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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…

Pera

(144 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (πήρα/ pḗra, πηρίδιον/ pērídion, Latin pera). A bag or satchel for carrying bread (Theoc. Epigr. 1,49; Ath. 10,422b), seeds (Anth. Pal. 6,95; 104) or herbs and vegetables (Aristoph. Plut. 298), which belonged to the equipment of hunters (Anth. Pal. 6,176), shepherds (Anth. Pal. 6,177) or fishermen and was worn at the hip by means of a strap over the shoulder. The pera was already an item characterizing beggars in Hom. Od. 13,437; 17,197; 410; 466 (cf. Aristoph. Nub. 924), and later became, along with the walking staff ( báktron, Latin baculum, staff), a symbol used by …

Depas

(225 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (δέπας; dépas). Wine bowl, mentioned several times in Homer and probably also attested in Hittite, for drinking, libations, mixing and ladling, made from precious metal and decorated (‘Nestor's cup’, Hom. Il. 11,632ff.). As synonyms Homer uses ἄλεισον ( áleison), ἀμφικύπελλον ( amphikýpellon), κύπελλον ( kýpellon); from which the depas has been understood to be a two-handled cup, similar to the cantharus ( Pottery, shape and types of). Archaeological finds and interpretation of Linear-B tablets from Pylos and Knossos (where it appears as di-pa) seem to have br…

Karbatine

(60 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (καρβατίνη/ karbatínē, cf. Lat. pero). Shoe made from rough leather, mostly worn by shepherds and farmers, later also shoe for soldiers (Xen. An. 4,5,14), apparently laced up (cf. Lucian. Alexander 39). In Aristot. Hist. an. 499a 29 also a camel shoe. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography O. Lau, Schuster und Schusterhandwerk in der griech.-röm. Lit. und Kunst, 1967, 119-121.

Cosmetics

(562 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] In Greek and Roman antiquity there was a huge demand for essences, oils and pomades. As part of their skin care men lotioned themselves to keep their skin soft and tender (Ath. 15,686). Lotioning extended from the head over the entire body and it was a widespread custom to apply lotion several times a day, with a different lotion being used for each part of the body (Ath. 12,553d). Without lotion one was considered dirty. According to tradition, animal fats and butter were the fir…

Kosymbe

(111 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κοσ(σ)ύμβη, κόσ(σ)υμβος; kos(s)ýmbē, kós(s)ymbos, also θύσανος; thýsanos, κρόσσος; króssos). Designation for the warp-threads remaining on the edges of garments, from there also for fringe, fringed dress and fringed hairstyle (Poll. 2,30). The kosymbe was often manufactured separately to ornament the clothing. As early as Homer (Il. 14,181) it is used in connection with Hera's belt, here designated as θύσανος/ thýsanos. In art it is often attached to dresses and cloth. The kosymbe gained symbolic meaning in the mystery cults; particularly, represent…

Tarantinon

(79 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ταραντῖνον; tarantînon). A light diaphanous luxury garment with fringes, first recorded in literature in the 4th century BC (Men. Epitr. 272); the original place of production was Tarentum (Taras), cf. Poll. 7,76. Hetaerae wore it without undergarments (Aristaen. 1,25,  cf.  Ael. VH 7,9). In  Ath. 14,622b male participants in a Dionysian festal procession wear tarantina. Barbaron Hyphasmata; Coae Vestes; Fimbriae; Clothing Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography U. Mandel, Zum Fransentuch des Typus Colonna, in: MDAI(Ist) 39, 1989, 547-554.

Kottabos

(302 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (κότταβος; kóttabos, verb: κοτταβίζειν; kottabízein). Greek party game, probably of Sicilian origin (schol. Aristoph. Pax 1244; Anac. fr. 41 D), played by women (hetaerae) and men during a symposium ( Banquet). Kottabos is frequently mentioned in ancient literature (since Anac. fr.. 41 D = Ath. 10,427d) and has especially been captured in vase images from the end of the 6th cent. BC on. The goal was to strike a metal disk, resting on a construction similar to a lamp stand, with wine dregs, shot from a drinking …

Nails

(331 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ἧλος/ hḗlos, Lat. clavus, more rarely πάτταλος/ páttalos, γόμφος/ gómphos, Lat. palus). Nails have survived in abundance from the Early Bronze Age onwards; they have shanks that are rounded or angular in section and heads of various forms (round, pointed, flat, globular, spherical, etc.). Surviving nails are made of bronze or iron, though decorative nails may be made of gold or silver, or only have a head made of precious metal, but in antiquity wooden nails were also used. Nails were used …

Fritillus

(147 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (φιμός, phimós). The shaker was used for throwing the dice and the   astragaloi in various  board games and  dice games (Hor. Sat. 2,7,17; Juv. 14,5; Mart. 4,14,7-9; 5,84,1-5 and passim; Sen. Apocol. 12,3,31; 14,4; 15,1; Sid. Apoll. Epist. 2,9,4 etc.). Besides shakers made of perishable material, there were some made of clay [1. fig. 15 from Mainz-Kastell, Wiesbaden] and bronze (Schol. Juv. 14,5 mentions horn). The playing-pieces in the shape of towers (called turricula or pyrgus) made of ivory, wood or copperplate, through which the dice were rolled on t…

