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Article

*Proclus describes him as the discoverer of the sections of the σπεῖρα (tore or anchor-ring).

Article

John Scarborough

From earliest times, drugs formed an important part of *medicine, and *Homer has the first record of good drugs and bad drugs (poisons). Folklore incorporated many data on toxic substances, and in the legends Homer's *Circe and *Euripides' *Medea link *magic with poisons. Yet simultaneously there is another understanding of drugs and their actions: Pindar (Pyth. 3. 51–3) reflects *Asclepius' medicine as curative with drugs, surgery, and magical incantations. Drugs were contrasted to foods, but ancient thought overlapped the two, much as moderns fuse medical and culinary uses of *spices. Mycenaean Linear B tablets (see pre-alphabetic scripts (greece)) record prized spices (e.g. saffron, cumin, etc. ), and they were basic in drug lore throughout antiquity. Pharmaceuticals included animal products (*honey, beeswax, blister beetle solutions, fats, marrows, bloods, etc. ), as well as oil seeds (e.g. sesame, linseed (flax)); odours identified specific cheeses, taste determined high-quality drugstuffs, and the study of aromatics led to the widespread production of perfumes, exotic and otherwise (Theophrastus, On Odours).

Article

Philinus (1) of Co (fl. c. 240 BCE), an apostate pupil of *Herophilus. According to most ancient sources—A. *Cornelius Celsus (Med. prooem. 10) being the only significant exception—he was the founder of the Empiricist ‘school’ of medicine. The origins of the Empiricist school in a polemical rivalry with Herophileans become visible in his works. He rejected a conspicuous feature of the Herophilean tradition, namely the diagnostic and prognostic interpretation of pulse ‘signs', and wrote a treatise in six books in response to *Bacchius’ Hippocratic lexicon. Like many subsequent Empiricists, he also made major contributions to *pharmacology, as *Pliny (1) the Elder and *Galen confirm. Here, too, Philinus was attentive to language, introducing etymologizing explanations of the names of botanical ingredients. Some of his compound drug prescriptions were transmitted by Andro-machus the Younger and are preserved by Galen.To what extent Galen's detailed characterizations of the epistemological and methodological foundations of medical Empiricism (e.g. their famous ‘tripod’) apply to Philinus, remains uncertain in the absence of more specific evidence. Also uncertain is whether the Empiricist is identical with a Philinus who wrote in the theriac tradition. See medicine§5.

Article

Philippus was thought by some (Diog. Laert. 3. 37) to have transcribed the Laws of his teacher *Plato (1) and to have written the Epinomis. He is probably the Philippus who composed an astronomical calendar (see astronomy) and primitive shadow-tables.

Article

Physician and perhaps a contemporary of *Plato (1) (c.427–347 bce), provides important evidence for early medical theory outside the Hippocratic corpus (see hippocrates(2)). According to *Callimachus (3) (in Diog. Laert. 8. 86) he was a teacher of *Eudoxus (1) of Cnidus. None of his work survives intact but he is connected doctrinally by *Galen with an influential group of Sicilian doctors, and especially with *Empedocles. Galen notes that he was regarded by some as the author of the Hippocratic treatises Regimen, and Regimen in Health. Like Empedocles, he posited four *elements, fire, earth, air, and water, and the related qualities hot, dry, cold, and moist. The author of the Anonymus Londinensis papyrus preserves (20. 25) Philistion's view that disease could be the result either of an imbalance of these elements within the body, or of respiratory dysfunction leading to morbid internal air blockages, or be caused by external factors such as physical trauma. He apparently wrote extensively on *dietetics, and his treatments for a variety of disorders are quoted by a number of later authorities including *Athenaeus (3), Galen, and *Oribasius (frs.

Article

Philolaus wrote one book which was probably the first by a Pythagorean (see pythagoras(1)). He was a contemporary of *Socrates and is mentioned in *Plato (1)'s Phaedo (61 d6) as arguing that *suicide is not permissible. A consensus has emerged that, although many of the fragments are from spurious works, some fragments from the genuine book survive (1–7, 13, 17). These show that Philolaus' book was the primary source for *Aristotle's account of Pythagoreanism and influenced Plato's Philebus. The book contained a cosmogony and presented astronomical, psychological, and medical theories. Philolaus argued that the cosmos and everything in it was made up not just of the unlimiteds (continua that are in themselves without limit, e.g. earth or void) used as elements by other Presocratics, but also of limiters (things that set limits in a continuum, e.g. shapes). These elements are held together in a harmonia (‘fitting together’) which comes to be in accord with pleasing mathematical relationships. Secure knowledge is possible in so far as we grasp the number in accordance with which things are put together. Philolaus was the first to make the earth a planet. Along with the fixed stars, five planets, sun, moon, and a counter-earth (thus making the perfect number ten), the earth orbits the central fire.

