike [1], the Judges of the Dead (Triptolemus, Aeacus, Rhadamanthys), Orpheus and Eurydice [1], Heracles [1] subduing Cerberus, Megara [1] with her children. In addition mythical evildoers and penitents appear, e.g. t…

Naiskos vases

(278 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] With representations of a naïskos (diminutive of naós, ‘temple’) on Lower Italian vases, a new form of depicting funerary monuments emerged in the 2nd quarter of the 4th cent. BC. It can probably be traced back to the Iliupersis Painter. In Apulian vase painting (Apulian vases) NV are unusually common after the middle of the 4th cent. BC, while they are exceptions in other Lower Italian artistic regions. NV are vases that are specially produced for the cult of the dead; they not only po…

Kosymbe

(111 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κοσ(σ)ύμβη, κόσ(σ)υμβος; kos(s)ýmbē, kós(s)ymbos, also θύσανος; thýsanos, κρόσσος; króssos). Designation for the warp-threads remaining on the edges of garments, from there also for fringe, fringed dress and fringed hairstyle (Poll. 2,30). The kosymbe was often manufactured separately to ornament the clothing. As early as Homer (Il. 14,181) it is used in connection with Hera's belt, here designated as θύσανος/ thýsanos. In art it is often attached to dresses and cloth. The kosymbe gained symbolic meaning in the mystery cults; particularly, represent…

Phlyax vases

(191 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Even before the end of the 5th cent. BC, Greek vase painters had begun to depict grotesque comic scenes of the phlyakes' burlesques. The c. 250 extant vases and vase fragments show a rich repertoire of burlesques of the gods and heroes (e.g. Zeus and Hermes on an amorous adventure, Heracles at sacrifice), travesty of myth (Oedipus and the Sphinx) and daily life (punishment of a thief, love scenes, wedding). In Greece itself, PV are quite rare, although they are common in Apulian and Paestan vase painting…

Wineskin

(173 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ἀσκός/ askós; Lat. culleus, uter). For transporting solid (Thuc. 4,26) and liquid foods (Hom. Il. 3,247; Hom. Od. 5,265; 9,196), apart from barrels, people also used animal (ox, sheep, goat; in the Arab lands also camel, Hdt. 3,9) skins sewn together, a leg of the animal serving as inlet and outlet. Representations of wineskins are common in ancient art in transportation scenes; a wineskin-carrying silen is a fixed feature of the iconography of Dionysian scenes (Dionysus). In myths, …

Fritillus

(147 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (φιμός, phimós). The shaker was used for throwing the dice and the   astragaloi in various  board games and  dice games (Hor. Sat. 2,7,17; Juv. 14,5; Mart. 4,14,7-9; 5,84,1-5 and passim; Sen. Apocol. 12,3,31; 14,4; 15,1; Sid. Apoll. Epist. 2,9,4 etc.). Besides shakers made of perishable material, there were some made of clay [1. fig. 15 from Mainz-Kastell, Wiesbaden] and bronze (Schol. Juv. 14,5 mentions horn). The playing-pieces in the shape of towers (called turricula or pyrgus) made of ivory, wood or copperplate, through which the dice were rolled on t…

Games of dexterity

(530 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] were primarily performed by children. With some of these games  astragaloi (knucklebones), nuts, pebbles, coins, small balls or potsherds were used as toys ( Children's games), with others, sticks, discs, wheels, etc. A favourite was the so-called πεντάλιθα ( pentálitha) (Poll. 9,126), in which five stones (nuts, balls, etc.) were thrown up in the air and caught in the palm of the hand or on the back of the hand. In another, the orca-game, nuts, stones etc. were thrown into a narrow-necked container (Ps.-Ov. Nux 85f.; Pers. 3,50). Similar to this game was the ἐς βόθυνον ( es…

Fer(i)culum

(132 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Occasionally feretrum (e.g., Ov. Met. 3,508; 14,747), the name for various types of devices employed for carrying goods. In particular, it refers to the racks on which objects were presented during processions (triumphs, funerals etc.), e.g., booty, prisoners, images of deities etc. (Suet. Caes. 76). The fericulum was also used to transport the deceased and objects to be interred or cremated (Stat. Theb. 6,126). Fericulum was also the name for the trencher ( Household equipment), the flat bowl in which foods were served during meals (e.g., Pet…

Nails

(331 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ἧλος/ hḗlos, Lat. clavus, more rarely πάτταλος/ páttalos, γόμφος/ gómphos, Lat. palus). Nails have survived in abundance from the Early Bronze Age onwards; they have shanks that are rounded or angular in section and heads of various forms (round, pointed, flat, globular, spherical, etc.). Surviving nails are made of bronze or iron, though decorative nails may be made of gold or silver, or only have a head made of precious metal, but in antiquity wooden nails were also used. Nails were used …

