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Palimpsest

(350 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (παλίμψηστος/ palímpsēstos [βίβλος/ bíblos or χάρτης/ chártēs], lat. codex rescriptus). A 're-scraped' book, papyrus or parchment leaf, prepared for renewed writing after its first text was scraped off. The first text was either wiped off with a sponge or scraped away with pumice stone. This method was already used in Egypt (e.g. PBerlin 3024, 12th dynasty, from c. 2000 BC), and was also standard practice in later periods, out of thrift (Cic. Fam. 7,18,2) or lack of virgin papyrus or parchment (cf. Catull. 22,5). Plutarch (Mor. 779c, 50…

Dipylon Painter

(303 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Attic vase painter of the geometric period (Late Geometric I, mid 8th cent. BC;  Geometric vase painting), named after the cemetery at the Dipylon Gate in Athens, where most of his works were found. The Dipylon Painter (DP) and the other painters of his workshop created about 20 monumental vases (kraters; amphorae), which were placed on tombs as receptacles for offerings ( Burial); of these, the amphora Athens, NM 804, with a height of 155 cm (the stand has been replaced and thus …

Cradle

(193 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (λίκνον/ líknon, σκάφη/ skáphē; Lat. cunae, cunabula, n. pl.). The líknon, actually the ‘grain rocker’, was used as a cradle (H. Hom. 4,150; 254; 290; 358; [1. 298, fig. 285]; cf. Callim. H. 1,48). A container similar to a tub served as a second form of the cradle (Soph. TrGF IV, 385; Ath. 13,606f; 607a;   scáphē ). There were often notches or small struts on the frame of the cradle for attaching cords. Safety belts could be drawn crosswise over the cradle. From time to time two children could be accommodated in them (Plut. Romulus 3,4). Depictions of infants in skáphai are know…

Bigae

(584 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Short form from Lat. biiugae (Greek: δίζυξ; dízyx; συνωρίς; synōrís); originally two animals moving under one yoke (horse, cow, mule), especially used for teams of horses. Worthy of mention for the early Greek period are not just the representations already extant from the Minoan-Mycenaean culture on frescos, signet rings and similar objects or the models made of clay or bronze, but also especially the lively description in Homer (Il. 23,392f., funeral games for  Patroclus) of a horse race…

Skaphe

(290 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (σκάφη, σκαφίς, σκάφιον, σκάφος/ skáphē, skaphís, skáphion; Latin scapha, scaphium). Frequently used term for a basin, tank, vat, trough (or a small boat) or a wood or metal tub, a receptacle used agriculturally (Hom. Od. 9,223; cf. Theoc. 5,59) and domestically (Aristoph. Eccl. 738-739, cf. Anth. Pal. 6,306). A woman's chamber pot could also be called a scapha. According to Hdt. 4,73,2 the Scythae threw hot stones into a skáphē to make a cleansing 'steam bath'. Romulus and Remus are supposed to have been exposed in a skáphē (Plut. Romulus 3; in Soph. Fr. 574 N a cr…

Peniculus

(69 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (also penicillum). Duster, a stick with the hairy end of an animal's tail (Paul Fest. 208; 231 M.); used to wipe down tables (Plaut. Men. 77f.), polish shoes (Plaut. ibid. 391) or clean agricultural implements and vessels (Columella 12,18,5). The peniculus was also used as a brush to whitewash walls (Plin. HN 28,235) and as a paintbrush (Plin. HN 35,60f.; 103; 149). Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)

Bracelets

(308 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Bracelets were already common in the old cultures of the Near East and Egypt ( Jewellery). For the Aegean region, we know of examples from Early Cyclade times, and from the Minoan and Mycenaean epochs. Bracelets were worn on the forearm above the wrist or on the upper arm, often on both arms or on forearm and upper arm at the same time. The basic shape was a bangle with room for decorations and inscriptions, either closed or with sculpted ends. Spirally wound bracelets which ended…

Knives

(421 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The essential part of the knife is the blade, the form and development of which is determined by its particular function and use such as cutting off or cutting up. Furthermore, in the shape of a dagger it is used for piercing. The knife is one of the oldest and most essential aids in the history of humanity; it has been used for housework ( Household equipment), for hunting, as a tool in many areas (e.g. for working with wood or leather: σμίλη/ smílē, σμίλιον/ smílion, τομεύς/ tomeús, Latin scalprum, culter, crepidarius), in agriculture (tree knives, picks, sickles for …

Mourning dress

(253 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] In the first place mourning dress belonged in the personal area of family and friends, but it could also accompany public mourning. In Homer only mourning goddesses wore dark veils (Hom. Il. 24,93 f.; Hom. H. 2,42). The society described by Homer contented itself with dirtying their clothes with dust and ashes or tearing them (Hom. Il. 18,22 f.; 23,40 f.; 24,640; 28,25). Such behaviour was retained in the historical period by the Greeks and the Romans (e.g. Plut. Solon 21; Eur. El…

Perizoma

(206 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (περίζωμα/ perízōma, Latin perizoma). Greek apron for covering the lower body, worn around the abdomen and held with a belt, as a cloth wrapped round the hips and then passed between the legs, or in the form of a garment similar to a pair of shorts. Perizomata were worn by labourers, artisans, sacrifice attendants, priests, slaves, and also soldiers (cf. Pol. 6,25,3; 12,26a 4) and athletes as their only clothing (Nudity C.) or as an undergarment. In iconography it is mostly men that are shown wearing perizomata, less often female figures such as Atalante and Gorgo…

Kampyle

(84 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (καμπύλη; kampýlē). Staff with a cambered handle, mostly used by farmers and shepherds, beggars, old men and travellers, in contrast to the straight walking stick baktēría (βακτηρία) used by full citizens. According to the Vit. Soph. 6 (according to Satyrus) Sophocles is supposed to have introduced the kampyle into the theatre. According to Poll. 4,119 the old men in comedies carry kampyles. On representations of theatre, actors are often depicted with a kampyle. Lituus; Staff Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography Bibliography: Staff.

