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  • Greek Material Culture: Classical and Hellenistic x
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Medea in art  

Karim Arafat

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Medea first appears on an *Etruscan olpe of c.630 bce showing the cauldron of rejuvenation, with which she tricks the Peliads (i.e. daughters of *Pelias) on Attic vases from a century ... More

Melanthius (2), painter, 4th cent. BCE  

Thomas Bertram Lonsdale Webster and Karim Arafat

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Like *Apelles, a pupil of *Pamphilus(1), whom he probably succeeded as head of the Sicyonian ‘school’. The picture of Aristratus in his victorious chariot was painted by ‘all those about Melanthius’ ... More

Menelaus (2), Greek sculptor  

Thomas Bertram Lonsdale Webster and Antony Spawforth

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Menelaus (2) Greeksculptor, pupil of Stephanus and member of the school of *Pasiteles, working at Rome in the 1st cent. ce. Known from a signature on a group of Orestes and Electra in the Terme, for ... More

metallurgy, Greek  

John Ellis Jones

Metallurgy covers all processes involving native metal or metallic ores after mining (concentration, smelting, refining) up to the production of artefacts. Understanding these depends less on ... More

Micon, painter and sculptor  

Karim Arafat

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Painter and sculptor, of Athens. His painting was closely connected with that of his contemporary *Polygnotus, but Polygnotan ethos is never attributed to him. He painted in the Theseum (soon after ... More

milk  

Robert Sallares

Fresh milk (γάλα, lac) was not very important in the Greek and Roman diet, for climatic reasons, and many people in southern Italy and Greece cannot digest lactose in milk. However, northern ... More

mills  

Kevin Greene

Mills ‘Saddle-querns’, in which grain (see cereals) was rubbed between a fixed flat lower stone and a smaller hand-held upper stone, had been in general use for thousands of years before ... More

mirrors  

Glenys Lloyd-Morgan

Mirrors (κάτοπτρον, speculum) in the Graeco-Roman world were made of various materials—mostly copper alloy, but *silver and *iron examples have been found. Earliest surviving pieces date to the ... More

Morychus  

Herbert Jennings Rose

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Lexicographers and *paroemiographers explain a saying ‘sillier (μωρότερος) than Morychus, who neglects inside affairs and sits outside’ as alluding to a statue of *Dionysus in Sicily, ... More

mosaic  

Katherine M.D. Dunbabin

Floors paved with natural pebbles arranged in simple geometric designs were used in the near east in the 8th cent. bce. In the Greek world, unpatterned pebble floors were known in the Minoan and ... More

Museum  

Theodore Johannes Haarhoff and Nigel Wilson

Museum (Μουσεῖον), originally a place connected with the *Muses or the arts inspired by them. *Euripides speaks of the μουσεῖα of birds, the places where they sing. When a religious meaning was ... More

Myron (1), Greek sculptor  

Andrew F. Stewart

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Myron (1), sculptor from Eleutherae (on the Boeotian-Attic border), active c.470–440 bce. Reputed pupil of Hageladas and rival of *Pythagoras(2) (Plin., HN 34. 57). He was the greatest representative ... More

Nemean Games  

Nicholas J. Richardson

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
These were held in the sanctuary of *Zeus at *Nemea (1). They were said to have been founded by *Adrastus (1) of *Argos (1), in memory of the child Opheltes, killed there by a snake during ... More

Nicias (2), Athenian painter, fl. c. 332 BCE  

Thomas Bertram Lonsdale Webster and Karim Arafat

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Nicias (2), Athenian painter, pupil of Antidotus (pupil of *Euphranor). *Pliny(1) dates him 332 bce. He refused to sell a picture to *Ptolemy(1) I (after 306). He painted women with the ... More

odeum  

Richard Allan Tomlinson

Odeum (ᾠδεῖον), a small theatre or roofed hall for musical competitions and other assemblages.The Odeum of *Pericles(1) at Athens, an exceptional structure, placed in the area of the then undeveloped ... More

Olympia  

Catherine A. Morgan, Simon Hornblower, and Antony Spawforth

Olympia, *panhellenic sanctuary of *Zeus located in hill country beside the river *Alpheus in *Elis. There is evidence of extensive prehistoric settlement in the vicinity ... More

Olympian Games  

Nicholas J. Richardson

These were held in the precinct of *Zeus (the Altis) at *Olympia, once every four years in August or September. They were in honour of Zeus, and were said to commemorate the victory of *Pelops in his ... More

Olympieum  

Richard Allan Tomlinson

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Olympieum, the temple of *Zeus Olympius at Athens; begun by Antistates, Callaeschrus, and Antimachides, architects employed by *Pisistratus, but abandoned after the latter's death, and the expulsion ... More

Olynthus  

Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond

Olynthus, a city north of *Potidaea on the mainland of the Chalcidic peninsula (see chalcidice). Originally Bottiaean, it became a Greek city after its capture by *Persia (479 bce) and repopulation ... More

orders, architectural  

Richard Allan Tomlinson

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
The main Greek orders of architecture are Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The definitive form of Doric is established by the beginning of the 6th cent. bce. Earlier temples in stone (Apollo ... More

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