1-20 of 251 Results  for:

  • Greek Material Culture x
Clear all

Article

Acragas  

Arthur Geoffrey Woodhead and R. J. A. Wilson

Was founded c.580 bce by the Geloans (see gela) in Sican territory in central southern Sicily. One of the most substantial Hellenic cities in size and affluence, it occupied a large bowl of land, rising to a lofty acropolis on the north and protected on the other by a ridge. Its early acquisition of power was owed to the tyrant *Phalaris. In 480*Theron was the ally of *Gelon in his victory at *Himera. After expelling Thrasydaeus, Theron's son, Acragas had a limited democratic government, in which *Empedocles, its most famous citizen, took part in his generation. Acragantine 6th- and 5th-cent. prosperity is attested by a remarkable series of temples, the remains of which are among the most impressive of any Greek city, and by its extensive, wealthy necropoleis. Sacked by the Carthaginians in 406, Acragas revived to some extent under *Timoleon and Phintias (286–280 bce), but suffered much in the Punic Wars.

Article

Thomas Bertram Lonsdale Webster and Andrew F. Stewart

Agasias (1) Ephesiansculptor, son of Dositheus, active c.100 bce. He signed the Borghese Warrior from Anzio, now in the Louvre, a nude figure striding forward to parry an attack from above. Its ‘flayed’ anatomy and attenuated proportions look back to the school of *Lysippus (2).

Article

Agasias (2) Ephesiansculptor, son of Menophilus, active on *Delosc.100 bce. A fallen Celt is often associated with one signed base, dedicated by C. Marius; attributions include the bronze ‘Worried Man.’BibliographyJ.

Article

Karim Arafat

Painter of Samos. He was the first to make a skēnē, for Aeschylus (probably for a revival at the time of the *Peloponnesian War), and wrote a book on ‘skēnē-painting’, which inspired *Anaxagoras and *Democritus to write on perspective (Vitr. De arch. 7 pref. 11). He was the first painter to use perspective on a large scale (isolated instances occur on vases from the mid 6th cent. bce), probably in architectural backgrounds for plays. His quick work is contrasted with *Zeuxis (1)'s slowness (Plut. Per. 13. 3). Plutarch (Alc. 16. 4), Demosthenes (21. 147), and Andocides (4. 17) say he was compelled by *Alcibiades (c.430 bce?) to paint his house (with perspective scenes?). The story is of interest not least for suggesting that private houses were usually not painted. See painting, greek.

Article

agora  

Richard Allan Tomlinson

Greek term for an area where people gather together, most particularly for the political functions of the *polis, normally sited centrally in cities (as at *Priene), or at least central to the street lines where the actual centre may be occupied by other features (such as the Acropolis at Athens); the area was sacred, and could be treated like a *temenos. In unplanned cities its shape depends on the nature of the available site, irregular at Athens, on low-lying ground bordered by rising land to west (the Kolonos Agoraios) and south (the slopes of the Acropolis). In planned cities the required number of blocks in the regular grid plan are allocated, giving a strictly rectangular shape. (See land division (greek); urbanism (greek and hellenistic).)Architecturally, the agora need be no more than the space defined by marker stones rather than buildings, as, originally, at Athens. When spectacular buildings develop for the various functions of the agora, they are placed along the boundary, which they help to define, rather than in the agora space. These include lawcourts, offices, and meeting-places for officials (and the formal feasting which was part of their office). These may be integrated with extended porticoes—*stoas—and it is these that come to dominate the architecture of the agora, often with long lines of rooms behind them, though not infrequently as colonnades pure and simple.

