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  • Greek Material Culture: Classical and Hellenistic x
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archaeology, classical  

A. M. Snodgrass

Classical archaeology properly the study of the whole material culture of ancient Greece and Rome, is often understood in a somewhat narrower sense. *Epigraphy, the study of inscriptions ... More

archaeology, underwater  

A. J. Parker

The potential richness of the sea for salvage or accidental finding of sunken valuables was recognized from earliest times, but the possibility of defining meaningful groups of wrecked material or of ... More

architects  

Richard Allan Tomlinson

The names of architects are preserved in literary sources as well as inscriptions. Theodorus, architect of the temple of Asclepius at *Epidaurus, is paid at only double the level of the ordinary ... More

artisans and craftsmen  

Antony Spawforth

In Greece the prejudices of the (largely landowning) citizen-élites against the activities of ‘mechanics’ (banausoi), often slaves, *freedmen, or *metics, subjected artisans to formal handicaps in ... More

books, Greek and Roman  

H. Maehler

Books existed in *Egypt long before they came into use in Greece. Systems of writing had been invented and developed for administrative purposes in both Egypt and *Mesopotamia by c.3000 bce. While ... More

cemeteries  

Ian Morris

The organization of a formal cemetery, as a space reserved exclusively for the disposal of the *dead, was an important dimension of the social definition of the ancient city. Burial within the ... More

Cnossus, Greek and Roman  

Lucia F. Nixon and Simon Price

A town on Crete. It flourished from the 9th to the 6th cent., to judge from the evidence of large numbers of tombs (protogeometric to orientalizing periods), but seems to have lost power in the ... More

court  

Antony Spawforth

Court, in mediaeval and early-modern times the ruler's household and retinue, its spatial and institutional setting, and, by extension, the ruling power as constituted by monarch and helpers in ... More

dead, disposal of  

Ian Morris

Correct disposal of the dead was always a crucial element in easing the *soul of the deceased into the next world. However, the forms of burial varied enormously. Great significance was attached to ... More

dicing  

Ludwig Alfred Moritz

Dicing with six-sided dice (κύβοι, tesserae) or four-sided knucklebones (ἀστράγαλοι, tali; natural or manufactured from e.g. ivory) was a popular amusement in both Greece and Rome, either ... More

furniture  

Nicholas Purcell

The table, chair, and couch are the central canon of ancient furnishings. Their principal characteristic (by contrast with early modern and modern furnishings) is portability, essential in the ... More

gems  

Frederick Norman Pryce, David Edward Eichholz, and Michael Vickers

Precious stones were valued in antiquity as possessing magical and medicinal virtues, as ornaments, and as seals when engraved with a device. Such engravings (intaglios) in soft media like steatite ... More

harbours  

Philip de Souza

The earliest man-made harbour facilities in the Mediterranean region were the riverside quays of Mesopotamia and Egypt, for which records go back to at least the second millennium bce. Maritime ... More

horse- and chariot-races  

John Kinloch Anderson

In the funeral games for *Patroclus the chariot-race is the premier event (Hom.Il. 23. 262–538). The heroes drive two-horse chariots normally used in battle over an improvised cross-country course, ... More

hunting  

John Kinloch Anderson

Epic heroes (see homer) hunt to fill their bellies or to rid the land of dangerous beasts (Hom. Od. 9. 154–48, 10. 157–63; Il. 9. 533–49). The boar is the most formidable antagonist; venison is ... More

imagery  

Robin Osborne

The identification of scenes in sculpture, painting, and the minor arts has long been a major activity of classical *archaeology, although it has traditionally been accorded less emphasis than the ... More

lamps  

Donald Michael Bailey and Michael Vickers

Were made of *gold, *silver, *iron, *lead, *bronze, and ceramic. Only the last two kinds survive in any quantity; the epigraphic record is concerned with metal lamps alone. Lamps were not only used ... More

lead  

Oliver Davies and David William John Gill

Is mined in part for the extraction of *silver from its ores. Some of the major sources in the Greek world were located at *Laurium in *Attica, on *Siphnos, and in *Macedonia. There were extensive ... More

libraries  

P. J. Parsons

By the end of the 5th cent. bce, books were in general circulation, even if some regarded them as a fad of intellectuals like *Euripides (Ar. Ran. 943, cf. fr. 506 KA); Athens had booksellers (Eup. ... More

lighthouses  

Nicholas Purcell

Tall monuments which might function as navigational marks were an early feature of ancient harbour-architecture (Archaic examples are known on *Thasos). The idea became celebrated with the building ... More

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