Blanket

(252 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Greek στρῶμα, strṓma; Lat. stragulum). Blankets were usually made of linen or wool, but also from the moleskin (Plin. HN 8, 226) and from furs ( Textile art). They were part of the  household equipment; owning many of them was a sign of wealth (Hom. Il. 16,224; Hom. Od. 3,348). Blankets were placed over the mattresses of the dining sofas and were used as cover during sleep (Hom. Il. 9,661; Hom. Od. 6,38; 11,189; 13,73). Blankets, like pillows and furs, were also placed on chairs. Sim…

Cista

(206 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κίστη, kístē). A round basket woven out of willow branches or tree bark, with a lid that often has the same height as the lower part and can be placed over it; also with a flapping lid or a disc-shaped lid. The cista is illustrated on numerous monuments, e.g., Attic and Lower Italian vases, funerary reliefs and Locrian clay tablets. Figurines have also been found. In marriage scenes they function as a gift to the woman. They apparently represent the female sphere since numerous household objects are visible when opened. …

Sandals

(579 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (πέδιλον/ pédilon, σανδάλον, -ιον/ sandálon, -ion; Lat. sandalion, solea, all usually plur). Sandals (soles attached with straps to the feet and reaching up to the ankles or just above) were certainly the most common ancient footwear and were made in various variations. Greek sandals were tied with thin laces up to the ankles [2. 270, fig. 5]; only in the Roman Imperial Period did there emerge ribbon-like leather straps, crossing or running diagonally over the foot. The straps were often …

Tunica

(300 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The tunica, cut and sewn from two pieces of generally white woollen or linen material, was worn by both men and women of the Roman upper classes as an undergarment (Suet. Aug. 94,10) underneath the toga , and as the sole garment by the lower classes. Women often seem to have worn two tunicae, one above the other, with the inner one then referred to as tunica subucula (Varro Ling. 5,131) and the outer one as supparus. In very cold or inclement weather, men, too, would wear layers of tunics (Suet. Aug. 82,1). Originally, tunics were close-fitting and sleeve…

Baltimore Painter

(122 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Apulian vase painter from the last quarter of the 4th cent. BC, named after a vessel in Baltimore. The Baltimore Painter (BP) painted mostly on vessels with large surfaces (volute kraters, amphoras, loutrophori, hydrias i.a.  Pottery, shapes and types of) with funerary scenes ( Naiskos vases), mythological scenes ( Bellerophon, assemblies of the gods) and Dionysian subjects; rarer are genre scenes, like images of women, weddings and Erotes. His presence and artistic work in Canosa…

Soap

(184 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Solid soap in the modern sense was unknown in Antiquity. For cleaning their bodies people used pumice, bran, bicarbonate of soda, oil, soda or clay - Cimolian earth was particularly well known (Aristoph. Ran. 712) - and water. The Greeks called these cleaning materials ῥύμμα/ rhýmma or σμῆγμα/ smêgma (there is no corresponding Latin term). In public bathing facilities washing materials were available on request from attendants (Aristoph. Lys. 377; Ath. 8,351e), or people brought them from home. As with modern soap, ancient wash…

Tabula

(196 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] General Latin term for board (Plin. HN 31,128; 33,76; 36,114; Ov. Met. 11,428), then for 'game board' ( tabula lusoria, Games, Board games, Dice (game)), 'painted panel' ( tabula picta, Plin. HN 35,20-28), 'votive tablet' ( tabula votiva, Hor. Carm. 1,5,13; Pers. 6,33). In a special sense, tabula is the term for writing tablets, used for writing and calculating, of wood, whitewashed or with a layer of wax, or metal tablets (Writing materials, Codex ), as were already common among the Greeks. Tabulae were used in the public domain, e.g. as tablets of law ( Tabulae duodecim

Asteas

(212 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Leading representative of Paestan red-figured vase painting ( Paestan ware), and along with  Python the only southern Italian vase painter who signed his name; he was working c. 360-330 BC. Most importantly, on the eleven signed vases depicting various myths (Telephus, Heracles, Europa i.a.) and mythic travesty (Ajax and Cassandra,  Phlyakes vases) A. named the persons depicted, and in one case (Hesperids lekythos: Naples, MN 2873) gave the scene a title. On one phlyakes vase (Berlin, SM F 3044) he is evidently referring to a contemporary stage-play. …

Torus

(137 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Latin term (Greek τύλη/ týlē; τυλεῖον/ tyleîon) for anything raised or bulge-like, such as the convex circular parts of an Ionic column base (Column [II B 3] with ill.; the term entered mediaeval and modern architectural terminology in the form ( torus) usual in Vitr. De arch. 3,5,2-3), the calloused skin of the neck and shoulders of a load carrier (Aristoph. Ach. 860; 954: týlē) or the bulging of animals' muscles (Plin. HN 18,78: torus ). Týlē was also the word for cushions on klinai and furniture for sitting on (Sappho fr. 46 Lobel/Page; Diod. Sic. 13,84,5…
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