Article

Andrew F. Stewart

Agoracritus, Parian sculptor, active c. 440–400 bce. A pupil of *Phidias, he made a bronze Athena Itonia and Zeus/Hades for *Coronea in Boeotia, a marble Mother of the Gods for the Metroon in the Athenian agora (see athens, topography), and a colossal marble *Nemesis for *Rhamnus. Pausanias (1. 33. 3), who erroneously attributes the Nemesis to Phidias, describes it in detail, and fragments in Rhamnus, Athens, and London have led both to the recognition of copies and to the partial reconstruction at Rhamnus (along with its base) of the original. Nemesis was standing, holding an apple-branch in one hand and a phiale in the other, and wearing a crown embellished with nikai and deer. The base showed *Leda presenting the goddess's daughter, *Helen, to her in the presence of *Tyndareos and his children. Forecasting Helen's abduction and the Trojans' eventual punishment, this scene may also have hinted at Sparta's responsibility for both the Trojan and the *Peloponnesian War.

Article

The *technology of Greek *agriculture was simple, and apparently underwent little development. Breaking up the ground, which was fundamental to sowing, weed-control, and preservation of moisture, was achieved by simple symmetrical ploughs, which did not turn the soil, or by mattock and hoe. Ploughs and mattocks occasionally appear on vases and the (all wood) plough is described at length in Hesiod (Op. 427 ff.). Cereals were reaped with a curved sickle, and vines and olives pruned with an implement which is scarcely distinguishable.The processing of crops required more sophisticated equipment. Threshing cereals required a stone floor on which the grain was threshed by animal hoofs or perhaps animal-drawn sledges, the runners of which may have been toughened by the addition of obsidian flakes; winnowing was by basket and shovel. Pressing grapes could be done by human feet in a basket, vat, or stone press-bed, but olives had to be crushed (see olive).

Article

*Phidias' favourite pupil, he made numerous statues of divinities in Athens and Boeotia, in gold and ivory, bronze, and marble. The sole survivor, from the Acropolis, is a group of Procne preparing to kill Itys, which Pausanias (1. 24. 3) says he dedicated. Copies exist of his Hermes Propylaeus and Hecate Epipyrgidia, also for the Acropolis, establishing him as a pioneer of the archaizing style (see retrospective styles). Pausanias (5. 10. 8) also gives him the west pediment of the temple of Zeus at Olympia, carved in the 460s, but this is presumably a mistake: for a solution to the problem, see paeonius. Val. Max. 8. 11, ext. 3 describes his bronze Hephaestus in the Hephaesteion at Athens, but attempts to identify it and its accompanying Athena in copy remain controversial.

Article

John Maxwell O'Brien and Barney Rickenbacker

The ancient Greeks were unfamiliar with modern concepts of alcoholism, but they were well aware of self-destructive drinking and the effects of habitual drunkenness. In the Odyssey, *Homer makes a speaker note that wine is a bane to those who drink it excessively, and identify overindulgence as the cause of the *Centaur Eurytion's vile behaviour (21. 293–8). In *Hades, Homer's Elpenor admits that heavy drinking was a key factor in his fatal plunge from *Circe's roof (Od. 11. 61). *Pythagoras (1) is credited with the dictum that drinking to achieve drunkenness is a training-ground for madness, and he advises drunkards to take an unflinching look at their inebriate behaviour if they wish to alter it (Stob. Flor. 3. 18. 23, 33). In the Republic, *Plato (1) writes about men who welcome any excuse to drink whatever wine is available (475a). *Aristotle's treatise On Drunkenness has been lost, but his extant works confirm an abiding interest in wine's pernicious effects.

Article

Amathus  

Hector Catling

Amathus, a major coastal city of *Cyprus, on a hill near mod. Ayios Tychonas, 10 km. (6 mi.) east of Limassol, surrounded by extensive and much excavated cemeteries, and immediately adjacent to its built harbour. Its foundation on a virgin site in the 11th cent. bce without nearby bronze age predecessors accords oddly with its alleged autochthonous identity. As late as the 4th cent. bce it used the Cypro-Minoan syllabary to write an unknown language (Eteo-Cyprian: see pre-alphabetic scripts (greece)). But it stood apart from the other cities in 498, refusing to join the *Ionian Revolt; Onesilus of *Salamis (2) therefore besieged it. A series of coins has been attributed to its 5th- and 4th-cent. kings, the last of whom, Androcles, fought with his ships for *Alexander (3) the Great at *Tyre. Recent excavation has located its famous *Aphrodite sanctuary.