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 );…

Hygiene, personal

(789 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A. General In antiquity clean and regularly changed  clothes were part of physical well-being, as were washing or bathing followed by anointing the body with regular or perfumed olive oil and other fragrant oils ( Cosmetics), the latter being also used out of health reasons. Peoples or people who were dirty or unkempt were bound to be disagreeable to the Greek and Roman sense of cleanliness (Hor. Sat. 1,2,27; 1,4,92), as well as those who used unusual or strange methods of washing, …

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…

Acetabulum

(122 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] From Latin acetum (vinegar); this goblet-shaped vessel with an indented wall profile served as a container for vinegar and honey, as a table and cooking vessel as well as a wax melting utensil; also used as a beaker amongst conjurers. Usually, the acetabulum was made of clay or glass, sometimes of precious metal. Its volume was very small (0,068 l [1]); in Apicius (6,8,3) and Apici excerpta a Vindario VI, the acetabulum is also equivalent to a cooking vessel.  Catinus Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography 1 F. Hultsch, s. v. A., RE I, 155 f. G. Hilgers, Lat. Gefäßnamen, …

Alveus

(128 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] [1] Trough-shaped container; actually cavity, vault or trough. The alveus served as wine press trough, bath for newborn children and as hot-water bath tub for one or more persons. Moreover, alveus can also mean a sarcophagus. In archaeological research alveus designates a large hip bath built in stone or brick, in the caldarium of the Roman thermae [1] (the smaller versions were called alveolus), which were heated by the praefurnium above the testudo alvei, a semicircular kettle. Functionally allied with the alveus are solium and   labrum . Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bi…

Darius Painter

(180 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Apulian vase painter working c. 340/320 BC, named after the main figure on the  Darius Crater. On the vessels he painted (including voluted craters, lutrophoroi, amphorae), some of which are monumental, he generally depicted scenes from classical tragedies (Euripides) and themes from Greek myth; some of these are only documented through his work. Other vases show scenes depicting weddings, women and Eros, as well as Dionysian motifs and rare sepulchral representations ( Naiskos vases). His tendency to name people and representations in inscriptions ( Persai, Pat…

Rudis

(99 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] [1] Thin stick Thin stick or spoon for stirring foods, medications, etc. (Greek κύκηθρον/ kýkēthron, Aristoph. Pax 654), called rudicula in its small form (Plin. HN 34,176), usually made of wood, more rarely of iron (Plin. HN 34,170). Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] [2] Wooden epee Wooden stick or rapier for the fencing exercises of soldiers and gladiators. The rudis also served the lanista as a badge for separating fighting gladiators or for bestowing order on the fight. Retired gladiators received the rudis upon becoming supervisors in the fencing…

Mattress

(116 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (τύλη/ týlē; Latin culcita, torus). Mattresses were laid on the Greek and Roman kline (lying on the supporting straps of the kline, Petron. Sat. 97,4) or were spread out directly on the floor (Ath. 15,675a; Alci. 4,13,14; χαμεύνη/ chameúnē: Theoc. 7,133; 13, 33). Mattresses were filled with wool, straw, reeds, sea grass, hay, hair, feathers; the feathers of Germanic geese being especially valued (Plin. HN 10,54, compare Ov. Met. 8,655 on rushes). There also was the κνέφαλλον/ knéphallon (Poll. 10,42) and the τυλεῖον/ tyleíon, the fine underbed made of wool cut a…

Wig

(282 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (φενάκη/ phenákē, πηνήκη/ pēnḗkē, Latin capillamentum, galerus). The use of wigs apparently began in Greece at the end of the 6th cent. BC; late Archaic korai show hairstyles that are inconceivable without added hairpieces. In the theatre, too, people made use of wigs in the 5th cent. BC (Aristoph. Thesm. 258) and also used false beards (Aristoph. Eccl.25), musicians and conjurers similarly wore wigs and hairpieces (Ael. VH 1,26; Lucian Alexandros 3). The use of wigs and hairpieces was extremely popular i…

Loculi

(185 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (also lucellus). Loculi refer to boxes of different size that are divided into several compartments, such as caskets, cabinets, coffers etc. The loculi were used to hold the counting stones ( calculi) of students for class as well as to store jewellery or money (Hor. Sat. 1,3,17; 2,3,146; Frontin. Aq. 118); for the latter use, one could even carry them around as a purse (Juv. 11,38; Mart. 14,12f., cf. Petron. Sat. 140); holding spaces for any kind of animal in agriculture could also be referred to as loculi, as could the urns for voting. In the funerary practices, loculus desi…

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…
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