6,521-6,540 of 6,581 Results

Article

Dimitri van Limbergen

Grape cultivation reached Greece towards the end of the 3rd millennium bce, and Italy around the beginning of the 1st millennium bce. From the 8th century bce onward, systematic viticulture expanded, and wine became deeply embedded in Greco-Roman society at all levels. It was the beverage of choice for both the wealthy and the poor, a major intoxicant in the ancient world, and an essential source of energy in the daily diet. Wine was widely used in religion, feasts, and medicine, and was considered a key marker of civilized culture. Combined with the vine’s high productive potential and its low agronomic needs, all this made wine a primary feature of the agrarian economy and an important product of (inter)national trade. Literature, iconography, and archaeology sketch a picture of significant Greek and Roman realizations in vine-growing techniques and winemaking technology, thus testifying to a level of scientific expertise unmatched until the 19th century. The consumption of wine was stratified and diversified, with the market divided between premium vintages for the rich, ordinary wines for the masses, and winery drinks for the lower classes.

Article

women  

Helen King

Almost all information about women in antiquity comes to us from male sources. Some women could read and write (see literacy), at least to the level needed for their role as guardians of the *household stores (e.g. Xen.Oec. 7.5 and 9.10; see housework), but, although there are many references to literary works by women, very few texts survive. The known exceptions to male authorship include women poets (e.g. *Sappho, *Corinna, *Erinna, *Nossis, Sulpicia (1 and 2)), early philosophers (e.g. *Hypatia; some Hellenistic pamphlets are attributed to Pythagorean women; see women in philosophy), personal letters from women, and the 5th-century ce travel diary of Egeria (*Itinerarium Egeriae). Many attributions to women are problematic. Were women's letters written by scribes? Is a text ascribed to a woman simply in order to attack a man (e.g. Aspasia's alleged authorship of *Pericles(1)'s speeches)?The central source problems, and the strategies developed to overcome them, underpin the large amount of work on ancient women produced since the 1980s.

Article

Emily Kearns

Women played a prominent part in the public religious life of the Greek cities, their roles being in many respects different from those of men. Most, though not all, cults of a female deity were served by a female rather than a male priest, each local sanctuary following its own tradition here. A few cults of male deities, as for instance frequently those of *Dionysus, were also served by priestesses (ἱέρειαι). Some cults stipulated that the priestess must be virgin (thus a little girl), a few (e.g. Paus. 8. 5. 12) that she have ‘finished association with men’, but the majority made no such provision; thus Lysimache was priestess of *Athena Polias in Athens for 64 years in the 5th cent. The role of a priestess was exactly parallel to that of a priest (see priests). Both sexes mediated between worshippers and worshipped, principally by presiding over sacrifices. A woman would not normally deal the fatal blow to the sacrificial victim, but except in the case of very small cults, neither did a male priest; that act was the preserve of a special official. Women other than the priestess also normally had a special role in the act of sacrifice: the basket containing the sacrificial knife was carried in the procession by an unmarried girl (see kanēphoroi), while the moment of the victim's death was marked by ululation (ololygmos) from all women present.

Article

Vicki Lynn Harper

Women in philosophy are recorded in antiquity, though extant writings are few, and there is controversy over dating and authorship of texts. Most of the women whom ancient sources identify as philosophers are associated with schools or societies that admitted women, or are related to philosophers who made education available to them. Women are reported as writing philosophical and mathematical works, and teaching in positions of authority in established schools.Pythagoreanism seems to have been hospitable to women from the start (see pythagoras(1)). This philosophical tradition, which held a doctrine of the *transmigration of *souls, began as a religious society at *Croton in the late 6th cent. bce. Pythagoras taught women as well as men, and many are associated with the society. *Iamblichus(2) names sixteen (Life of Pythagoras267), and other sources such as *Hermesianax (in Athenaeus 13), *Clement of Alexandria (Strom.

Article

Sophia Connell

Women were involved in both practical and theoretical aspects of scientific endeavour in the ancient world. Although the evidence is scant, it is clear that women innovated techniques in textile manufacture, metallurgy, and medical sciences. The most extensive engagement of women in science was in medicine, including obstetrics, gynaecology, pharmacology, and dermatology. The evidence for this often comes from male medical writers. Women were also involved in the manufacture of gold alloys, which interested later alchemists. Maria of Alexandria innovated equipment and techniques while also theorizing about chemical change. Many of the works ascribed to women in antiquity were not written by women. However, they do indicate what sorts of sciences were taken to be the province of women.

