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Litter, Sedan chair

(529 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (φορεῖον/ phoreîon; Latin lectica, sella sc. gestatoria, portatoria). The litter as a means of conveyance has been known in the Orient since earliest times; in Greece it is first mentioned in the 4th cent. BC (Din. 1,36); in Hellenism it is a luxury item (Ath. 5,195c; 212c; Diod. Sic. 31,8,12). We cannot determine when the litter was introduced to the Roman empire but it was in general use from the 2nd cent. BC (cf. Liv. 43,7,5; Gell. NA 10,3,51); its excessive utilization in Rome already compelled Caesar to limit its use in the …

Festival dress

(444 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] It is safe to assume that the dress worn at private and public festivals differed in colour or adornment from everyday wear; women in  Sybaris, for example, who were to partake in one of the municipal festivities, received a year's notice in order to prepare their attire accordingly (Ath. 12,521c; Plut. Mor. 147e). A public appearance called for a clean attire (cf. Pl. Symp. 174a). On some festive occasions, a cloak was worn, referred to as ξυστίς ( xystís) (Aristoph. Lys. 1190, Nub. 70; Theoc. 2,74; Plut. Alcibiades 32,2). The ‘Phoenician’ red chitons, wor…

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…

Tropa

(136 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (τρόπα; trópa). Greek children's games with astragaloi (Astragalos [2]), nuts, etc. (Poll. 9,103; schol.  Pl. Ly. 206e); in consisted in throwing one's own astragalos (or nut, etc.) in such a way that it moved one's opponent's astragalos from its position. In a variant of the game one had to try to drop an astragalos into a small pit in the ground. Tropa was probably also played by young Romans (Mart. 4,14,9). Connected with the game of tropa is Polyclitus' [1] group, known only from literature, known as the 'Boys Playing at Knucklebones' (Plin. HN 34,55)…

Campanian vases

(696 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The Campanian vases (CV) of the 5th-4th cents. BC were made of a light brown clay and the surface often painted with a red-coloured coating. Artists generally preferred smaller vessels, besides these as the main shape, strap-handled amphora, also hydriae and bell craters; only seldom do pelike types appear ( Pottery, shapes and types of, vessel shapes with fig.). Characteristics attributed to  Apulian vase painting such as volute and column craters, loutrophoroi, rhyta or nestorid…

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

Triga

(337 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Latin from triiuga; Greek τρίπωλος/ trípōlos; 'team of three'). Its significance as a racing, hunting or war vehicle was far less than that of bigae and of the quadriga. In Homer only extra horses for a team of two are mentioned (cf. Hom. Il. 8,80-86; 16,152-154 and 467-476) and on one occasion a gift of three horses (Hom. Od. 4,590); otherwise the literary sources on trigae are rather rare (e.g. Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 7,73). The same is true for representations in art; first and foremost are 9th-cent. BC Assyrian reliefs with battle and  huntin…

South Italian vases

(1,233 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Beginnings The first workshops in southern Italy for red-figured pottery appeared around the mid 5th cent. BC, founded by Athenian vase-painters. Native artists were trained there. Thus, the initial dependence on Attic models, which expressed itself e.g. in the choice of motif or Atticizing forms (Lucanian vases), was replaced by a characteristic painting style and repertoire of decorations and motifs. Towards the end of the 5th cent. BC, the so-called 'ornate and plain styles' emerged in Apulian vase-painting (Apulian vases). Through th…

Mourning

(981 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Literary sources In Greece and Rome, deaths and accidents, financial and business losses and military defeats were occasions for mourning (πένθος/ pénthos; Lat. luctus). Aside from the characteristic mourning dress, women displayed their mourning by renouncing gold jewellery (Dion. Hal. Ant. 5,48,4; Liv. 34,7,10), by beating, and sometimes baring, their chests (Prop. 2,13,27; Petron. 111,2), by loosening and tearing their hair (Catull. 64,348-351; Tib. 1,1,67 f.; Liv. 1,26,2), by crying and wailing (P…

Klismos

(111 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κλισμός; klismós, Latin cathedra). The klismos is a high chair without armrests and with a broad, curved backrest, attested as early as in Homer (e.g. Il. 8,436; Od. 4,136) as a seat for nobility, gods, and heroes. Greek and Roman art confirms this, but the klismos is often seen in representations of domestic rooms, schools, and other everyday scenes as well. At times, the seated persons laid an arm on the backrest for comfort and relaxation, and often the relaxed way of sitting is supported by footrests and cushions. Diphros; Furniture Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliogr…

Stola

(181 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The stola was the garment worn in public by Roman matrons ( Matrona [1]), i.e. free-born women (Plin. HN 33,40), over a fairly close-fitting tunica or a looser calasis and under a palla, so that their bodies were entirely  enveloped (cf. Hor. Sat. 1,2,99). It reached to the ankles and was capacious, pleated and cinctured at bust or waist level (Mart. 3,93,4). The stola consisted of a tube of material which the wearer slipped into; it was held on the shoulders by means of twisted ribbons or strings. It had trimming ( instita) on the lower selvage, presumably a purple rib…

