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Athenaeus (2) Mechanicus  

David Whitehead

Athenaeus (2) Mechanicus is the named author of a surviving treatise On Machines; military ones, for use in siege-warfare. The work is addressed to a ‘Marcellus,’ and nowadays orthodoxy ... More

baking, Roman  

Jared T. Benton

The earliest Roman bakers almost certainly made bread for their own households, but not for sale to the public. Pliny the Elder tells us in his Natural History (18.28) that among the quirites of ... More

Cetius Faventinus, Marcus  

Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Online publication date:
Dec 2015

Marcus Cetius Faventinus, (3rd–4th cent. ce), made a revised abridgement of *Vitruvius for builders of private houses; his work was used by *Palladius (1) and *Isidorus (2).

Gargilius Martialis, Quintus, early to mid-3rd cent. CE  

M. Stephen Spurr

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Quintus Gargilius Martialis was famed for his work on *gardens (Serv. on G. 4. 147; Cassiod.Inst. 1. 28. 5). Part of the De hortis is extant, while two other fragments, on the medical properties of ... More


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 ... More

glass, Roman  

H.E.M. Cool

Online publication date:
Dec 2016
Glass came of age during the Roman period. Within the ancient world it had been used from the mid-second millennium bce onwards, but only for jewellery and luxury items like small perfume ... More


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


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


Donald Emrys Strong and Hazel Dodge

Under μάρμαρος, marmor, the ancients included granites, porphyries, and all stones capable of taking a high polish. In the third millennium bce the white marbles of the Greek islands were used for ... More

metallurgy, Roman  

Jonathan Edmondson

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
In the Roman period most metals were obtained not in a natural state directly from mining, but as a result of metallurgical processing of compound mineral deposits (ores). Ores, once mined, were ... More

pastoralism, Roman  

M. Stephen Spurr

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Pastoralism, whether good, bad, or indifferent, provided the most lucrative returns, according to *Cato (Censorius) (Cicero, Off. 2. 89; Columella, Rust. 6 praef. 4–5; Plin.HN 8. 29–30). Thus ... More

polychromy, architectural, Greek and Roman  

Stephan Zink

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. ... More

ships of Lake Nemi, the  

Deborah N. Carlson

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
The Lake Nemi ships were two enormous, palatial houseboats built by the Roman emperor Caligula (r. 37–41ce). Lake Nemi is a small volcanic crater lake just 1.8 km (1.1 miles) wide and 35 m ... More

siegecraft, Roman  

Jonathan Coulston

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Early Roman besiegers employed blockade (obsidio) with methodical circumvallation, exploited surprise, and sometimes, especially after weakening the besiegers by obsidio, clinched matters by assault ... More

Vitruvius (Pol(l)io)  

Richard Allan Tomlinson and J. T. Vallance

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Vitruvius (Pol(l)io) (See mamurra), a Roman architect and military engineer, in which capacity he served *Caesar. He built a basilica at *Fanum Fortunae; but his fame rests chiefly on a treatise, De ... More