Filter

(147 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Filters were used for straining and filtering water, wine, oils, perfume, vinegar, honey and liquid medicine. For this purpose various materials were used: linen cloths, bast weave, ash, clay or wood. Greek and Roman antiquity knew different filtering vessels (ἡθμός/ hēthmós, ὑλιστήρ/ hylistḗr, colum, infundibulum, saccus etc.), including the superb Macedonian devices of the Hellenistic period, as well as the metal ladles with the sieve-like bottom and the wine sieves mainly known from the Roman Imperial period (Hildesheim s…

Soccus

(90 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Slipper-like, light half-shoe (Catull. 61,10), probably adopted by the Romans from Greek areas (perhaps σύκχος/ sýkchos or συκχίς/ sykchís, Anth. Pal. 6,294). Originally a woman's shoe, it was also worn by 'effeminate' men (Suet. Cal. 52). Later Diocletian's Price Edict distinguished between socci for men and women, in various colours. The soccus was also considered to be a comedy actor's shoe (cf. Hor. Epist. 2,1,174; Hor. Ars 79 f.), so that soccus became a synonym for comedy (as cothurnus for tragedy). Illustration of a soccus under shoes. Hurschmann, Rolf (Ham…

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…

Pataikoi

(193 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (Πάταικοι; Pátaikoi). Dwarf figures, mounted on the bow of Phoenician triremes according to Hdt. 3,37. Coins from Aradus [1] and Sidon from the late 4th cent. BC onward show half-figures or protome heads on ships [1. table 2,1, table 18,12-14]. From these Phoenician figures the term was transferred to figures of dwarfs; pátaikos thus became a descriptive proper name for people of short stature (Hdt. 7,154; cf. also the Pataíkeia festival at Delos, named after its founder Pátaikos). The term also became proverbial for thieves, however. Herodotus compares t…

Konopion

(74 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (τὸ κωνώπιον; tò kōnṓpion, Latin conopium, conopeum). Originally, the konopion was a sleeping net for the protection against mosquitos, flies, etc. (Anth. Pal. 9,764; Prop. 3,11,45). According to Hdt. 2,95, the Egyptians even used their fishing nets for this purpose. The term was later used in various ways for litters and sofas (medieval canapeum developed into canapé). A cradle was called conopeum as well. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography Bibliography: see Kline.

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…

Limbus

(88 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Ribbon, braid or trimming with a wide variety of meanings. Limbus describes the head band and the belt and even more so the edging and hem on garments (Ov. Met. 6, 127; Verg. Aen. 4,137) that could also be colourful or made of gold (Ov. Met. 5, 51). The band that runs across the celestial globe and contains the zodiac was also called the limbus (Varro, Rust. 2,3,7, Zodiac). Limbi were also the cords on the nets of hunters and fishermen. Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)

Evergides Painter

(198 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Anonymous Attic bowl painter of the late 6th cent. BC, named after the potter Euergides; however, he also worked for the potter Chelis (bowl Paris, LV Inv. G 15 [1. 91, no. 51]), possibly for other potters as well. His c. 150 extant bowls are mainly painted with genre images (scenes depicting athletics, horses, chariots, as well as symposium and komos scenes), as well as mythological (Hercules, Theseus, Peleus-Thetis, Ajax-Achilles playing board games, etc.) and Dionysian topics; fabulous creatures (griffin, sphinx, Pe…

Perirrhanterion

(215 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (περιρ(ρ)αντήριον; perir(r)hantḗrion). Large basin of clay, marble or limestone on a tall stand with a cylindrical shaft and base of quite considerable proportions, the basin being either firmly attached to the stand or separable. Similar in form and appearance to louteria (Labrum), perirrhanteria were used for ritual purification by sprinkling with water and stood in front of temples, at the entrances to sanctuaries and at cult places in gymnasiums or at herms (whereas louteria were used for everyday bodily cleaning). In Athens there were also perirrhanteria at t…

Wreath, Garland

(712 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (στέφανος/ stéphanos, στεφάνη/ stephánē, Lat. corolla, corona). Wreaths and garlands were formed out of flowers, leaves and branches, or were reproduced (out of bronze, silver and gold; cf. e.g. [1]) in their image. They were a constituent part of culture and everyday life in Greece and Rome: a symbol of consecration, honouring and decoration for people and gods. Wearing a wreath was a mark of distinction ( cf. Apul. Met. 11,24.4) and it was reprehensible to attack a person wearing one ( cf. Aristoph. Plut. 21). Wreaths have been worn from time immemorial (Tert…