Culter

(133 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Greek μάχαιρα, máchaira). Originally the  knife, specifically the knife of butchers and therefore the butchering tool in  sacrifices (Hom. Hym. Apoll. 535f. for máchaira). On Greek and Roman representations, the hiereús or the victimarius has the sacrificial knife brought to him on a tray or holds it in his hand. The culter was used to open the carotid artery of the sacrificial animal and to cut out its intestines. The sacrificing victimarius was also called cultrarius after the sacrificial knife. Furthermore, the culter was the attribute of oriental peoples w…

Latrunculorum ludus

(249 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The game in which it was a matter of defeating all the stones of the opponent by clever placement of one's own, takes its name from Latin latro (‘mercenary’, later also ‘bandit’); the winner was given the title Imperator (cf. SHA Proculus 13,2). The course of the game has not been fully clarified, but from the literary sources (Varro, Ling. 10,22; Ov. Ars am. 3,357f., cf. 2,207; Sen. De tranquillitate animi 14,7; Laus Pisonis 190-208) we have an approximate picture: the latrunculorum ludus was played by two partners on a chess-board-like playing board that norm…

Kredemnon

(191 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κρήδεμνον; krḗdemnon, Latin calautica, also κάλυμνα/ kálymna, καλύπτρη/ kalýptrē). In general the top covering, also of a wine or storage vessel (Hom. Od. 3,392) or of a circular wall (Hom. Il. 16,100), but subsequently mostly a woman's headscarf which covered the shoulders and could be used to conceal the face (Hom. Il. 14,184; 16,470; Hom. Od. 1,334). In the 5th cent. BC the word continued to be used only in poetry (e.g. Eur. Phoen. 1490); the usual expressions for veils and especially for bridal veils were kálymna and kalýptrē (cf. Aesch. Ag. 1178). The krḗdemnon was a…

Lamp

(725 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] As containers for flammable oil and wick holders, lamps made of clay are a ubiquitous find from antiquity; less numerous are lamps made of bronze, marble and plaster. The basic shape of the lamp was the stone bowl, which was already used as a lamp early in the Stone Age. Early lamps of clay follow this basic form; they are shaped on a potter's wheel and creased one or several times to accommodate the wick in the spout that is thereby created. These Phoenician lamps (also called ‘P…

Bathing costume

(98 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ᾤα λουτρίς; ṓia loutrís, subligar). Men and women wore loin cloths or bath towels made from sheepskins or cloth during the communal bath in bath houses (Poll. 7,66; 10,181,   perizoma ,   subligaculum ), women also wore a breast band (vase paintings, ‘bikini girl’ of  Piazza Armerina). Men's bathing costumes could also be made from leather ( aluta, Mart. 7,35,1). In Pap. Cair. Zen. 60,8, there is mention of an ἐκλουστρίς ( ekloustrís). It is uncertain if bonnets ( vesica) were worn. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography R. Ginouvès, Balaneutikè, 1962, 223-225 W. Hein…

Karchesion

(89 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] [1] see Schiffahrt see Navigation Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] [2] Drinking vessel A quite large drinking vessel, similar in shape to the kantharos (Ath. 11,474e-475b; Macrob. Sat. 5,21,1-6) for wine (Mart. 8,56,14; Ov. Met. 12,317), which according to Ath. 11,500f. was one of the vessels of a Greek symposium. In Rome, it was also a sacrificial vessel (e.g. Ov. Met. 7,246). Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography W. Hilgers, Lat. Gefäßnamen, BJ, 31. Beih., 1969, 48; 140f. S. Rottroff, Hellenistic Pottery, The Athenian Agora 29, 1997, 88f.

Top

(119 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (στρόβιλος/ stróbilos, also βέμβηξ/ bémbēx, κῶνος/ kônos, στρόμβος/ strómbos, στρόφαλος/ stróphalos, Latin rhombus, turbo). The top was a popular toy in Antiquity (Children's games); made of box wood (hence also called buxum in Latin) with cross grooves, it was set rotating with the fingers and then propelled with a whip (Verg. Aen. 7,373-383 in an epic simile;  Callim. Epigr. 1,9; Tib. 1,5,3; Anth. Pal. 7,89). Original tops of clay, bronze, lead and other materials have been preserved as grave goods and votive gifts in sanctuaries (cf. Anth. Pal. 6,309) [1]. Hurschman…

Children's Games

(662 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The educational value of children's games was already known in antiquity; thus Plato (Pl. Leg. 643b-c; cf. Aristot. Pol. 7,17,1336a) saw in games imitating the activities of adults a preparation for later life. Quintilian (Quint. Inst. 1,1,20; 1,1,26; 1,3,11) fostered guessing games, games with ivory letters and learning in games in order to promote the child's mental capacities; for this purpose, the ostomáchion game ( loculus Archimedius) -- in which 14 variously shaped geometric figures had to be placed into a square or objects, people or ani…

Curtain

(135 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (παραπέτασμα/ parapétasma, προκάλυμμα/ prokálymma, αὐλαία/ aulaía; Lat. velum, aulaea). In Greek and Roman tents (Ath. 12,538d), houses, palaces, occasionally also in temples (Lk 23,45; cf. Paus. 5,12,4), curtains were attached to doors, windows (Juv. 9,105), as wall decoration (Juv. 6,227) and to the intercolumnia of the atria and peristyles; they served to keep out the rain or sun (Ov. Met. 10,595). Depictions of such curtains are known from Greek and Roman art (e.g. the parapétasma representations on Roman relief sarcophagi) and are extant in origina…
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