Article

G. J. Toomer and Serafina Cuomo

Philon wrote a mechanical Syntaxis in nine (?) books, of which survive: book 4, βελοποιικά, on catapults (see artillery); book 5, πνευματικά (in Arabic translation, itself partially translated into Latin), on the construction of devices worked by the action of heated air and fluids (see physics); parts of book 7, παρασκευαστικά, and of book 8, πολιορκητικά, on siege works and operations. The lost book 6, on automata-making, is referred to by Heron (ed. Schmidt 1. 404 ff.). Book 1 may have contained a general introduction to the Syntaxis, including geometrical problems of general use and in particular the earliest extant solution to the duplication of the cube (also extant in Bel. 7). Both Belopoeica and the book on fortifications provide insights into the Hellenistic military revolution and the technicians behind it. Philon describes himself as part of a community of experts, active across the Mediterranean at the service of various monarchs. His work on catapults seems addressed to a potential patron, and emphasizes practical aspects, including costs, of the weapons he describes, as well as their theoretical background, including a potted history of how crucial discoveries about catapult design were made in time, at the hands of not one person, but successive generations of practitioners.

Article

Philonides of Laodicea-on-Sea, in Syria, was an Epicurean philosopher of the 2nd century bce. He was first a student of some geometers (a Eudemus and a Dionysodorus) and then became a student of the Epicurean Artemon. He also studied with Basilides, scholarch of the Athenian Garden from about 205 bce. One of the papyri preserved in the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum (PHerc. 1044) contains a biography. It is disputed whether Philonides was a practising geometer who attempted to reconcile his study of mathematics with his Epicurean commitment to the existence of partless but extended spatial minima. Most likely, he adopted an orthodox Epicurean position on these matters.

Philonides of Laodicea-on-Sea, in Syria, was an Epicurean philosopher of the 2nd century bce. One of the papyri preserved in the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum (PHerc. 1044) contains his biography. The text was published first by Walter Crönert and re-edited more recently by Italo Gallo.

Article

William David Ross

Member of the eclectic school of medicine, c.ce 180. An excerpt from his work De Venenatis Animalibus (on poisonous animals), the basis of the thirteenth book of *Aelian, has been edited by M. Wellmann in CMG (1908). He also wrote a book on diseases of the bowels (only part extant, in a Latin trans., ed. Michaeleanu, 1910), and one Περὶ γυναικείων (on gynaecology, not extant).

Article

physics  

J. T. Vallance

Physics today involves the investigation of the nature and behaviour of matter and energy, and it is often thus distinguished from chemistry and biology. The same term, derived from the Greek word for ‘nature’, ‘physis’, is used to describe a number of ancient inquiries, including peri physeos historia (the inquiry into nature), ‘ta physika’ (natural things) and physikē [sc. epistēmē], where no such distinction is implied. These ancient expressions are to some extent context-relative and they covered a range of interests far wider than that encompassed by modern physics. ‘Theory of Nature’ might be a reasonable general characterization of ancient physics. Notably, for some ancient authorities ‘physics’ explicitly excluded mathematics and even mathematical attempts at modelling nature. For early doctors physical inquiry was equivalent to what we might now call physiology; the cognate terms in English, ‘physic’ and ‘physician’, tend to relate, on the other hand, to the practice of what is now called pathology.

Article

M. Michela Sassi

Physiognomy, the art of observing and making inferences from physical features of the body, was practised from c.1,500 bce (when it is mentioned in Mesopotamian handbooks on divination). A focus on personal character (and a reflection on the relation between physical and psychical facts) seems to be a Greek innovation. *Aristotle attempted to give an inductive basis to assertions of the interdependence of body and *soul (An. pr. 70b7); and the Historia animalium provided empirical evidence that corroborated early ideas about moral types among animals. In the first extant treatise on the subject, the Physiognomonica (a Peripatetic work of the 3rd cent. bce long attributed to Aristotle), the comparison with animal, racial, and gender types presupposes that moral perfection is embodied in the (free) male Greek citizen. This treatise is the forerunner of a tradition embracing M. Antonius *Polemon (4) in the 2nd cent. ce and Adamantius in the 4th, as well as medieval and modern writers.

