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Article

fiscus  

Fergus Graham Burtholme Millar and Graham Burton

Fiscus originally meant ‘basket’ or ‘money-bag’ and thence came to denote the private funds of an individual or, in an administrative context, to mean the public funds held by a provincial governor. In the Principate it came to denote both the private funds of the emperor and the whole financial administration controlled by the emperor.The questions of the origins, legal nature, and revenues of the imperial fiscus, of its relationship to the *aerarium, and of the normal meaning of the term remain hotly disputed. Three principal, if overlapping, views exist.1. The fiscus was the property of the emperor, its income was formed principally by the revenues of the imperial provinces (Mommsen, Röm. Staatsr. 23. 998 ff.). On this view the distinction between fiscus and aerarium was a product of the ‘dyarchy’ of emperor and senate and of the division of the provinces.2. Fiscus was used originally only of the private funds of the emperor (e.g. Sen.

Article

fishing  

Annalisa Marzano

Fishing was an economically important activity in the classical world. Some communities owed their prosperity to the exploitation of bountiful fisheries and the trade in salted fish and fish sauces or the manufacture of products such as purple dye made from sea molluscs. Salted or pickled fish products supplemented a subsistence diet, while specific types of fresh fish were costly and sought after as status enhancers. Marine fishing rights were not the object of monopolies since in ancient Greece and Rome the sea was seen as something held in common. In practice, ownership of coastal fishing installations and control of specialist knowledge related to fishing were ways in which one could exercise control over fishing rights. In contrast, inland bodies of water could be held as private property and exclusive fishing rights to them could be claimed. Fishermen specialized in specific fishing techniques and formed professional associations. In the Roman imperial era, fishing activity and the trade in fish products increased.

Article

follis  

Michael Crawford

A bag for coins, then—by the late 3rd or early 4th cent. ce—a bag containing a fixed number of coins, then a unit of account; the value of this unit of account varied over the centuries from the Tetrarchic period onwards. There is no clear evidence in practice that the term applied to an individual coin before the reforms of Anastasius (491–518ce), though the metrological writers contain some confused statements which may be interpreted in this way.

Article

Erica Rowan

The ancient Graeco-Roman diet was based on cereals (Gk. sitos, Lat. frumentum) but supplemented and flavoured by a wide variety of legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, meats, other animal products, fish, and other seafood. The Greeks used the generic term opson for food eaten with bread or other cereal products. Olive oil and wine were important sources of fats and calories for those living within the Mediterranean climatic zone. In the more northern regions of the Roman Empire and in Egypt, beer was the more common beverage. Most of the meat consumed in the ancient world came from the major domesticates. Garum or fish sauce was eaten in the Greek world but became ubiquitous during the Roman period and was shipped all over the empire. A huge array of fish and shellfish were eaten, fresh where possible but also salted, at both coastal and inland sites. Food in the Greek and Roman world served a multitude of purposes in addition to basic sustenance and human survival. Particular items such as figs, olives, barley, and emmer wheat were strongly connected to notions of Greek and Roman identity. Wealth, status, education, and cultural belonging were displayed through food, and foodstuffs appear frequently in all forms of Greek and Roman literature. Food was also a popular subject in art, and numerous mosaics depict raw ingredients and agricultural scenes. The field of ancient food studies originally explored diet through the ancient textual sources and often focused on the grain supply to Rome. Since the 1980s, however, it has evolved to incorporate all manner of archaeological and environmental evidence to explore a wider array of topics that includes animal sacrifice, non-elite diet, regional and chronological dietary variation, gender, economics, and identity.

Article

Lin Foxhall

For Greek city-states of the Archaic and Hellenistic periods the ethos of self-sufficiency (autarkeia) dominated the ideology of food supply. In reality few Greek cities ever outgrew the food production capacities of their territory and the small number which did responded by intensifying agricultural production. This is well documented in the case of Athens. However, most Greek states operated in politically and environmentally unstable conditions. Weather (see climate) and warfare posed constant, but unpredictably timed, hazards. Consequently, some degree of shortfall in food supply could be expected perhaps as often as once in five years.

By ‘food’ (sitos) is meant *cereals. Though other crops were grown and important in the ancient Greek diet, grain was the preferred staple, especially wheat and barley. Hence shortfalls in these crops proved the most problematic at all levels. Grain was at the heart of the political discourses which evolved around the problem of food supply in most city-states.

