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 on permanent materials, is today more widely seen as a branch of historical rather than of archaeological enquiry; while numismatics, the study of coins (see
No less important than these explicit divisions are the unwritten, yet widely accepted constraints on the range of material culture accepted as appropriate for study. These constraints, which have helped to maintain an intellectual distance between classical and other archaeologies, have privileged the study of works of representational art and monumental architecture as the core, sometimes almost the entirety, of the subject. A second prominent attitude, one which indeed inspired the study of the material remains of antiquity in the first place, has been attention to the surviving ancient texts, with the aim of matching them with material discoveries. These assumptions can be traced back to the earliest stages of the history of the discipline; topographical exploration, which also began very early, understandably shared the same deference to the texts. The collection of works of art, a prerogative of wealth rather than of learning, helped to confer on the subject in its early years a social prestige at least as prominent as its intellectual. From Renaissance times in Italy and France, from the early 17th cent. in England, and from somewhat later in other parts of northern Europe and North America, these forces propelled the subject forward. Such excavation as took place before the mid-19th cent. was usually explicitly directed towards the recovery of works of art, with the textual evidence serving as a guide or, where it was not directly applicable, as a kind of arbiter. Once the volume of available finds reached a certain critical mass, a further motive came into play: that of providing models for the better training of artists and architects.
A. J. Parker
Richard Allan Tomlinson
The social worlds of artisans and craftsmen were structured around skill on both conceptual and practical levels. On a conceptual level, artisans employed skill (τέχνη / ars) as a crucial component of the identities they constructed for themselves—identities that differed distinctly from perceptions of artisans among the elite, who dismissed most craftsmen as “base” manual labourers. On a practical level, the importance of apprenticeship as a tool for the acquisition of skill had a profound impact on the social profile of artisans and craftsmen: while it ensured that skill could be acquired by both free and enslaved artisans, it limited opportunities for women and for children born into households of low economic status. From an economic perspective, the small workshop remained the backbone of artisanal production. The ubiquity of small workshops in the economy can be explained best as the product of artisans’ efforts to respond to the risks created by product markets in which demand was inherently seasonal and uncertain. With some exceptions, artisans sought to mitigate their exposure to risk by minimizing fixed costs, while nevertheless preserving the ability to expand their output in periods of elevated demand. This was true even in industries that fostered specialization in discrete and technically demanding stages of a vertical production process: in these industries, artisans typically coordinated their production not within integrated firms, but rather within subcontracting networks.
Lucia F. Nixon and Simon Price
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 by itself or in association with board-games. In Rome, where even emperors (esp. *Claudius) were keen players, high sums were often staked; and dicing was officially illegal except at the Saturnalia (see