Article

Physiologus (‘the Natural Scientist’), an exposition of the marvellous properties of some 50 animals, plants, and stones, with a Christian interpretation of each (e.g. the pelican, which kills its offspring then revives them after three days with its own blood, figures the salvation of mankind through the Crucifixion). Both place and date of composition are disputed: perhaps Syria, perhaps Egypt; perhaps as late as the 4th cent. ce, perhaps (more likely?) as early as the 2nd. In any event, the work draws heavily on earlier traditions of Greek natural historical writing, particularly that of the *paradoxographers, with their concentration on the marvellous in nature and on occult natural sympathies and antipathies. The physiologus of the title is not the (entirely anonymous) author, but the (equally anonymous) authority from whom he claims to derive his information; it is however unclear whether he drew on a single proximate source or on several. No neat separation of the entries into borrowed (pagan) ‘information’ and superimposed Christian interpretation is possible, as in many cases the ‘information’ has already been reshaped to fit its new context (e.g. in the highlighting of the number three, to allow reference to the Trinity and the three days of the Passion).

Article

plague  

Robert Sallares

Plague (λοιμός Lat. pestis), a term confusingly employed by ancient historians to designate epidemics of infectious *diseases. Epidemics in antiquity were not necessarily caused by the disease now called plague (Yersinia pestis), although *Rufus of Ephesus cites some evidence for true plague in Hellenistic Egypt and Syria. True plague was also the cause of the plague of *Justinian in the 6th cent. ce. The major epidemic diseases are density-dependent. The ‘plague of Athens’ (see below) was an isolated event in Greek history, but there is more evidence for great epidemics during the Roman Empire. This increase in frequency was a consequence of *population growth in antiquity. Most of the epidemics described by Roman historians, e.g. *Livy who relied on the annalistic tradition, are described so briefly that there is no hope of identifying the diseases in question. Epidemics are neglected in the major theoretical works of ancient medicine (the Hippocratic corpus (see hippocrates(2)) and *Galen) because doctors had no knowledge of the existence of micro-organisms and had difficulty applying the types of explanation they favoured (in terms of the diet and lifestyle of individuals; also, later, the theory of the four *humours) to mass outbreaks of disease.

Article

Gaius Plinius Secundus, prominent Roman equestrian, from Novum *Comum in Gallia Cisalpina (see gaul (cisalpine)), commander of the fleet at *Misenum, and uncle of *Pliny (2) the Younger, best known as the author of the 37-book Naturalis Historia, an encyclopaedia of all contemporary knowledge—animal, vegetable, and mineral—but with much that is human included too: natura, hoc est vita, narratur (‘Nature, which is to say Life, is my subject’, pref. 13).Characteristic of his age and background in his range of interests and diverse career, Pliny obtained an equestrian command through the patronage of Q. Pomponius Secundus (consul 41), and served in Germany, alongside the future emperor *Titus. Active in legal practice in the reign of *Nero, he was then promoted by the favour of the Flavians (and probably the patronage of *Licinius Mucianus, whose works he also often quotes) through a series of high procuratorships (including that of Hispania *Tarraconensis), in which he won a reputation for integrity.

Article

M. Stephen Spurr

‘What is good cultivation? Good ploughing.’ (Cato, Agr. 61. 1; see porcius cato(1), m., Appendix). While ploughing was of paramount importance for the intensive *villa agriculture described by the Roman agricultural writers, *Pliny (1) the Elder's observation that mountain peoples ‘ploughed’ with hoes (HN 18. 176) indicates that ploughs were common enough elsewhere. Roman ploughs were ards (which worked the soil without turning the sod, cf. *Columella, Rust. 2. 2. 25), sole-ards being common to Mediterranean regions, beam-ards to northern provinces. *Peasants might possess an inexpensive plough drawn by the versatile ass (cf. Plin. HN 8. 167; Columella, Rust. 7. 1. 2). Villas bred oxen of different sizes and used a variety of ploughs and detachable ploughshares for diverse soils, crops (e.g. the smallest ploughs for fenugreek, Columella Rust. 2. 10. 33), and ploughing operations (e.g. working the soil in the vineyard, ColumellaRust.

