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Monopodium

(145 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Greek trápeza monópous, Poll. 10,69). Round or rectangular tables with only one central support, whose foot could be carved into floral or mythical motifs. In Greece such tables had been used since the Archaic period but only became more common in Hellenistic times; in Rome, monopodia were very popular ever since their first introduction to the public, being carried along in the triumph of 187 BC (Liv. 39,6,7; Plin. HN. 34,14). Most of those that survive come from the towns around Vesuvius. Varro, (Ling. 5,125) mentions the cartibulum which stood in the compluvium

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…

Cothurnus

(248 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ὁ κόθορνος; ho kóthornos, cot[h]urnus). The Greek cothurnus was a high-shafted soft leather boot that fitted tightly to the leg and foot (and, by extension, was used as a synonym for an adaptable person in Xen. Hell. 2,3,30-31). It was wrapped with bands or tied at an opening at the front. The cothurnus is mentioned as women's footwear (Aristoph. Eccl. 341-346; Lys. 657), but was worn in particular by elegant youths at a symposium and  komos. It was the preferred footwear of Hermes, …

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…

Lasimus Krater

(112 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A volute krater much cited from the late 18th to the early 20th cent. because of its inscription which mentions another lower Italian vase painter (Paris, LV, Inv. K 66 [N 3147], [1]). Research at that time discussed the written form of the letters and the artistic classification of the supposed vase painter Lasimus. Only recent research proved the inscription to be a recent addition. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography 1 Trendall/Cambitoglou, 914, no. 36. S. Reinach, Peintures de vases antiques recueillés par Millin (1813) et Millingen (1813), 1891, 64-67 S. Favi…

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…

Sabanum

(90 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] A Roman coarse linen cloth, used to dry off and rub down the body after bathing (Apul. Met. 1,23, cf. Mart. 12,70) or to wrap around the body, in order to raise a sweat after a steam bath; a sabanum was also used to squeeze out honeycombs and to envelop food during the cooking process (Apicius 6,215; 239). Late Antiquity understood a sabanum to be a linen garment decorated with gold and precious stones (Ven. Fort. Vita S. Radegundis 9) or a coat. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)

Keroma

(84 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κήρωμα; kḗrōma, Lat. ceroma). In the medical sense, a salve or cerate, Hippoc. Acut. 8 (vol. 2, p. 424) or a salve (Mart. 4,4,10). In Imperial Rome, keroma designated a wax tablet, and also the clayey wax-coloured surface of a wrestling ring that soils the body or neck of the athletes (Juv. 3, 68); from this, the term keroma was extended to the ring or arena itself (Plin. HN 30,5). Also, those employed there were called kērōmatistaí. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)

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…

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, …

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…

Labronios

(56 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (λαβρώνιος, -ον; labrṓnios, -on). Persian luxury vessel of precious metal and unknown form (large, flat, with large handles, Ath. 11,484c-f, 784a, 500e). As it is named by Athenaeus loc cit. in connection with lakaina and lepaste (both types of vessels), the labronios is probably a type of drinking bowl. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)

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…

Writing materials

(1,589 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Hurschmann
[German version] I. Writing media In Antiquity, a large variety of media were used as writing support. Modern scholarship divides them into inorganic and organic materials. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] A. Inorganic An inorganic medium for writing is natural rock on which inscriptions were chiselled; they are found in Egypt and in the mountains of to the east Mesopotamia from the 2nd half of the 3rd millennium BC. An early example from Greece are the inscriptions of Thera (IG XII 3,536-601; 1410-1493) from the end…

Chlamys

(271 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (χλαμύς; chlamýs). Shoulder-coat made of wool for travellers, warriors and hunters. The many-coloured and embroidered chlamys appeared in the 6th cent. BC and originally came from Thessaly (Poll. 7,46; 10,124; Philostr. Heroïkos 674) where it was also awarded as a winner's prize after athletic contests (Eust. in Hom. Il. 2,732), or Macedonia (Aristot. fr. 500 Rose). Typically it was worn as follows: the cloth of the ovally or rectangularly tailored coat was folded vertically, laid around the lef…

Mantellum

(165 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] ( mantellum, mantelium, χειρόμακτρον; cheirómaktron). A rectangular linen cloth with braiding and fringes; in cult activity it served as a hand towel carried by the servants of the sacrifice,at meals is served for cleaning hands (e.g. Xen. Cyr. 1,3,5) and as a tablecloth (Mart. 12,28). In Sappho (99 Diehl) the cheirómaktron is mentioned as a head adornment. In its main functions as a tablecloth and towel the mantellum corresponds with the mappa that was also a popular gift at Saturnalia (Mart. 5,18,1). There is evidence that from the time of Nero (Suet. Nero 22) a mappa (fl…

Clothing

(2,265 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
A. General [German version] 1. Raw materials Attested in early monuments from the Minoan and Mycenaean period, hides and leather, as well as wool, sheepskins and goatskins, are amongst the oldest materials used for clothing. The use of  linen or flax to make garments developed thanks to the agency of the Phoenicians; Alexander [4] the Great's wars of conquest introduced  silk into Greece. The Romans used the same materials for clothing as the Greeks;  cotton came into use as well in the 2nd cent. BC; s…

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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