Article

Dominic W. Rathbone

The growth of Rome to a city of perhaps 250,000 inhabitants in the time of the *Gracchi and of up to one million under *Augustus, far outstripping the productive capacity of her hinterland, created an unprecedented demand for imported foodstuffs. The supplying of Rome was always left mainly to private enterprise, and the main source was always Italy (including Sicily and Sardinia), but the political pressure on the Roman government to deal with actual or feared shortages led to some institutionalized public underpinning of the mechanisms of supply, which were enabled by exploitation of Rome's imperial revenues. In the early and middle republic individual magistrates competed either to win popular favour by securing extra supplies from subject or allied states where they had some personal influence, or to win noble approval by quashing popular complaints. C. *Sempronius Gracchus took the momentous step of establishing a regular public distribution of a set monthly ration of grain (frumentatio) at a set price to adult male citizen residents, which P.

Article

David M. Lewis and Sara Zanovello

In the Greek world, manumission, which spelt the end of an individual’s life in slavery, was achieved in a variety of ways, but it often entailed legal obligations to remain (paramenein) as a free servant for a fixed period of time. In some cases, freedmen and freedwomen subject to paramone obligations were able to “buy out” of this condition (apolysis). Manumission documents, which have been found in many parts of the Greek world, particularly in northern Greece (especially Delphi), reveal the legal position of slaves and how it differed from the legal position of freedpersons. Unlike in Rome, freedpersons in the Greek world did not automatically become citizens of their ex-owner’s polis (although some freed slaves did manage to achieve naturalization in return for benefactions bestowed on the community). In Athens, they held a legal position almost identical to that of resident foreigners (metoikoi), with some minor differences. Manumission was usually a private act, but in some cases the polis manumitted privately owned slaves, and in Sparta, helots could only be manumitted by the state. The frequency of manumission in the Greek world remains a debated topic, but recent work has raised the possibility that its use as an incentive for slaves was probably targeted mainly at slaves working in skilled, “care-intensive” roles, and also for slaves (including hetairai) with whom individuals conceived sexual attachments.

Article

G. Herman

Friendship, ritualized (or guest-friendship), a bond of trust, imitating kinship and reinforced by rituals, generating affection and obligations between individuals belonging to separate social units. In Greek sources this bond is called xenia, xeiniē, and xeineiē; in Latin, hospitium. The individuals joined by the bond (usually men of approximately equal social status) are said to be each other's xenos or hospes. As the same terms designated guest-host relationships, xenia and hospitium have sometimes been interpreted in modern research as a form of hospitality. Xenia, hospitium, and hospitality do overlap to some extent but the former relationships display a series of additional features which assimilate them into the wider category called in social studies ritualized personal relationships, or pseudo-kinship. The analogy with kinship did not escape the notice of the ancients themselves. According to the *AristotelianMagna Moralia, xenia was the strongest of all the relationships involving affection (philia) (2.

Article

Arising from the agrarian and domestic contexts of classical antiquity, the notion of “frugality” (frugalitas) was a positive, desirable, and in many respects distinctively Roman concept that generally refers to a set of practices, ethical principles, and cultural and moral values pertaining to the production and consumption of resources. Closely related to this more general category is the concept of “parsimony” (parsimonia), which, as one type of frugalitas, is properly concerned with the prudent and judicious management of property and wealth. Both concepts tend to be associated with temperance and moderation (moderatio; cf. Gk. sophrosyne) and are often framed in opposition to “luxury” (luxuria) and “greed” (avaritia). Partly as a response to perceived increases in social ills and partly under the influence of Greek philosophy, the moral connotations of frugalitas and parsimonia become increasingly pronounced over time and are variously embraced by later Christian writers. Prominent historical exempla for these important Roman concepts include L.

Article

fulling  

Miko Flohr

The practice of fulling woollen garments was never part of an integrated textile production chain in the Greco-Roman world, though in several contexts, there were developments towards large-scale investment and rationalization in fulling workshops. Fullers, particularly in the Roman period, developed a strong, and positive, occupational identity, and were well-integrated members of their respective urban communities.

Fulling was a procedure that aimed to refine or recover woollen garments (see wool), particularly tunics and mantles. It could include, but was not limited to, cleaning: its core aim was to improve the quality of the surface of the textile (see textile production) by raising and curating the “nap”—a soft layer of interlaced fibres that gives woollen textiles a soft, ideally even shiny surface, and makes them warmer and more comfortable to wear. Because it involves a chemical treatment and brushing, fulling has a slightly abrasive effect on textiles: garments can be subjected to the procedure repeatedly, but not endlessly. In practice, fullers worked with new as well as with used garments, and the available sources do not distinguish clearly between fulling newly woven textiles and recovering used ones—both categories of textiles seem to have been subjected to an identical procedure, though previously unfulled textiles may have required a more thorough and lengthy treatment. While the procedure was common, not all woollen textiles were fulled, and the frequency with which textiles were refulled could vary.