Article

James Maxwell Ross Cormack and Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond

Amphipolis, on the east bank of the Strymon, which surrounds the city on three sides (hence its name), 5 km. (3 mi.) from its seaport Eïon; it was originally the site of a Thracian town, Ennea Hodoi (‘nine ways’, Hdt. 7. 114; see thrace). After two unsuccessful attempts in 497 and 465 bce, it was colonized by the Athenians, with other Greeks, under Hagnon, son of Nicias, in 437–436 bce. It owed its importance partly to its strategic position on the coastal route between northern Greece and the Hellespont, and partly to its commercial wealth as the terminal of trade down the Strymon valley, a depot for the minerals of *Pangaeus and a centre for ship-timber (Thuc. 4. 108). In 424 bce Amphipolis surrendered to the Spartan *Brasidas. It remained independent until 357 bce, when it was captured by *Philip (1) II who gave it a favoured status in the Macedonian kingdom. *Alexander (3) the Great made it the chief mint in his domains.

Article

Alan Johnston and Virginia Randolph Grace

The amphora is one of the most versatile and long-lived pot shapes. A two-handled jar (amphi-phoreus, ‘carried on both sides’), it can vary enormously in size, detail of shape, and manner of decoration. Broad-mouthed jars, plain or decorated, were generally known as kadoi or stamnoi in antiquity. Plain or part-decorated jars, more often termed amphoreus, were used widely for storage and transport; we see them often in vase scenes, and literary and epigraphic texts fill out the picture. The average capacity of Classical and Hellenistic jars is 20–25 lt. (4½–5½ gal.); earlier types are regularly larger (up to 95 lt. (21 gal.)), betraying their derivation from the static storage pithos. Early transport amphorae (late 8th cent., esp. Attic and Corinthian) probably contained oil; later, wine becomes the major commodity; jars supplement, then supplant skins. Other commodities which we know to have been transported in amphorae include pitch and dried fish. Stoppers were of various material, though few survive; clay is best attested, both as basic material and sealer, though resin was also used for the latter purpose.

Article

Amyzon  

Simon Hornblower

Amyzon, remote but important *sanctuary in *Caria, north of *Mylasa. Greek inscriptions have been found there dating from the time of the 4th-cent. bce Hecatomnid *satrap*Idrieus, also of *Philip (2) Arrhidaeus (in which Iranians are honoured, showing their social survival after the end of the *Achaemenid empire), and of the Ptolemaic and Seleucid periods of control in the 3rd century, esp.

Article

According to Pausanias (1. 8. 5), he made the first bronze group of the tyrannicides Harmodius and *Aristogiton for the Athenian agora; Pliny (HN 34. 70) dates it to 510. *Xerxes I took it to Persia in 480, but the Athenians soon asked *Critius to replace it. *Alexander (3) the Great, *Seleucus (1) I, or *Antiochus (1) I returned it, and thereafter it stood beside Critius' group. Antenor's only extant work is the monumental korē (Acropolis Museum 681) dedicated by the potter Nearchus; the korai of the east pediment of the temple of Apollo at *Delphi are stylistically similar, and perhaps attributable to his workshop.

Article

Frank William Walbank and Andrew F. Stewart

Antigonus (4) of Carystus (fl. c. 240 BCE), writer and bronzeworker, lived at Athens and (apparently) at *Pergamum.

An inferior anecdotal collection survives: (a) Ἱστοριῶν παραδόξων συναγωγή, collection of paradoxical stories (see paradoxography) (Rer. nat. scr. Graec. min. 1. 8 f.); *Diogenes (6) Laertius and Athenaeus (1) use (b) Lives of Philosophers; (c) treatises on sculpture and painting (Plin. HN 1. 33, 34; 34. 84; etc.); (d) Περì λέξεως, on diction (Ath. 3. 88a; 7. 297a: probably this Antigonus).