Underworld, vases featuring the

(163 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Pots (primarily volute kraters) of Apulian Red Figure vase painting with representations of the Underworld; the divine couple Hades and Persephone are found, sometimes enthroned within palace architecture, often with Hermes. The following can also be present: Hecate, Dike [1], the Judges of the Dead (Triptolemus, Aeacus, Rhadamanthys), Orpheus and Eurydice [1], Heracles [1] subduing Cerberus, Megara [1] with her children. In addition mythical evildoers and penitents appear, e.g. t…

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…

Tokens

(469 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (σύμβολον/ sýmbolon, tessera). From 450 BC onwards in Athens, the State gave poor citizens free tickets for performances in the Theatre of Dionysus to the value of two oboloi (θεωρικòν διόβολον/ theōrikòn dióbolon); these tokens, called σύμβολα ( sýmbola), were given to the lessee of the theatre, who then collected the corresponding money for them from the State treasury. This institution was later extended to all citizens, followed by payments for participation in people's assemblies and in court. Numerous bronze symbola survive from the period between the s…

Chamber pot

(190 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] The terms ἀμίς/ amís, λάσανα/ lásana, Lat. matella, matellio, matula described vessels made of various materials used in agriculture (Cato Agr. 10,2; 11,3) as well as vessels for water and washing in the household; but they were particularly used to designate chamber pots (Aristoph. Plut. 816f.) that were set up in the latrine or were portable (Anth. Pal. 11,74,7; Hor. Sat. 1,6,109; Petron. Sat. 27). Ath. 1,519e attributed to the Sybarites ( Sybaris) the first use of chamber pots; from there, the chamber pot was brought to Athens. During the symposium, a special slave ( la…

Teano ware

(196 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Genre of vases from the last quarter of the 4th cent. and the first half of the 3rd cent. BC, named after their main find spot in northern Campania, the ancient Teanum Sidicinum, which was probably also the centre of production. Shallow bowls on small circular stands, known as footed dishes, with tall stems, skyphoi, gutti, oinochoai, kernoi and vessels in the shape of birds (see ill.) are common; other vessel types, such as kalyx kraters, are distinctly rare. The decoration of th…

Footstool

(241 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (θρῆνυς/ thrḗnys, ὑποπόδιον/ hypopódion, σφέλας/ sphélas, rarely χελώνη/ chelṓnē; Latin scabellum, scamnum). The footstool was used as a foot bench for a person sitting on the  klismos,  throne or a similar high seating (cf. Hom. Od. 17,409 f.), or as a step for climbing up on the  Kline or down from it. There were three footstool variants: rectangular footstools with simple vertical legs, rectangular footstools with curved legs that ended in animal feet (lion feet), sphinxes etc., as well a…

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…

Messapian pottery

(239 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Messapian pottery originated on the Italian peninsula of Salento (in Antiquity Messapia or Iapygia) around the mid-7th cent. BC as an independent genre. For the most part, geometric patterns (circles, squares, diamonds, horizontal lines, swastikas, etc.) were sparsely distributed over vessels; later, under Greek influence maeanders were added. Preferred vessel forms were the olla , pitcher and trozzella ( nestoris). Early in the 5th cent. BC, figurative representations, which also included new ornaments (ivy and other leaf motifs), appe…

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)

Plate

(96 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (πίναξ/ pínax, λεκάνη/ lekánē; Lat. catillus). Plates were used, like flatter platters and deeper bowls, for preparing and serving food at table (e.g. Hom. Od. 1,141; 16,49 f.); they could be round or square, with or without a stand, with curved or steep walls. In archaeological finds plates are attested from the 8th cent. BC until the end of Antiquity in various materials (bronze, wood, silver, clay, tin etc.). Catinus [1]; Crockery; Fish-plate; Lanx; Table culture Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) Bibliography S. Künzl, Das Tafelgeschirr, in: E. Künzl (ed.), Die Ala…

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 …

Scissors

(168 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] (ψαλίς/ psalís; Latin forfex, forpex, forficula). Scissors, made of iron or bronze, were used in sheep and goat shearing, for cutting cloth and metal, hair and beards, in cobbling and in agriculture, for chopping plants and fruits and separating grapes from the vine. Scissors seem to have come into use from the early 5th cent. BC in Greece, and in Italy (according to written sources) from around 300 BC (Varro, Rust. 2,11,9), though the plucking of fleeces was still common in sheep-shea…

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 …

Purpurissum

(81 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
[German version] Costly paint and make-up (Plin. HN 35,44) manufactured from the mixture of heated purple sap and silver clay (or silver chalk, creta argentaria); purpurissum became brighter the more silver clay was added. As a painter's pigment, purpurissum was highly esteemed for its vivid colour (Plin. HN 35,30; 35,44 f.; 35,49). Women used purpurissum together with white lead ( cerussa) to colour their cheeks and lips (cf. Plaut. Mostell. 258, 261; Plaut. Truc. 290). Cosmetics; Pigments Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)

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. …
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