Scientific achievements are not the result of individual genius. Science has been a collective endeavour, involving the whole structure of society. The ancient world is no exception to this. Indeed, what is known about the desire for knowledge and control of the physical world indicates that the ways in which Greeks and Romans pursued it were various and diverse, and included the thoughts and activities of many women.

Article

wool  

J. P. Wild

Wool (ἔριονlana), the principal textile fibre of the Mediterranean region, was taken from the coat of the European domestic sheep, descendant of the wild mouflon of western Asia. (Goat- and camel-hair, used by ancient weavers, are excluded from the definition.) The structure of wool makes it warm, water-resistant, and easy to spin; throughout antiquity fleece character was enhanced by selective breeding. The best wool was technically ‘generalized medium’ or ‘fine’; pigmented (brown) fibres gave way to un-pigmented (white), but fleece-weights rarely exceeded 1 kg. (unwashed). The beginnings of a Greek woollen industry may be seen in the flock records of Minoan *Cnossus (c.1380 bce), which reveal an advanced management-regime. Sheep were a core component of Greek upland agriculture. The highest accolades for wool quality went to *Miletus, and true ‘fine-wool’ has been identified in extant fabrics from Nymphaeum (mod. Geroevka) in the Crimea (5th cent. bce; see chersonesus(2)).

Article

J. D. Mikalson

The domestic cult of a Greek family concerned the protection and prosperity of the house and its occupants, with daily small offerings and prayers to *Zeus Ctesius (protector of the stores), Zeus Herceus (protector of the wall or fence surrounding the house), and *Apollo Agyieus (of the streets) whose image stood at the house's street entrance. The hearth, as Hestia, was sacred, and at mealtimes a bit of food was placed there as a *first-fruits offering (Plut.Mor. 703d; Theophrastus in Porph. Abst. 2. 20). Similarly, before drinking wine, libations were poured on the floor to *Hestia (h. Hom. 29. 4–6) or at formal banquets to Zeus and the heroes, to the *Agathos Daimon, or to other deities (Ath. 15. 692f–693f; Arist. fr. 55 Rose). In these family cults the rituals seem of primary importance and hence were widespread while the deities honoured varied from place to place. The father served as priest for the family, however, and that may partially explain the regular appearance of Zeus, father of the gods. The admission of new members to the family (brides, babies, and slaves) was marked by initiation rites, often involving the hearth and featuring fertility symbols. Death brought to the household a pollution which was effaced only by the passage of a set period of time.

Article

Robert Leslie Howland and Stephen Instone

This was a popular exercise among the Greeks. They used a wide variety of holds and throws, many of which are illustrated in vase-paintings and statuettes of wrestlers. The object was to throw an opponent to the ground, and generally three throws were required for victory. In the major *agōnes wrestling was both a separate event and the last of the events of the *pentathlon; though weight was an advantage, general athletic ability was required too.

Article

Xanthippus (1), husband of *Cleisthenes(2)'s niece Agariste and father of *Pericles(1). He prosecuted *Miltiades after his unsuccessful attack on *Paros in 490–489 bce; he was ostracized (see ostracism) in 484, perhaps in a three-cornered rivalry involving *Themistocles and *Aristides(1), but was recalled with the other victims of ostracism before *Xerxes' invasion. As a general in 479 (see persian wars) he commanded the Athenian contingent at Mycale; after the Spartans had returned home, he led some of the Greeks in an attack on *Sestus, which was captured from the Persians after a winter siege. He was presumably dead by 472, when Pericles acted as chorēgos (see chorēgia) for *Aeschylus.

Article

Xanthippus (2) was a Spartan mercenary commander who fought for *Carthage against M. *Atilius Regulus in 255 bce (see punic wars). He reorganized the Carthaginian army and annihilated the Roman expeditionary force, making brilliant use of the Carthaginian *elephants and cavalry to outflank and mow down the Romans. After his victory he left Carthage. He may be identical with the Xanthippus whom *Ptolemy (1) III appointed to govern the lands he claimed to control across the river *Euphrates.

Article

Stephen Mitchell and Antony Spawforth

Xanthus was called the largest city in *Lycia by *Strabo (14. 3. 6, 666), a claim borne out by its extensive remains; prosperity was based on the fertile plain of the river Xanthus, with access to the sea at *Patara. The city was known to Homer, and *Herodotus(1) describes its capitulation to Persia in the famous siege of 545 bce (1. 176); in the 5th cent. it was ruled by a line of Persian client-dynasts (the self-styled ‘genos of Karika’). There are impressive and highly distinctive tombs of the 5th and early 4th cents., notably that of the dynast Gergis, with a trilingual (Greek and two types of Lycian) inscription detailing Xanthian involvement in the *Peloponnesian War (ML 93; c.410 bce), and the famous Nereid Monument (see art, funerary, greek (4)), thought to be the heroon of the dynast Arbinas (c.