Article

G. Herman

In the Homeric poems, gift-giving perhaps receives more attention than any other peaceful heroic activity. It has three outstanding features. First, gifts have an extremely wide range of functions. The word ‘gift’ (dōron) was, as Finley (see bibliog. below) puts it, ‘a cover-all for a great variety of actions and transactions which later became differentiated and acquired their own appellations…payments for services rendered, desired or anticipated; what we would call fees, rewards, prizes and sometimes bribes’ (and, we should perhaps add, taxes, loans, and diplomatic relationships). Secondly, gifts are often extremely valuable; those referred to include cattle, armour, women, and even entire cities. Thirdly, gifts are frequently given within contexts such as *marriage, *funerals, friendship, and ritualized friendship (see friendship, greece and friendship, ritualized), either to initiate or to perpetuate amiable relationships. The claim sometimes made in modern research (by Hooker, for example) that these features of gift-giving existed in poetical fantasy rather than in social reality is contradicted by the recurrence of these features in later non-poetical descriptions of gift-giving.

Article

Neil Coffee

Romans not only gave gifts to express emotion and build relationships; a long-standing tradition of mutual aid gave rise to more intensive exchange of gifts and services (or reciprocity), among relatives, friends, and business associates; from the wealthy to the public in the form of public benefactions; and in legally sanctioned relationships between patrons and clients. Roman gift culture, distinctive among its contemporary Mediterranean societies, became increasingly transactional from the middle Republic to early Empire.

Reciprocity, understood as the exchange of gifts and favours, was far more pervasive and consequential in Roman society than in the contemporary West. Romans lacked the social infrastructure of the modern state: insurance and social welfare systems. They were therefore more reliant on an ethic of sharing within the extended family (where everything was in spirit held in common) (communia omnia, Cic. Off. 1.54). Outside of the family, Romans also depended on reciprocity, a practice deeply rooted as essential for survival and flourishing.

Article

glass  

Frederick Norman Pryce and Michael Vickers

Glass (ὕαλος (also 'rock crystal'), vitrum). The art of producing a vitreous surface on stone, powdered quartz (faience), or clay was known in pre-dynastic Egypt and passed to Crete during the second millennium bce. Glazed objects are common on Greek sites of the Archaic period, some of them Egyptian imports, others probably made locally. In Hellenistic and Roman times Egypt and Asia Minor were centres of fabrication of glazed wares, which often imitated bronze.Objects composed entirely of glass paste begin to appear in Egypt about 1500 bce, when two allied processes seem to have been in use: modelling molten glass about a core of sand, and pressing it into an open mould. The chief Mycenaean glass is dark blue imitating lapis lazuli, used for beads, inlays, and architectural ornaments. In the 6th cent. small vases made by the sand-core process became known in Greece; they have opaque blue, brown, or white bodies and a marbled effect was produced on their surface by means of a comb or spike. In the Hellenistic period mould-made bowls come into fashion; these were produced mainly in Egypt. Here the tradition of opaque polychrome glass was continued into Roman times with millefiori bowls, in which marbled and other polychrome patterns were formed by fusing glass canes of various colours and pressing them into moulds.

Article

gold  

Frederick Norman Pryce and Michael Vickers

Gold is rare in Greece, and the source of the rich treasures found in bronze age tombs (*Mycenae, etc. ) is unknown. The island of *Siphnos prospered in the 6th cent. bce by its gold productions; later the mines were flooded. Mines on *Thasos, opened by the *Phoenicians, were working in *Thucydides (2)'s day, but have not been found. *Macedonia and *Thrace had a large auriferous area, where the mines of Mt. *Pangaeus were working before 500 bce. In Asia Minor, gold came from Mysia, *Phrygia, and *Lydia; their wealth is attested by the stories of *Midas (1), *Croesus, and the river Pactolus. Electrum (ἤλεκτρον), a natural alloy of gold and silver, was panned in the rivers of Asia Minor, and was used for the earliest coins (see coinage, greek) and for jewellery. *Colchis also furnished gold, Scythians brought supplies from central Asia, and *Carthage received gold from West Africa.

