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Armarium

(212 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Cabinet). The second most important piece of furniture for storage besides the arca. The armarium seems to be a typically Roman item, unknown to the Greeks until quite late ( pyrgiskos). The term armarium basically describes a cabinet for equipment, but also a cupboard for food, money and jewellery. It was also used for bookcases and shelves in  libraries. A funeral relief in Rome (TM 184) depicts the armarium in a cobbler's shop [3. 114-115 pl. 117,1-2], and as a household furniture item together with, among other things, the arca (Leiden, Mus. [2. 69, 301]), cf. …

Lomentum

(133 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] [1] Cosmetic Cosmetic ( Cosmetics) created from bean flour (Plin. HN 18,117), used by Roman women to cover up and reduce wrinkles (Mart. 3,42; 14,60), with the addition of sun-dried, crushed snails (Plin. HN 30,127), lomentum rendered the skin soft and white. It further served as a remedy for ulcers, burns or tumours (Plin. HN 20,127; 22,141). Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] [2] Two types of blue pigment Two types of blue pigment gained from ‘sky blue’ ( caeruleum, cf. [1]) (Plin. HN 33,162f.), one representing the more expensive (10 denarii per…

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…

Ear ornaments

(960 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient see  Jewellery Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] II. Classical Antiquity Ear ornaments (ἐνώτια/ enṓtia, ἐνωτάρια/ enōtária, ἐνωτίδιον/ enōtídion, Lat. inaures) are seldom mentioned in Gr. myth (Hom. Il. 14,183; Hom. Od. 18,298; Hymn. Hom. ad Ven. 8), but numerous finds and representations attest that already in early times they formed part of the  jewellery of men (Hom. Od. 18,298) and women. In the classical period and later, the wearing of ear ornaments by men was regarded…

Kanoun

(237 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (τὸ κανοῦν; tò kanoûn). Flat - sometimes quite small - basket woven from willow twigs, round or oval in shape, with three handles; a kanoun could sometimes also be made from bronze (e.g. Hom. Il. 630) or gold (Hom. Od. 10,355; Eur. IA 1565). Mentioned already by Homer (Hom. Il. 9,217; Hom. Od. 1,148) as a household item in which bread, onions (Hom. Il. 11, 630) etc. are placed on the table during meal times (wastebasket in Hom. Od. 20,300 ?). Also mentioned by Homer as a sacrificial implement for cult sa…

Lucanian vases

(332 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The production of red-figure Lucanian vases (LV) begins around 430 BC with the Pisticci Painter, named after a place where his vases were discovered. He is still wholly within the Attic tradition, which is visible in the stylistic treatment of his figures, the ornaments and forms of the vessels. He prefers bell craters, which he ornaments with scenes of pursuit and of everyday life or with Dionysiac images. His successors, the Amycus and the Cyclops Painters, apparently settled in Metapontium and founded a workshop here, which was in operation until c. 380-370 BC. The …

Labrum

(398 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (from lavabrum, diminutive labellum, Greek λουτήριον/ loutḗrion and λεκάνη/ lekánē). The labrum, a large shallow basin with a raised, thickened rim and resting on a high pedestal, served various purposes. As materials used for the labrum, marble, porphyry, clay, stone and others are cited. In the Greek realm, the labrum is a washbasin where men and women cleansed themselves with water; on vases in Lower Italy this often takes place in the presence of Eros, with waterfowl (swans or geese) sometimes cavorting in the water of the labrum. It also often appears in love 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.), …

Owl Pillar Group

(183 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Group of red-figured Campanian vases, named after one of its motifs (an owl standing on a column or pillar), dating from the 2nd and 3rd quarters of the 5th cent. BC. The primary pottery form is the Attic ('Nolan') amphora (Pottery, shapes and types of, fig. A 5), while kalpis (Pottery, shapes and types of, fig. B 12), krater and jug are much rarer. In their adoption of the particular shapes of amphora and kalpis, as well as in their style, the painters of the OPG attempted to imi…

Razor

(222 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ξυρόν/ xyrón; Lat. novacula, cultellus, culter tonsorius). Razors were used from the early Greek period on for shaving the  beard and cutting hair from the head when in mourning, for example; numerous examples survive. They could easily exceed 20 cm in length; materials used for blades were iron and bronze; for handles bronze, ivory and wood. Razors are instanced in various forms: they could be shaped like a spatula or a crescent, long and slender with a straight or curved blade, broad…