Article

P. J. Parsons

Poet mentioned by *Stesichorus, who adapted many works from him, including the Oresteia; he presented *Heracles in his Homeric guise, and said that Laodice (cf. Il. 9. 145) was renamed Electra because of being unmarried (ἄλεκτρος). This information can be traced back no further than the Homeric scholar Megaclides (later 4th cent. bce?).

Article

Xanthus (2), Hellenized Lydian from *Sardis, older contemporary of *Herodotus(1), author of Lydiaca in 4 books on the origin and history of the Lydian people, maybe down to the capture of Sardis by *Cyrus(1) the Great in 547/6. According to *Ephorus (FGrH 70 F 180 = Xanthus T 5) he was used by Herodotus, but the fragments do not admit of definite conclusions. Xanthus lived to the time of *Thucydides(2) (Dion. Hal. De Thuc. 5 = T 4). The fragments show a desire to support partly mythical native traditions with geological, linguistic (F 16), rationalistic and scientific (F 12, 13) arguments: this is Xanthus' chief contribution to historical methodology. It is certain that he was used by *Nicolaus of Damascus, but in what way and to what extent has been much discussed, resulting in various reconstructions of the Lydiaca: cf.

Article

Kenneth S. Sacks and Simon Hornblower

Xenagoras (3rd or 2nd cent. bce), a Greek, perhaps from *Rhodes, wrote Χρόνοι (Chronologies) of the Greek world, with special interest in *Sicily and the west, and Περὶ νήσων (On islands). He is mainly known from citations in the Lindian Chronicle (see lindus; timachidas).

Article

Sicilian mime-writer (see mime) of the late 5th cent. bce, son of *Sophron.

Article

Xenarchus (2), a frank and lively Middle Comedy poet (see comedy (greek), middle). Eight titles survive, mainly from daily life. Fr. 1: a parody of tragic style; 4: young men's sexual preference for married women over prostitutes; 7: illegal watering of fish; 14: happy cicadas, whose wives have no voice.

Article

Xenarchus taught at Alexandria, Athens, and Rome, and his acquaintances included the geographer Strabo and the emperor Augustus. He is best known for his critique of Aristotle’s fifth element, which constitutes the material of the heavenly bodies according to the De caelo. Xenarchus targeted in particular Aristotle’s reliance on direct correspondences between simple bodies and simple motions and suggested that the ontologically privileged fire “in its natural place” could perform circular motion and was thus a plausible candidate for the material constituent of the heavens. He made further contributions in physics, psychology, and ethics, but he does not seem to have shown the same interest in the Categories as his Peripatetic contemporaries.

We are able to date Xenarchus’ activity to the 1st century bce, probably towards the latter half, thanks to Strabo’s testimony that he (Strabo) was his pupil (14.5.4). From Strabo we also learn that Xenarchus quickly left his native Seleucia in Cilicia to teach at Alexandria and Athens, and finally at Rome. He was held in great honour thanks to his friendship with Arius of Alexandria, Augustus’ court philosopher and political adviser, as well as with Augustus himself.

Article

Simon Hornblower

Hellenistic historian, probably from *Crete; a source of Cretan material for *Stephanus of Byzantium (and perhaps also for *Polybius(1), if we read his name at 6. 45. 1).

Article

Andrew Brown

Xenocles, son of the elder *Carcinus(1), was a tragic poet who defeated *Euripides in 415 with his Oedipus, Lycaon, Bacchae, and Athamas (satyric). His Licymnius is parodied by *Aristophanes(1) (Clouds 1264f.), and there are contemptuous references to him at Ar.Thesm.169, 440–2, Frogs86.

Article

Xenocrates (1) of Chalcedon, son of Agathenor, disciple of *Plato(1) and head of the *Academy from 339 to 314 bce. He is presented to us as a man of impressive personality, with a combination of austere dignity and kindliness which exercised a great influence on all who came in contact with him. He was generally respected in Athens and was employed by the citizens as ambassador to *Antipater (1) in 322 bce.His philosophical contributions, so far as we can reconstruct them from the scanty evidence, were less impressive. He seems, in general, to have attempted to reproduce Plato's thought in a stereotyped and formalized system, though on one or two points he probably preserved the correct tradition of interpretation as against Aristotle. He also interested himself in giving a systematic account of the nature of the gods and daemons and their relations to the heavenly bodies, in a way which foreshadowed the constructs of later *Neoplatonism.