Article

Richard Allan Tomlinson

In late bronze age Assiros in Macedonia corn was kept in wicker or similar containers, in storerooms within the houses. Otherwise large terracotta storage jars (pithoi) were used, especially in the centralized palace economies. Similar individual storage continued into the Classical period. An unusual terracotta pyxis found in a burial of c.850 bce from the Athenian agora excavations has represented on its lid a series of up-ended miniature pithoi, probably a model of the storage-systems employed for grain. Large storerooms would have been required for the corn imported in quantities by Classical Athens, and would have been adjacent to the great harbour of *Piraeus, where the corn market (Alphitopolis Stoa) was built in the time of *Pericles (1). Similarly, storerooms adjacent to the harbour at *Delos may have served in part for the storage of grain, though there is no evidence to determine what goods were kept in them.

Article

A. Simon Esmonde Cleary

Purpose-built structures (horrea) for storing grain and other commodities developed in the late republic for the alimentation of Rome, and later at forts for military provisions. At Rome and *Ostiahorrea were brick or masonry courtyard-structures surrounded by storerooms (sometimes on dwarf walls for ventilation). Similar structures are known from other port cities. Military granaries were large sheds of timber or stone raised on posts or dwarf walls, the grain being kept in bins. Some small, private granaries imitating horrea have been excavated.

Article

Robert Schon

During the Bronze Age, people living in the Aegean region began adopting standardized measures. Aegean metrology took numerous forms and included measurements of weight, volume, length, area, and time. Some metrological units are depicted on Linear B (and some earlier Linear A) texts of the Late Bronze Age. In a few cases, archaeological remains, such as weights and scales, provide further insights into Aegean Bronze Age metrology.Ancient weights have been identified in numerous ways, some more reliable than others. A few weights appear in proportional sets or are marked with their unit designation, making their identification straightforward. In other cases, archaeologists rely on context or reasonable deduction (e.g., “What else could they be?”). Certain spool-shaped stones found in Early Bronze Age (c. 2500bce) contexts, most notably at Tiryns, may be weights.1 If so, these would be the earliest confirmed balance weights in the Aegean. Eleven haematite and two similarly hard stone weights were discovered by Valmin in various strata at Malthi, a Bronze Age site in .

Article

Arnold Wycombe Gomme and P. J. Rhodes

Hellēnotamiai (‘treasurers of the Greeks’), were the chief financial officials of the *Delian League. Their office was in *Delos until 454/3 bce, in Athens after that; but from the first they were Athenians appointed by Athens (one from each tribe, probably by election). They received the tribute from the allies, and from 453 paid the *aparchē (first-fruits) to the treasury of Athena; and they made payments on the instructions of the assembly, chiefly to generals for their campaigns but sometimes for other purposes (such as the Acropolis buildings).

Article

hippeis  

John F. Lazenby and P. J. Rhodes

In a number of Greek states the aristocracy was known as the ‘hippeis’ (e.g. *Eretria and Boeotian *Orchomenus(1); and cf. the ‘hippobotai’, of *Chalcis and, below, the Spartan élite (§ 3) and Athenian property class (§ 4)). Aristotle (Pol. 1297b17 ff., cf. 1289b36 ff. and 1321a8 ff.), while drawing attention to the fact that only the wealthy possessed *horses, seems to have thought that this was the basis of their political power, since their states depended upon cavalry in war. But although there is some evidence for cavalry in early wars, for example the 8th-cent. bce Lelantine War, it is doubtful whether many Greek states south of Boeotia really had powerful forces of cavalry in early times. No cavalry is mentioned in *Tyrtaeus, for example, and the Athenians notoriously had no cavalry at the battle of *Marathon, despite the existence of a class of hippeis.

Article

Lin Foxhall

The household (oikos) was the fundamental social, political and economic unit of ancient Greece (Arist.Pol. 1. 2), though its precise links into larger political and economic structures changed regionally and over time. At one level it was a co-resident group, many (though not all) of whose members were kin or affines (related by marriage). Patrilateral kinship was probably more common than matrilateral in household settings, since marriage was patrilocal, i.e. women tended to move into their husband's house and household on marriage (see matrilocality). Though a nuclear family (parents and children) might form the household's core, there is considerable evidence for the regular appearance of stem families (nuclear family plus a grandparent) and various kinds of extended families, especially incorporating unmarried female relatives (aunts, sisters, nieces, cousins, etc. ). The senior man in the household usually took charge of ‘official’ relations with the outside world and acted as the head of household (kyrios).