Lanx

(191 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A plate or flat Roman bowl of varying size, form (oval, rectangular or multiangular) and function; it was used in kitchen work (e.g. Petron. Sat. 28,8), but more often for the serving of dishes like fish, meat and poultry (Mart. 7,48,3; 11,31,19); drinking-cups were served on it. It also found use in Roman legal relations. It is mentioned further as a torture instrument, and the head of John the Baptist was presented on a lanx. In religious ritual , lanx generally designates the sacrificial vessel (e.g. Verg. G. 2,194; Verg. Aen. 213-214). Materials for the lanx included pr…

Periskelis

(138 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (περισκελίς/ periskelís, περισκέλιον/ periskélion. Latin periscelis, periscelium). Term no longer current in archaeological scholarship for a simple band of material or metal worn as a thigh ornament above the knee by women of the lower classes and prostitutes (Hor. Epist. 1,17,56; Alci. fr. 4; Petron. 67), less commonly by women from higher circles (Petron. 67; Longus 1,5). They should be distinguished from clasps worn above the ankle and known as compedes (Petron. 67; Plin. HN 33,39-40 and 152). Such bangles and clasps are common in Greek and Roma…

Chlaina

(253 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (χλαῖνα; chlaîna, from χλιαίνω; chliaínō, ‘to warm’). Already mentioned in Homer (Il. 16,224; Od. 4,50 and passim) as a warm coat for men made out of sheep's wool to protect against cold and rain. The chlaina could be laid over the shoulders unfolded (ἁπλοΐς; haploís) or double-folded (δίπλαξ; díplax) and be held together with a pin; it could be red or purple in colour and decorated with patterns or figures (Hom.Il. 10,133; 22,441). The chlaina was, according to Poll. 7,46, worn as a cape over the  chiton and was part of the dress of farmers and shepher…

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…

Acacia

(187 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ἀκακία [ akakía], Dioscorides 1,133; ἄκανθα [ ákantha], Theophr. Hist. pl. 6,1,3). The Egyptian shittah or rubber tree, already mentioned in Hdt. 2,96, belongs to the genus of mimosa plants widespread in the Mediterranean. The sap ( kommì, gum) secreted by the tree was used by the Egyptians for embalming corpses (Hdt. 2,86), but then also in human medical applications (ophthalmology) and was traded at high prices in Roman times (Plin. HN 13,63). The acacia sap was processed into mouth pastilles (Plin. HN 24,109) for…

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…

Dice (game)

(530 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κυβεία/ kybeía; Lat. alea). Allegedly invented by the Lydians (Hdt. 1,94,3),  Palamedes [1] before Troy (Paus. 2,20,3; 10,31,1) or the Egyptian god Thot (Pl. Phdr. 274c-d). Dice are occasionally mentioned in mythology (Hdt. 2,122,1), e.g., Eros plays with Ganymede (Apoll. Rhod. 3,114-126), Hercules with a temple guard (Plut. Romulus 5,1 f.) and Patroclus with Clysonymus (Hom. Il. 23,87 f.). Either four-sided knuckle bones ( astragalos [2], Lat. also talus) that had inscribed on them the values one and six as well as three and four, or six-sided dice (κύβοι/ kýboi;…

Paenula

(233 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Roman cape of different lengths, produced from a semi-circular cut. It was sewn together at the front, had an opening for the head to slip in and a sewn-on hood. If required, the seam at the front could be unpicked from the bottom end in order to give the arms more room to move. The paenula was made of leather, linen or (sheep's) wool and was worn by men and women of all classes, slaves and soldiers, in particular as a travelling and bad-weather coat for protection against the cold and rain; it was white or gray, or dyed in various sh…

Salutatio

(446 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] ('Greeting'). The morning reception allowed clients ( cliens, clientes ) to pay their respects to their patronus , and to receive advice (Hor. Epist. 2,1,102) and support, e.g. money ( sportula ). It took place during the first two hours of the morning (Mart. 4,8); the client ( salutator) had to attend in toga (Juv. 3,126 f.); hence Martial (3,46,1) calls the clients' duties the togata opera. The visitors gathered in the vestibulum or atrium of the house of their patronus and awaited admission (Hor. Epist. 1,5,31). Friends and prominent individuals were grant…

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).…
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