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Seat

(409 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Essential item of furniture for sitting on in the sparsely furnished ancient household, mainly made of wood (maple, beech, oak), but sometimes also of bronze and partially or entirely of gold (Hdt. 1,14; Ath. 12,514) or marble. Occasionally individual parts of the chair also consisted of other materials such as ivory or onyx (Plin. HN 36,59), metal or precious metal. There were also woven seats made of willow branches (Plin. HN 16,174). Depictions and stone copies show what they looked like. In Antiquity the principal forms (cf.. Ath. 5,192e-f) were the díphros

Cushion

(255 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ἡ τύλη, τὸ κνέφαλλον, Lat. cervical, pulvinus). Cushions were used to assure comfort when sitting or lying on chairs, klines (Petron. Sat. 32), in litters (Juv. 6,353) or when lying directly on the ground. Floor cushions were also offered for comfort at the circus (Mart. 14,160). The materials used for cushions included linen, wool or leather, which were often beautifully decorated. Straw, hay, reeds, eelgrass or bulrushes (Ov. Met. 8,655) as well as flocks of wool were used as filling…

Mazonomon

(78 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (μαζονόμον/ mazonómon, μαζονόμιον/ mazonómion, Latin mazonomus), from μάζα/ máza (‘barley bread’) and νέμω/ némō (‘to issue’). Originally, a wooden plate, to pass barley bread (cf. Ath. 5,202c); a carrying bowl made of bronze and gold is also mentioned (Ath. 4,149a; 5,197f). Later a serving plate for poultry (Hor. Sat. 2,8,86; Varro, Rust. 3,4,3), which the scholiasts equated with the Roman lanx (Porph. Hor. Sat. 2,8,86). The mazonomon has not been identified in art with certainty. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)

Comb

(385 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ὁ κτείς; ho kteís, Lat. pecten). Combs for wool and for the hair were known already in prehistorical Europe, Egypt and the Near East. They were made from a range of different materials (olive wood, boxwood, ivory, bone, later also from bronze and iron) and could also vary in shape (trapezoid or oblong). In the post-Mycenaean period they had two rows of teeth, with those on one side being more narrowly set teeth. Semi-circular combs appeared in the archaic period. The Classical period …

Mastic

(264 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (μαστίχη; mastíchē, Lat. mastiche, mastix). Aromatic resin of the mastic tree ( schínos; pistacia lentiscus L.) and the oil from its berries. The name is presumably derived from masásthai, ‘to chew’, since the resin was popular for chewing, because of its pleasant taste and hardness, for dental care and against bad breath, just as small pieces of mastic wood were used as toothpicks. The small, evergreen mastic tree (and bush) was planted and cultivated all over the Mediterranean, although its resin was not o…

Running and catching games

(453 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Running and catching games tended to be played in open areas and streets (e.g., Callim. Epigr. 1,9; Verg. Aen. 7,379) where children could chase one another (Hor. Ars P 455f.; cf. Hor. Ars P 412-415 perhaps races) or engage in the popular pastime of hoop rolling (τροχός/ trochós, trochus), often depicted on Greek vases in particular (also in Ganymedes [1]) (Poll. 10,64). From indications in Roman sources this game was frequently played in the street (Mart. 14,168; 14,169; cf. ibidem 12,168; 14,157) and even on frozen rivers (Ma…

Mantica

(79 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A Roman sack made of leather for transporting goods of all kinds including food (Apul. Met. 1,18). The mantica was carried on the shoulder so that it lay over the back and chest (Pers. 4,24; Hor. Sat. 1,6,106), or when travelling on horseback over its hindquarters. A manticula, a small leather sack, was carried by poorer people. manticulari also means ‘steal’ or ‘cheat’, and the thief (‘cutpurse’) was called a manticulator ( -arius). Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)

Sportula

(118 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] ( sporta, sportella). Roman basket (Isid. Orig. 20,9,10; Petron. Sat. 40) used for shopping (Apul. Met. 1,24 and 25), the term is also used for a  basket which held money or food for clients (Petron. 40;  Juv. 1,95 f.; Salutatio ). Hence sportula denoted a feeding of the public (cf. Suet. Claudius 21,4) or a fee due to the magistrates for their official activities. In the 4th and 5th cents. AD, the fees that were charged by court magistrates for their services were also called sportula (Cod. Iust. 3,2). Donativum Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography H. A. Cahn et al., …

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…
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