Article

pneuma  

J. T. Vallance

Pneuma (πνεῦμα, Lat. spiritus) is connected etymologically with πνέω, breathe or blow, and has a basic meaning of ‘air in motion’, or ‘breath’ as something necessary to life. In Greek tragedy it is used of the ‘breath of life’ and it is the ‘Spirit’ of the New Testament. In early Greek thought pneuma is often connected with the *soul; in *Aristotle it frequently denotes ‘warm air’, sometimes ‘heat’, and the term is also used of seismic winds which are trapped within the earth. Its precise meaning, then, must always be determined in its context. The word may have been used first by *Anaximenes (1) of Miletus to describe both elemental air in motion in the world, and ‘psychic air’ in man. ‘Psychic pneuma’ also constitutes the soul and underlies sensory and motor activities in a number of ancient medical theories. In Hippocratic and post-Hippocratic writings (see hippocrates(2)) it is widely used of inspired air or breath inside the body, with no apparent reference to any particular theory.

Article

Sylvia Berryman

A branch of the ancient Greek mechanical art, roughly concerned with the movement of fluids and the ways that its properties could be used to produce effects, whether lifting water, holding it suspended, or producing surprise effects that imitate the motions of living beings in theatrical displays. Water-driven timepieces and a steam-powered turbine are included in this branch.A number of early experiments in this area were aimed at establishing the corporeality of air—Anaxagoras, for instance, is credited with a test involving the lowering of a tube closed at its upper end into water, to show that the water’s entrance into the tube is somehow blocked by the air contained in the tube (DK 59A69). Many other such early investigations by natural philosophers were concerned with the explanation of biological phenomena such as respiration and the propulsion of fluids through the body, often by analogy with other more readily visible processes such as the operation of the water clock or klepsydra (see clocks), which features in the Empedoclean account of the mechanics of respiration (DK 31B100; see empedocles).

Article

J. T. Vallance

Term used in antiquity to describe a group of doctors influenced by Stoic *physics (see stoicism), but also continuing an important Hippocratic tradition (see hippocrates(2)) which underlined the importance of *pneuma in explanations of psychological, physiological, and pathological phenomena. (The spurious Hippocratic treatise on Nutriment which may date to the 1st cent. bce is often thought to show their influence.) Their founder was probably *Athenaeus (3) of Attaleia, and other influential doctors from this far from monolithic sect included *Archigenes of Apamea, *Agathinus of Sparta, *Aretaeus of Cappadocia, and *Herodotus (2) the Doctor. None of their works survive. They are associated with the division of the art of medicine into parts corresponding to the Stoic division of the parts of dialectic, along with much highly elaborate work on the nature and classification of the pulse, and with a lively interest in doxography. They had a reputation as eclectics and *Galen shows them a certain amount of sympathy.

Article

Hippocratic physician, and according to one tradition the son-in-law of *Hippocrates (2) himself. Attempts have been made to assign authorship of various Hippocratic treatises to him (eg. parts of On the Nature of Man, On Birth in the Eighth Month). His view that all blood vessels originate in the head is quoted by *Aristotle (Hist. an. 511b24–513a7), and some of this material is repeated in more detail in the Hippocratic treatises On the Nature of Bones (9. 174–8 Littré) and On the Nature of Man (6. 58–60 Littré). There is a somewhat garbled account of his pathological system—in which diseases are caused by imbalances of blood, phlegm, and bile—in the Anonymus Londinensis papyrus, 19. 1 ff.

Article

The polychromy of Greek and Etrusco-Roman architecture comprises the chromatic effects and surface treatments of exterior façades and roofs, as well as interior floors, walls, and ceilings. Colour and/or contrasts of light and shadow are the basis for all architectural ornamentation. The practice is characterized by a large variety of materials and techniques, which draw from different genres of the visual arts such as stone, plaster and stucco working, toreutics, tessellation, sculpture, panel painting, terracotta, and glass making. The treatment of architectural surfaces is thus intimately connected to changes in both construction knowledge and building economies, while their visual effects depend on changing architectural forms and designs. Both texts and archaeological remains underline the importance of colour and material as an integral part of ancient architectural design; they play a key role for the sensory and atmospheric experience of architecture and could influence its symbolic meaning.Despite strong regional traditions and a general lack of standardization, a few overall developments can be pinpointed: a triple colour scheme of dark (black, blue), light (white, cream), and red hues dominated both Archaic Greek and Etrusco-Italic architectural polychromy; its chromatic polarity became fundamental for the Greek Doric order and, as a basic combination, it remained a recurring motif of architectural surfaces into the Roman Imperial periods. During the Greek Classical period, green, yellow, and increasingly, gilding joined the basic colour palette. Late Classical/Hellenistic innovations included illusionistic painting techniques, intermediality (the imitation of one material by means of another), as well as the increase of light and shadow effects. While variation (Greek poikilia) of both colours and materials was a guiding principle, it seems that there were also occasional reductions of polychrome accentuations on exteriors.