A reliable biographer (see biography, greek) with a flowing, periodic style, Antigonus achieved considerable popularity. His art-historical writing analysed style and authorship (e.g. Plin. HN 35. 67; [Zenobius] 5. 82), and he was among the sculptors the Attalids (see attalus i–iii) selected to celebrate their Celtic victories.

Article

Alexander Jones

The Antikythera Mechanism (National Archaeological Museum, Athens, inv. X 15087) was a Hellenistic gearwork device for displaying astronomical and chronological functions. Substantial but highly corroded remains of the instrument were recovered from an ancient shipwreck (see Figure 1).

The most complex scientific instrument to have survived from antiquity, it resembled the sphaerae or planetaria described by Cicero (1) and other Greco-Roman authors. The date of its construction is in dispute but must have been earlier than the middle of the 1st centurybce and can scarcely have been before the end of the 3rd centurybce. It is an invaluable witness for ancient mechanical technology at its most advanced level (see mechanics) as well as for Hellenistic astronomy.

Article

Antissa  

D. Graham J. Shipley

Antissa, small coastal *polis in NW *Lesbos; birthplace of the poet *Terpander. A bronze age site has been explored; the Classical town originated in the early geometric period. Three apsidal buildings (possibly temples), stretches of a probable city wall, and remains of a harbour mole have been identified. The Mytileneans strengthened the defences during their revolt of 428 bce (see mytilene). *Thrasybulus captured the town c.389; later it joined the *Second Athenian Confederacy. The Romans destroyed it in 166 bce because of its links with *Antiochus (4) IV, and its territory was given to *Methymna. In medieval times it moved inland.

Article

Apelles  

Karim Arafat

Apelles, painter, of Colophon, later of Ephesus (sometimes called Coan because of the Coan ‘Aphrodite’). He is mentioned more frequently, and generally considered better, than any other painter. *Pliny (1) the Elder dates him 332 bce (from the portrait of *Alexander (3) the Great). He was taught first by Ephorus of Ephesus, then by *Pamphilus (1) of Sicyon. When in the Sicyonian school, he helped *Melanthius (2) to paint the victorious chariot of the tyrant Aristratus. He painted portraits of *Philip (1) II, Alexander (who allowed no other artist to paint him), and their circle, and a self-portrait (probably the first). Anecdotes connect him with Alexander, *Ptolemy (1) I, and *Protogenes. He died in *Cos while copying his ‘Aphrodite’, probably early in the 3rd cent.About 30 works are recorded. He showed Alexander mounted and with a thunderbolt; also with the *Dioscuri and Victory; and in triumph with War personified as a bound captive.

Article

apoikia  

D. W. R. Ridgway

Apoikia, ‘a settlement far from home, a colony’ (LSJ), and hence a Greek community regarded as distinct from the kind of trading-post conventionally known as an *emporion. In effect, an apoikia may be defined as a *polis established abroad by a polis (or *mētropolis: ‘mother city’) at home: the official processes required the appointment of a leader/founder, and are well described (for Sicily) in the early chapters of Thuc. 6. The development of the polis at home in Greece coincided chronologically, and clearly interacted conceptually, with the colonizing movement that was in progress between c.734 and 580 bce. Given the continuing importance of trade to the main colonizing cities, it follows that the distinction between apoikia and emporion is in some cases more apparent than real. Certain apoikiai could well have been considered in effect as emporia first and poleis second; and the sheer size and population-density of at least one early emporion, *Pithecusae, seemingly established on a purely ad hoc basis, soon brought about a degree of social organization that might reasonably be expected of a ‘true’ apoikia.

Article

Apollonius (6) (1st cent. bce), son of Archias, Athenian sculptor. A copyist and a member of a sculptor-dynasty alternating the names Apollonius and Archias, he was author of a herm (see herms) of the Doryphorus of *Polyclitus (2) and perhaps of other bronzes from the Villa of the Papyri at *Herculaneum.